Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Coburn counters

Via Townhall:

Today, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn introduced legislation that would promote non-destructive embryonic and/or pluripotent stem cell research.

Responding to Senator Frist and others who support embryo-destroying stem cell research the two time cancer survivor and accomplished doctor in his own right released the following statement:

“The Castle-DeGette bill that is being praised in the Senate is full of hype and false promises. Private research dollars are not following destructive embryonic research because that research, unlike adult stem cell research, has not produced any tangible results. Not since ‘cold fusion’ has a scientific story received so much attention without the science to support the claims,” Dr. Coburn said.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Re: The Political Grapevine


It's also in today's OpinionJournal Political Diary (subscription email), under the cute title of: "
Wisconsin Governor Is a Walking Superfund Site"
John Gard, the GOP speaker of Wisconsin's Assembly, has never seen a political stunt quite like the one pulled by the office of Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Last week, Governor Doyle's office delivered a large paper bag filled with 1,400 used medical needles and syringes to Mr. Gard's office as a way of showing opposition to a bill banning human cloning.

The needles were given to Gov. Doyle's office by a woman whose daughter suffers from juvenile diabetes and who believes the cloning bill would also limit stem cell research. An uncomprehending Mr. Gard told me that the new state budget includes funding for a multimillion-dollar stem cell research institute and he is furious at the crass political stunt. He notes that used needles are considered dangerous because they can transmit diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis B.

The needles were apparently given by the woman to aides of the governor on July 14. She included a letter asking that they be delivered to Mr. Gard's office "as a reminder of what I truly needed to fight for life -- the life of my beautiful, living, breathing child."

The used needles were considered dangerous enough that State Capitol cleaning crews wouldn't touch them, forcing police to be summoned to take them to a hospital for disposal. But Dan Leistikow, a spokesman for Governor Doyle, seems unconcerned about the incident. He told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Doyle aides thought the needles were unused and that in any event the woman had a right to her opinion. "She knew the needles weren't a pretty thing because she deals with them in daily life," Mr. Leistikow said. "She wanted (Gard) to know what she goes through."

Mr. Gard's office issued a curt response: "In 2005, medical waste isn't something people should take lightly. Is there no standard of conduct left?"

Still saying that's the best $3.95 a month I'm spending.

Note: Have no idea why the font looks the way it does.

The Political Grapevine Takes a Shot At It.

Pun intended.

On "Special Report with Brit Hume (with Jim Engel tonight)" Needleaquidik was brought up (you think I am going to say Needle-gate? I have come to hate the gate prefix, not because it is affiliated with a Republican but because it is so overused). Quick blurb. I have been trying to get some of the Bigs to talk about it, to no avail.

Alas, my moniker carries little weight.

Inside the Guv Veto

It is really incredible to take a look at how the guv can use his veto pen to change the whole concept of the budget. For example, as shown here, in a over a page of legislation about passenger rail service, safety improvement study for a road, etc. the governor finds these words: the department of transportation transportation fund...In the 2005-07 fiscal biennium...$4...7...0...0...0,000... The rest of the initiatives are vetoed.

Is that crazy or what?

Nine Assumptions of Government Schooling

Here are 9 assumptions that John Taylor Gatto provides to us about government education. They are inherently wrong on many levels. Not only are they endemic in that they are folded into the fabric of socialism, the press, the political landscape, and secondary academia, but that if one brings up honest debate about them, they are branded as anti-education and anti-child.

1. Social cohesion is not possible through other means than government schooling; school is the main defense against social chaos.
2. Children cannot learn to tolerate each other unless first socialized by government agents.
3. The only safe mentors of children are certified experts with government-approved conditioning; children must be protected from the uncertified, including parents.
4. Compelling children to violate family, cultural and religious norms does not interfere with the development of their intellects or characters.
5. In order to dilute parental influence, children must be disabused of the notion that mother and father are sovereign in morality or intelligence.
6. Families should be encouraged to expend concern on the general education of everyone but discouraged from being unduly concerned with their own children's education.
7. The State has predominant responsibility for training, morals and beliefs. Children who escape state scrutiny will become immoral.
8. Children from families with different beliefs, backgrounds and styles must be forced together even if those beliefs violently contradict one another. Robert Frost, the poet, was wrong when he maintained that "good fences make good neighbors."
9. Coercion in the name of liberty is a valid use of state power.

These assumptions and a few others associated with them lead directly to the shape, style and exercise of school politics. And these primary assumptions generate secondary assumptions which fuel the largely phony school debate played out in American journalism, a debate where the most important questions like "What is the end that justifies these means?" are never asked.

In the Know @ Ontheborderline

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Waukesha County Exec. resigns

Dan Finley is resigning as County Exec. to take over the Milwaukee Public Museum. This is good fro the museum, but a total shock for Waukesha!

Details at BadgerBlogger

I've Been Semi-Fisked!

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that my main goal as a blogger is to seize power. Well, I seem to have made quite the stride toward that goal, in that I have apparently taken possession (at least temporarily) of Owen’s nemesis, Jay Bullock, a.k.a. Folkbum.

Jay responded here to the column I wrote on education funding (his response was also posted on Fighting Bob, here), and then responded here to another column I wrote on the same subject.

I know you've all already memorized every word of my own columns, so quick go take a few minutes to read Folkbum's stuff.

Back? Good. I hate nitpicky point by point responses, so I’ll respond quickly to a few points before asking the rest of you a question.

1. My title “Wisconsin Has Great Schools” wasn’t meant to be sarcastic. The evidence clearly shows that it’s true, compared to schools in other states.

2. Jay writes: “‘Adequate funding,’ according to WEAC, has nothing to do with spending ‘a lot more.’ It has to do, rather, with spending a lot smarter.” I find it difficult, if not impossible, to take that statement seriously.

3. I don’t take shots at teachers, only at the teacher’s union.

4. I disagree that I'm describing "bare bones" education. In fact, I think I'm fairly accurately describing the services Wisconsin currently provides.

5. I'm not "dismissing" poor and minority students. I'm saying there's a limit to the government's responsibility toward their educations.

Jay had some larger points, to which I’ll try to respond more fully later on – I'm really busy this week catching up at work, since I don’t get my summers off.

Oops. That sounded like a shot at teachers. I hereby retract the above statement.

Now to my question: at one point, Jay writes “Lance Burri seems to be on vacation. He's not just ignoring me.”

Well, it’s true I wasn’t ignoring him, but his first post was up about a week before I left on vacation. Since I don’t check his blog regularly, I didn’t know he was semi-fisking me.

So, my question for all of you: how do you know when somebody’s writing about you? I’m already signed up for Technorati (although I’m not entirely sure how it works) and have an automated Google search set up, but neither did me any good in this case.

Barry Steps Down

Alvarez to Leave Coaching After 2005; Bielema to Assume Coaching Duties

MADISON, Wis. - University of Wisconsin Head Football Coach and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, the winningest coach in school history and the architect of three Rose Bowl championship teams, announced Thursday that he will step down from his coaching position at the conclusion of the 2005 season.

Good Times

From ABCNews' "The Note" (HT The Corner):
If the Bush White House weren't so completely distracted by the Wilson leak investigation, perhaps the President would be able to actually get something done — besides sign CAFTA, the highway bill, and the energy bill into law; read all the improving economic figures; celebrate his still-bullet-proof Supreme Court nomination; and continue along semi-stealthily on 2006 fundraising and candidate recruitment.

And if the Democrats weren't so sure that a one-sentence party platform ("Karl Rove should be in jail.") was a sure winner, perhaps they would Notice that the Republican majority is likely to get at least some credit with voters for passing these laws; that the Bill Clinton Democratic Party of free trade just might have been dead and buried shortly after midnight; and that the AFL thing — along with the America Coming Together thing, along with the DNC thing — leaves the party with some serious money and organization questions.

And/but there's still the Iraq war and Social Security for the White House to deal with, but does anyone think Democrats are scoring political points galore on those?

And/but perhaps Democrats will be able to convince the country by votin' time that Washington is a corrupt, Republican-dominated cesspool of special interest greed and that the macro economic numbers mean nothing. (Just like in 2002 and 2004...)

So completes our snap-shot summary of everything you have to know about American politics in fewer than 250 words.
But they can lull themselves into disbelief of reality with Democratic Polling data about CD-8 to dream their pretty little heads to sleep at night, can't they?

Crazy TV Herbbie In the News.

Al-Pazeera (aka the AP or the Associated Press) has this story on an amendment offered by our own Crazy TV Herbbie Kohl.

WASHINGTON - Mulling legislation to shield the gun industry from some lawsuits, the Senate on Thursday approved a provision requiring a separate child safety lock with each handgun purchase.

Added to the bill 70-30, the language proposed by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., is the first that majority Republicans have allowed to come to the floor. Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he might allow others.

The Kohl amendment would require any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer to include a separate child safety or locking device with each handgun purchase, except those purchased by government officials and police officers. Any violation could be punished by the suspension of a dealer's license, a $10,000 fine or both.

While, I believe the regulation to be fairly harmless it is not without cost. How much will these gunlocks raise the price of guns by? Why are government organs exempt? Is Barney Fife more responsible at home than others?

B&S Down


The server upon which Boots & Sabers lives is down.

I have no idea when we'll be back online.


UPDATE (Wendy): B&S is back up, but everything posted after July 18 has gone bye-bye. We'll have to ask Miranda if he knows of anyone who can find it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blogger + Google + Time = News

Aside from revealing an important tidbit about "Lizzy in a Tizzy: The Dirty Needle Mommy,"** Kevin at Lakeshore Laments shows the value of what a few minutes of Google can do. I bet it took about 30 seconds to Google the name, 5 minutes to check out the results, and maybe 15 (ugh) to put the links into the post. Lots of cut-and-paste, but for that 20-30 minutes of research, Kevin showed another side to the story that the MSM missed. That's why what you all do on your blogs is important. Kevin did the research, "50,000 Watt Charlie"*** picked it up, and now countless people will have access to the information Kevin dug up because he alone took the time to do it.

Hey, we all post clunkers now and then, but every once in awhile, you guys come up with something that adds new dimension to a story. Kevin did that today. Good job, Kevin.

**By the way, if anyone needs someone to name their TV movie of the week, I'm your gal.

***Or your local celebrity.

A Bad Place To Be?

Is Wisconsin if you are black. So goes the this story I just noticed at Yahoo. The story is put out by WISN Wisconsin: Worst Place To Be Black?

I love this part
Chicago native Lori Crandle, who faces a number of charges for battery and bail jumping, told News 3 that the criminal justice system deck is stacked against African-Americans.

"I really don't want to say racism, but it's racism," Crandle said. "A lot of black people that come down here from different states to move down here end up going to jail because either the police harass them or they just get themselves in trouble. And when they go to court and stuff they feel intimidated."

One group that works with incarcerated residents says the rate of black prisoners from Dane County is especially high -- probably the highest of any county in the United States. Sixty percent of those sent to prison from Dane County are black -- even though blacks comprise just 6 percent of the county population.

Parts of this story read like those stories where the writer notes the crime rate falls when incarceration rates rise and is baffled by the correlation.

I think it is ironic the leftists in Madison rank so highly in a stat that most leftists would assume would be led by some county down in Mississippi or Alabama or some such.

"Temper Tantrum Tom"

Like GBfan put below, I was taken a bit back by the emotion that was coming from Milwaukee Mayor Tom (Alfred E.) Barrett after the vote on the Pabst City project.

His statement after it went down is quite telling.
I want to thank Alderman Bob Bauman for his leadership on this project. Bob and Aldermen Davis, Hamilton, Wade, Witkowski and Witkowiak showed true courage and vision today.

It is mind boggling that the Common Council just rejected a $280 million private investment in our city. The status quo won. Defenders of the status-quo have said everything is fine - we don't need $280 million in private investment. We don't need to employ central city residents. What they have said loud and clear today is, we don't care about central city blight and decay and we certainly don't care about putting Milwaukeeans to work.

There are 1,000 families out there who won't have family members getting jobs because of the action taken today by the Common Council. I want the Aldermen who voted against the PabstCity project to look the 1,000 families in the eye and explain why they won't have those jobs.

I want those who opposed this project to go to Hillside and other near west-side neighborhoods and tell those residents that you'll have to find work elsewhere.

The opponents took great pleasure in spreading their misinformation campaign. They said City services would be gutted. They said $41 million tax dollars would be lost. None of this is true. TIF financing is not a tool that puts services and tax dollars at risk. It is a tool that grows the tax base, grows the economy and puts our residents to work.

The special interests who won today don't employ residents of our central city. They don't offer hope. They want us to believe that a return to 1960 is just around the corner. They are wrong.

I want the defenders of the status quo to share with all of us their plans to develop the 21 acres of decay and blight that they claim can attract even more investment than the current $280 million.
Let's have them put their money on the table. I'll work with them.

I will not slow down. In fact, I am more convinced today than ever that the fight to grow Milwaukee has to be accelerated. I have said since day one that I will do everything I can to grow this economy, put Milwaukeeans to work and expand our tax base.

We are facing levy limits. We have a central city unemployment rate that is sky high. Unlike the defenders of the status-quo, I will not walk away from those issues. We will move forward.

Never seen Barrett that miffed about; well anything. I heard him primed and ready for a fight on Mark Belling's show with the fill-in host Kevin Fischer (sp?) on the ride home from work yesterday. (Mark is guest-hosting the Rush Limbaugh Show part of this week.)

Barrett is fooling himself if he thinks the attacks on TIF Districts did in this project. What did it in was the countless questions that supporters of Pabst City kept brushing under the rug when asked about them.

  • Is the lease on the House of Blues a done deal?
  • Why is Marcus Cinema, a Milwaukee-based company, dropping the number of screens the theater will have from 16 to 10 (for correlation Sheboygan's Marcus-owned theater has 14)?
  • Why so many office spaces when downtown Milwaukee's flooded with enough empty ones?

And many, many more. Too many for my liking, and I'm one of those 'opponents' that when he drives past downtown Milwaukee to go to a Bucks or Admirals game wants something there.

No, Mr. Mayor, the publics lack of knowledge of TIFs didn't do you in. You're inability to answer the critics with sold answers did.

How reporters do their jobs

The family and I were at our favorite local coffee shop, Mrs. Sippi's, last week [time out for bragging: it was after my daughter, 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, participated in a demo at the library] and we started talking about the switchover to Milwaukee water here in New Berlin.

After we'd talked awhile about how it seemed near impossible to learn if our house was one of the switched-over houses, and the husband mentioned that he was going to test the water for softness as a possible indicator, a man approached our table and introduced himself as the assistant editor of the New Berlin Citizen paper. He asked if a reporter could contact us as they were doing a story on the subject.

So that's how they do their work: eavesdropping in coffee shops! He admitted as much when I teased him about it; said that if you want to know what's going on in a town, you have to hang out where people hang out and talk.

In any event, we still haven't heard from the reporter, so who knows if that really will happen. I also asked if there would be a story on everything being built in New Berlin's new City Center (besides the nine million dollar library). He said something would come out this Thursday. The husband would like to know just how much taxpayer money is being spent for this project, and exactly how much benefit we'll get from it. Good question. We'll see if the Citizen article addresses those questions, or if it's just local boosterism.

Jonah Goldberg on Arnold & Recalls.

The below comes from Jonah Goldberg's - Tinkertoy Terminator. In it he argues the Califonrnia GOP and Arnold are now in the hot seat for California's problems. Why? They should have not demanded a recall and then Gray Davis and the California Democrats would properly come to be associated with California's problems.

He likens recalls to "do overs" where one is never serious about concentrating and making the correct decision the first time.

I was against the recall on the grounds that the people of California elected Gray Davis and therefore they deserved to be punished. Seriously. Democracy isn't merely about "the people" getting what they want, it's also about the people getting what they deserve. Mobs get what they want every time. Citizens make informed choices and then live with - and learn from - the consequences. Those lessons inform how we view not merely candidates but parties and philosophies. "We gave those guys their shot and they blew it, I won't be voting for that crowd again," is an indispensable reaction in democratic politics.

Californians, accustomed to getting their way, demanded a "do-over" when they held their recall. The problem with do-overs, as any grade school teacher will tell you, is the moral hazard they create. They diffuse responsibility and make it that much more difficult for people to understand that this test counts and if you fail, you'll have to work twice as hard to make up for it next time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Is it just me?

Is it just me or did Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barret sound like he was off his meds when Pabst city got voted down? Actually check that he sounded like one of my kids having a tantrum when I make them do something they don't want to do.

Oh and I mean this to be snarky, Mayor Barret kept saying 1000 people wouldn't have jobs because of this vote. Well to borrow a line from the his Honor "Show me one name" I wish the Mayor could get this passionate about protecting the voting system or supporting the rights of citizens to defend themselves.



Congratulations, Charlie!

The Great Eight & On Being an Underdog.

Listening to WTAQ this morning. Apparently Jerry Bader made a comment yesterday calling Terri McCormick the underdog in the GOP primary race for Wisconsin's Eighth district congressional race.

While I support Terri over Gard, I have to agree with that assessment. Though one of Jerry's listeners did not agree and wrote an e-mail not to him complaining in a very strong manner. The e-mailer accused him of calling the race yadda-yadda-yadda.

Well, sorry its true. However, recall who the underdogs where in Superbowl XXXII? Who won? To our regret it was the underdogs (aka The Denver Donkeys) in that one.

Don't get angry when you are labeled as an underdog, use to motivate your team, and yourself to greater effort. Being an underdog is surmountable but whining about it is not the way to win it.

Jerry handled it well and took some calls on the topic and Terri called in. Unfortunately, I did not pick up on Terri's call before it was almost done.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Guv Slashes

I'm not shocked, but it was disappointing to see that the guv continued in his tunnel vision view of how to help education when he ran around touting his grand protection of WEAC's objectives well at the same time striking out the educational tax credits in the budget. What a special interest replay machine!

And then there was the cut of the adoption tax credit. Anything that promotes a stable family environment vs. state control must get under Doyle's skin. Help parents educate their kids as home? SLASH! Help parents adopt kids so the state doesn't have to play nanny? SLASH! And even when it could save the state millions and millions of dollars.

And he said that his whole veto was about the kids. Who is he kidding? It's all about the state/WEAC/taxpayer bind and control cycle.

Judge Judy, Rusty Burrell, and Charlie Sykes?

Regarding the libel suit against Charlie Sykes:

This lawsuit was filed in small claims court, which means that either a) the case is too weak for civil court or b) that the alleged damage to Miranda's reputation was so minimal that it could be valued at less than the $5k maximum (or whatever that amount is) in small claims court.

Further, Sykes took the post off his website just hours after posting it. As for it still being available, I couldn't find a direct link in a Google search, even using the text from the original post (which I found here).I have a feeling that the journalist who "found" it was searching pretty hard or knew where to look. Would someone who didn't already know the situation know how to find it? I doubt it.

When the lawsuit was filed, Miranda wanted "to have Sykes make a public apology; pay the $86.50 filing fee and other court costs; undergo sensitivity training; and make presentations about diversity to Milwaukee students."

Apparently, Miranda changed his mind. According to HispanicVista, "Sykes’ lawyer, Robert Dreps, asked the court in an April 18 letter to find in favor of Miranda and offered to pay his legal and court costs. The settlement offer did not include a correction and the court is not authorized to order one, so Miranda rejected it at an April 20 hearing."

Now, Miranda wants $5,000.

Why didn't Charlie post a correction sooner? Because even Miranda himself couldn't figure out where he was. First he said he wasn't in Milwaukee, then after Milwaukee Magazine called him on it, oh yeah, he was. Charlie's sources, which he believed to be reliable, claimed they saw Miranda.

I highly doubt Charlie intentionally made incorrect statements about Robert Miranda. In fact, I'm sure of it. In Charlie's line of work, credibility is everything. Without credibility, a journalist is...well, Geraldo. Why on earth would Charlie blow that on Robert Miranda?

Charlie's mistake in that post wasn't libel. His mistake was that he trusted his sources for the post.

Keep in mind that the whole thing started when Miranda went on the warpath against Mark Belling. Charlie is just next in line.

Doyle Signs Budget

I'm not completely back from vacation yet - just barely enough to have a look at the news, and I see that Governor Doyle has signed the budget today. Click over to the Wheeler Report. They've got the veto messages.

Sykes Libel Case

How do we tackle this story? The Badger Blogosphere wouldn't be the same without the publicity given it by Charlie Sykes. Yet we shouldn't give a free pass on Sykes. Even he has admitted he made a mistake.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Quick NonPolitcal bleg

I need pictures of McDonald's restaurants that are overseas. I am starting another photo blog of pictures of Mickey D restaurants, outside of the US or inside of the Us if the person taking the picture is here from some other corner of the world.

So if you have any pictures of McDonald's you would let me post please email them to me at

the new sight is Mcdonalds of the World it is totally NONpolitcal I just like McDonald lol.

Plus if your planning a Vacation any time soon outside of the country remember to take a picture or two for old GBfan lol.

Once again thanks to Jib for letting me pimp this sight too I swear this is the last time lol.

So please send me your pictures


Update I have already changed the rules lol for people who live in the US and dont travel send me a picture of your favorite local Micky D's see if you can get the store number from the mananger and we will post that with the pic.

This is for Sean :) I give you the Royal with bacon.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

He wasn’t indoctrinated into the old ways.

I have a link to an awesome article found on the Wisconsin Conservative Digest by Weyauwega-Fremont School Board president Steve Loehrke. This is the type of School Board President that Hudson needs. His emphaisis, “How do we maintain or improve the quality of education in Wisconsin while controlling the current and future costs to taxpayers?”

He did just that. Here are a few snippets of the article.

Before I got on the Board, our school district tried three times until they finally received voter approval for a referendum. When I got on the Board, I was told that our district would have to plan for another referendum when the existing one ran out in order to keep our district afloat. Demographics showed that our school district would be switching from an increasing enrollment to a declining enrollment. I have observed that an increasing enrollment hides many financial problems while a declining enrollment emphasizes the problems. Our school district had been running deficits budgets and was depleting its fund balance to pay regular expanses. Our mill rate was one of the highest in the area. Our administrative overhead was one of the highest in the county. Our employees’ health insurance costs were one of the highest in our neighborhood. Our post retirement costs were the highest in our conference. Yet, everyone said they expected another referendum to sustain the bloat. No one wanted to tighten the belt.

Sounds gloomy and familiar, right? Well Mr. Loehrke has had phenominal results.
With proper management, our school district has now had a balanced budget for four years. Four years ago our mill rate of $12.02 per thousand was 43 percent higher than the current rate of $8.38. In the same time frame, the equalized valuation of the taxable properties in our school district has gone up 31 percent while the actual amount of local property taxes collected for our school district has gone down 9 percent. Our mill rate decreased from the highest of all contiguous school districts to the lowest. We now have more money in our reserve fund than the balance of our only remaining loan. Therefore, we are effectively a debt free school district.

So do we need a 17 Million Dollar reserve? Give back 75% of that back to the taxpayers. Why not adopt some of the measures Mr. Loehrke acted upon?

I have a whole list of things we did to balance our budget. For a few examples, first we reduced administrative overhead. Then we combined non-union jobs. I assigned myself to be head negotiator for the district in its union negotiations. We did not implement the QEO. We actually raised the wages of our teachers to one of the highest of our comparable school districts. We kept all class offerings except Driver’s Ed which was available privately. We kept all extracurricular athletic and academic activities. None of our schools closed. When I researched comparable school district’s budgets, schedules, and union contracts, I found out that many other districts could do the same things we have done. The details of all the things we did to move our school district from a financially troubled district to a debt free district would take hours of discussion. My point is that we have proven that schools can operate effectively on less tax money.

Less money! Lets here more.
Pouring more money into education doesn’t automatically help the education of our children. For example, doubling the wages and benefits of our existing teachers doesn’t help the education of our children. They still have the same teachers teaching the same curriculum. In order to make strides in education, we have to make changes in the philosophy of our school. Just this last month our Board approved a new policy which contains an element of accountability for teachers in certain advanced courses. Under the No Child Left Behind act, school districts will have to be accountable to students and their parents. When we passed our new policy with teacher accountability, I soon found out that teacher unions do not like their members to be even partially evaluated based on the results of their teaching ability. Incorporating accountability into teaching is as big a change today as the revenue cap was in 1993. In my opinion, the main reason why teacher unions do not want standardized testing at every grade level is because it makes it easier to implement teacher accountability criteria.

My favorite quote from the article was: “This prevented me from being indoctrinated into the old ways of school districts.” I think that we have been being conditioned for years and years. Start questioning the views and facts coming from Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI), and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB), Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and their supporters including our wholly owned subsidiary of WEAC, Governor Jim Doyle in addition to their motives. Let everyone you know the true facts. Vote for some reform in your schoolm don't take "no" for answers when asking questions. Think of the underlying reasons Educrats say what they do. Check out Steve Loehrk's suggestions for improving school's and ACT on them.

You have to read it here.

Friday, July 22, 2005

My reply to the Chickenhawk Charge

For those of you who heard the caller on Charlie's show this morning, give the tired old Republicans and Conservative who support the war bur are not in the Military are Chickenhawks. Please come on over to SpottedHorse and read my reply.

Have a good weekend all,



A UW-River Falls Public Safety Officer pleaded guilty to stalking and will keep his job! Does it get any better than that? Link

Tax Boy @ OnTheBorderLine

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Re: What's The Over-Under

Not far from your question... -
UPDATE: Some idiot correspondent asked Blair if the attacks were his fault because of the Iraq war. And others are taking an equally negative line -- one asks if the propaganda war against terror is being lost.

This came just hours after the bombs went off...Can you believe these reporters are the children and grandchildren of the brave souls that survived the Blitz?

What's The Over-Under?

On a number of days before Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, starts to blame us and the West in general for todays London attack?

Has Galloway mouthed off yet?

WTMJ Passes Along....

The London Police are not treating "the incidents" as major.

More Bombs in London!

There are numerous reports coming from CBS Radio, Fox News and others that there are more bombing incidents in London. Three underground stations are reported to have had incidents and one double decker bus.

The Londonist has an initial report of what is happening.

Let us hope this is the extenet of the attacks. The reports have the attacks as being botched or nowhere near as deadly as the attacks two weeks ago. This is happening as we speak so it is not over.

  • 8:13am CDT 7/21/2005

  • The Londonist passes on the following Sky News Report (link above):
    Someone dumped a large, black holdall or rucksack on the train and then ran off. Other passengers tried to stop him running away, but he escaped. Something in the bag went off, making a sound "like a Champagne cork popping".

  • 9:50 am CDT 7/21/2005

  • Reports are coming that arrests have been made. There have been no explicit reports (yet) the arrests are directly connected to the bombings.
  • 10:22am CDT 7/21/2005

  • Fox is reporting the University College Hospital is cordoned off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Online Sales Tax...It Begins

And the Urinal is giddy about it.

"Wisconsin snuffs out cigarette tax dodge"

It will be even more interesting when they start to jack up purchased download taxes. The brilliant Doyle idea of keeping track of it yourself and filling out more tax forms will fail miserably.

Heaven forbid the citizens of Wisconsin would get anything without sending a pound of flesh to Madison.

If found, please call the Republican Party of Wisconsin

Former Governor Thompson won't ever be able to hide from anyone ever again:
Thompson has joined the board of Applied Digital, which owns VeriChip, the company that specializes in subcutaneous RFID tags for humans and pets.

To help promote the concepts behind the technology, Thompson himself will get an RFID tag implanted under his skin.

I'm guessing the WDNR is really going to enjoy this (cue tepid laughtrack).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Notes on a Democratic listening session

RealDebateWisconsin recently attended a Democratic listening session in Racine. At his request, I am going publish his post here in its entirety. Go to RDW to comment on his post.

UWP Listening Session Thoughts.

I attended the Democratic listening session tonight at UW Parkside. It was a struggle to keep in my seat and not speak my mind on so many occasions. The session was to provide feedback on the budget, on the dais sat Senator Wirch, and Reps Lehman and Turner. I will only place comments and name names of public office holders.

Thoughts and comments:

From Racine Mayor Gary Becker: Mayor Becker spoke to unfunded mandates and asked the Governor to keep school funding at 2/3. Uh Mr. Mayor Racine gets 74% of its funding from the State. Most outrageous quote, "How do Republicans know better than us? It boggles the mind."

From UW Parkside Chancellor Jack Keating: The Chancellor started the session saying to day he was "only weeping today, yesterday I was balling" He was being melodramatic over 8 million in replaced financial aid to the budget. It is the Chancellor's opinion that the UW system is in crisis and is just a breeding ground for recruitment to Universities outside the state because we pay so poorly. He also added ever dollar of UWP spending adds 4.5 dollars to the local economy. Rep Turner chimed in we do not have enough Federal Education dollars due to the Iraq war.

From Kenosha School Board Member Gilbert Ossman: Mr. Ossman confirmed Kenosha will be putting out a referendum in November. He also pointed to 20% increases in Hispanic students and the need for Hispanic instruction. He also is concerned about class sizes, approaching 30. His parting shot, "The majority party must work with people who are supportive of education." Translation: HEY REPUBLICANS SEND MORE MONEY
Rep Lehman Response, "The Governor started the budget with k-12 education in mind with $938 million in new spending, now we don't have any money left in the budget for schools." Huh?

Robert T. Stepien, Assistant Superintendent of Business Racine Unified School District: (quite a title) Mr. Stepian spoke on behalf of Dr. Hicks whom was apparently too busy to attend. Mr. Stepian was very passionate and it appeared he was close to tears when he spoke as to how difficult it was to get referendums passed in Racine now. He spoke as to how teachers had not seen a salary increase in 18 months. He then said we were not far from being like Florence and just having to close our doors. Ok Mr. Stepian, salary + benefits = compensation. They always leave that out of the formula. Mr. Sepien clearly learned his rhetoric from Dr. Hicks.

Ron Frederick, Kenosha Alderman, had the laugh of the night from the sympathetic room when he called putting restriction on stem cell research the "Right to Suffer" Senator Wirch chimed in saying for every good job we lose we make three lousy ones out of it.

Your humble blogger did get a chance to speak. I spoke to rhetoric in the process and asked how Democrats could portray a $458 million increase as a cut. I added if you think the $458 million is not enough, just say so, but do no tell lies stating the amount suggested is a decrease when it is actually an 8.6% increase, 3 times the rate of inflation. All three on the dais agreed with me saying the rhetoric was too loud from both sides of the aisle, none of them though gave any indication they would temper their language. Rep Turner tried to tell me this does not catch up to prior cuts, I cut him off and said fine, then that is what you should be saying from the floor and in the press, not portraying this increase as a draconian cut. More interestingly all three were very serious for the whole presentation, until I spoke and announced myself as having a differing viewpoint. They were all giggly not really taking me seriously.

Feingold on Roberts

I'm thinking he's in shock.
Evaluating the nomination of Judge John Roberts Jr. is a responsibility I take very seriously and one that I look forward to as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Supreme Court justices can have a uniquely significant impact on our country for years, even decades. While I voted in favor of Judge Roberts to be a Circuit Court judge in 2003, the level of scrutiny that the Senate gives nominees to the highest court in the land must be even greater than that for any other appointed position in our government. I will review his record carefully and look forward to questioning him in the Judiciary Committee's hearings.
This sounds really tame for Russ, especially when you consider how he sounded after the O'Connor retirement announcement.

Hewitt to air three hour special after President's nomination

For those junkies of intelligent talk, Hugh Hewitt is running a three hour special after the President makes it official on the newest Supreme Court Nominee, John C. Roberts Jr.

Check the links on his post for audio. Borderline and Boots and Sabers have posted as I have. I'm sure this is going to be loud.

Does anyone know what became of Badger Pundit?

Just wondering I show his last post being March 9th 2005 when Danny boy bit the dust. I really liked his stuff I knew he was moving to the Eastside was his brain eaten by lefty eastside zombies like in Dawn of the Dead LOL.

Just a thought brought on while cleaning house on my blog roll. Remember kids two T's in spottedhorse LOL


and if something really terrible happen to him like he was really eaten by zombies or abducted by space aliens let me know so I can remove this uninformed post ok :)

Some thougths on Milwaukees homicide problem

The following is the opinion of GBfan only and dosent represent the other members of this group blog. It was orignially posted at SpottedHorse Please send all comments or hatefilled rants to

As death toll in the City of Milwaukee now sits at 71 dead, its time to start asking some real hard questions and put away the slogans. Before you say, "hey, fat white boy, what do you know about any of this?" Well for three Years I worked in some of the worst areas of Gary Indiana and I had worked as a delivery driver and salesman for a 5 year period where the North side of the inner city was part of my territory. I have spent a lot of time down there and I met a lot of people who do not deserve to live in a constant state of fear.

But how did we get to this point and how do we get out of it?

First you must lay a large amount blame on Mayor Norquist and former chief of the Milwaukee police Arthur Jones. Norquist appointed Jones and Jones broke up the Gang squad and would not let officers even ask if they could have permission to search cars when they pulled them over on traffic stops.

But this problem is much deeper. The so called leadership in the black community needs to be held accountable. Right now they are screaming for more police officers in these neighbhorhoods. But these are the same people who go out of their way to attack the MPD everytime there is a police shooting. Ok, so we flood the area with police and as soon as there is a shooting the community leaders will be holding rallies to get the police to leave.

Where is the outcry against the Rap/gangster/Pimp culture that is fueling this cycle of violence. You keep hearing same drum beat "there are no jobs" "Too many Guns on the street" "We need to spend more money" ETC ETC

I don't buy these arguments. There is poverty in other minority communities but you don't see the same amounts of violence. Are you going to try and tell me there are no guns in the Latino community? There are, but you don't see the same amount of violence. As for more money, we have spent supertankers full of money in the last 40 years to end poverty and all we have done is make the problem worse. Just look at the rash of Federal charges and convictions in the inner city anti-poverty community. These are not evil white guys stealing from the community collection plate. No the money is being taken by the people are supposed to be protectors of the most needy, i.e. State Senator Gary George, the people running OIC etc etc.

You have a culture in the inner city that glorifies violence and the quest of money no matter how you get it. The RGP culture treats woman as chunks of meat, and having large numbers of children out of wedlock is seen as a badge of honor. Those who live in these areas and try to claw their way out are seen as "Sell Outs" getting an education is mocked, and those who try to "do the right thing" are seen as suckers.

This violence is black on black, and in the end only new leadership in the black community can end this. There has to be leadership willing to stop making excuses for the RGP culture and starts holding these people's feet to the fire. Making those streets safe will only come from within. The people living there have to stop seeing the police as the enemy and start looking at the people who are committing these crimes as the enemy.

You could secure these neighborhoods with massive infux of police and even if needed National Guard troops, but that isn't the answer. What has to happen is the good honest majority has to start fighting back. The North side of Milwaukee has reached a point where the it needs to be like Coffeyville, Kansas, where the town people stood up and ended the reign of the Dalton gang.

While I understand the days of forming up an armed posse long gone. There are modern ways to fight back. Use anonymous tip lines to turn in these thugs and get them off the street. Form blockwatchs and do what ever you can to keep honest people out of the line of fire. Accept that when a shooting is scum on scum its not a bad thing, dead scum cannot kill innocents anymore. They have to stop electing people like Mike McGee Jr and people like him to represent them. They have to stop putting people in office who care more about keeping WEAC happy than in vouchers for inner city school children. When there is a police shooting wait to see the facts before starting the "the police shot an innocent" chant. Admit parts of their culture are very broke and need to be changed.

More money isn't the answer, buying guns back isn't the answer, and more jobs programs are not the answer.

Simply the answer is a section/part of black culture is very very broke and needs to be fixed and only those members of that community can change it. If you are going to spend your money on myth of the RGP culture you will continue to reap what you sow.

I know I am going to be call a racist for saying this but I know that isn't true so I can live with that. Would a racist really be looking for ways to improve the life of people who live in the inner city? Like I said, I worked with and met a number of really good people who deserve to live on a street just as safe as mine.


Watertown fire, from a distance

As many is Southeast Wisconsin already know, there is a major fire at a tire recycler in Watertown. I'm sure the TV footage is much more spectacular, but this is what the smoke plume looks like from 20 plus miles away. What you don't see is the horizon to Northeast. It looks like a giant storm cloud.

Live video

Well tonight we find out if all of our hard work paid off

I just heard that President Bush will announce his choice to replace justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the SCOTUS. As I sit here on my deck in the shadow from the smoke of the "Great Watertown Tire fire"(Where is Kent Brockmen when we need him:)I had the thought well we will find out tonight if all the hard work getting President Bush reelected was worth it. Even though Charlie cannot get people to call in to his show on the subject, a lot of us knew this day was what the election was about.

I hope the answer we get tonight is the one we were looking for. We in Wisconsin have found out in the last week how important Judges are.

My Second thought is if President Bush make the "correct" choice will the GOP leadership in the Senate have the backbone to finish this fight.

Either way I believe a lot of people on both sides are about to go over the top. This is going to get World War One ugly and we can only hope our side is Victorious.


For Kevin with Love!

Here is one for Lakeshore Lament's Kevin!

I am in full concurrment with the letter. Roundabouts are very good where they are appropriate.

Found in the Appleton Post Crescent. I have nothing to add other then the above comment.

Letters: Roundabouts nothing for motorists to fear

While I empathize with Robert Malinoski’s unfortunate experience (The P-C, July 9), he is incorrect in his comparison of traffic circles and the roundabout proposed by the City of Neenah.

Many circular intersections in the eastern U.S., such as Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., are traffic circles, not roundabouts and confusion is common.

The only similarity between a traffic circle and a roundabout is that they are both circular in shape.

Roundabouts are designed to be driven at slow speeds. Based on the layout of a roundabout, vehicles physically can’t drive faster than 15-20 mph. This alone increases the safety of the intersection just by slowing drivers down. Due to their large size, traffic circles encourage vehicles to increase their speed.

Roundabouts have traffic entering the intersection yield to traffic inside the roundabout. Traffic circles function just the opposite and cause the vehicles inside to stop to those entering, which causes them to stop functioning when volumes are heavy.

A common concern heard is their proximity to schools. Brown County has constructed roundabouts in front of De Pere and Bay Port high schools and the City of West Bend has a roundabout within a mile of its high school. These communities have received favorable responses regarding these roundabouts, especially when school is dismissed.

A roundabout can easily accommodate semi-trucks when properly sized. Brown County constructed a roundabout along Scheuring Road near the Fox River Fiber Corp., featured in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on July 28, 2004, with positive comments from Fox River Fiber Corp. and Schneider National.

Roundabouts are not some alien “thing.” It’s just an intersection, made of concrete or asphalt with curb and gutter put together in such a way that makes it a whole lot safer for us to get from point A to point B.

Sandra Carpenter, P.E.,

Monday, July 18, 2005

Walker Names Villa COS

The news is that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has named Jim Villa as his new Chief of Staff. It should run in the Milwaukee paper tomorrow.

The reason for this is very simple and very human. Scott Walker has been taking a lot of undeserved heat lately for his Harley ride across the state on County time. He has also taken heat for things happening in the County, like the museum scandal, the illegal use of a county van, the possible closing of some county pools, the threat to charge people for camping before the fireworks, etc. The fact is that anything that happens within Milwaukee County government will reflect on Walker – even if it is not directly his fault.

Truth be told, Scott Walker has handled the vast majority of the county shenanigans very well, but they still put his name in the paper tied to something bad.

Because Walker is feeling the heat, he wants to bring someone in whom he trusts and who has an acute political nose for managing county affairs. Jim Villa is that guy. There is nothing more natural in the world than a guy pulling his friends closer when he is feeling threatened.

This move will have some serious ramifications. The first ramification will be that the mainstream media, lead by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will attempt to crucify Walker for mixing his campaign with County business. The MSM has already been all over Walker for supposedly using County dollars for campaign functions for his Harley tour. Walker’s decision to put a campaign operative on the county payroll as his Chief of Staff will be seen as an even more “ominous” move to “mix county and political business.”

This charge is a bunch of baloney. The Chief of Staff position is almost always filled by a political guy (or gal). The Chief of Staff is generally the gatekeeper. He decides who gets access to the politician and who does not. As such, the Chief of Staff position is usually given to a political operative who will keep the politician from getting into trouble.

For example, Governor Jim Doyle’s Chief of Staff is Susan Goodwin. Susan Goodwin used to work for Doyle as a state employee when he as the Attorney General. When he ran for governor, she became his campaign manager. When he got elected, she became his Chief of Staff. In fact, she got into some trouble with Common Cause for mixing campaigning with state business. Check out this report from 2002:

Doyle’s schedule shows Susan Goodwin, a former state aide to Doyle and now his campaign manager, apparently traveling with him on days Doyle met with donors or campaign advisers.

For example:

  • On Aug. 11, 1999, Goodwin is listed as traveling to Milwaukee with Doyle and meeting for 90 minutes with Barb Candy, a fund-raiser for Doyle, and Chuck Pruitt, Doyle’s campaign chairman. Another man Doyle was slated to meet with that day for an hour, attorney Bill Guis, donated money both before and after that date. Goodwin’s vacation records show she took off one hour that day.

  • On Sept. 23, 1999, Goodwin is listed as traveling to Milwaukee with Doyle and meeting for three hours with Bob Friebert, Doyle’s finance chairman and a frequent campaign contributor. She didn’t take any vacation time for that day.

  • On Nov. 22, 1999, Goodwin is listed as accompanying Doyle to Milwaukee, where his schedule lists him making 45 minutes of phone calls from Friebert’s law office; a three-hour meeting with Bill Christofferson, Doyle’s longtime political adviser; and a 30-minute meeting with Matthew Flynn, a Democratic activist and frequent donor to Doyle. Goodwin claimed three hours of vacation time for that day.

  • On June 22, 2000, Goodwin is listed on Doyle’s schedule as going with him to Milwaukee for another meeting with Friebert, this one nearly three hours long. Goodwin’s records show no vacation time taken for the day.

    Goodwin always claimed vacation or leave time for political events, but sometimes after the fact, said Christofferson, now Doyle’s campaign director. The June 22, 2000, and Sept. 23, 1999, Friebert scheduled meetings never happened, he said.

  • As you can see, she is a political operative who is serving as Jim Doyle’s Chief of Staff.

    Jim Villa, in fact, has been Walker’s Chief of Staff before. He is returning to the position. This leads me to the next possible ramification - if the MSM can’t get traction with the above spin, they might try to tie Walker to Ament by accusing him of “cronyism.”

    Again, this claim is without merit. Politicians are people just like you and me. They generally choose people that they know and trust to be on their staff. Cronyism is when a politician picks their friends for positions even if their friends are not qualified. As I said, Villa has been Chief of Staff before. He is certainly qualified. Unless the MSM can dig up an old article where they complained about Villa’s work in the past, they don’t have any room to complain now.

    Another ramification may be in the area of fundraising. For better or worse, Walker is been in the news quite a bit lately for things that aren’t good. Some of these stories weren’t his fault and he responded very well to other stories. Regardless, his name has been in the news a lot.

    This move to shake up his staff may be interpreted as either an admission of wrongdoing or as a sign that he is on the run (politically). Either interpretation may make potential donors uneasy about giving money to Walker. The immediate beneficiary of this will not be Doyle, but Mark Green. The MSM has pretty much ignored Mark Green. The casual observer might think that, given that Walker and Green are ideologically similar, that Green is the less damaged prospect.
    Walker will take a lot of heat for placing Villa back on his county staff, but this may still be a good decision.

    We are well over a year away from the election. Plus, it is summer in Wisconsin. Any dust up over this appointment will likely be unnoticed by most voters and long forgotten before September. Remember, this is real inside baseball stuff. Most people don’t even know who anyone’s Chief of Staff is, much less what they do or how they got there. Therefore, if Walker is going to do it, this is the time. I would have preferred he waited a couple of weeks so that it is not seen as a reaction to the Harley non-story, but he can’t wait too long. Once Labor Day hits, Wisconsinites go back to work and start reading the news again.

    The long term is also important. Scott Walker will take responsibility for anything that happens in Milwaukee County government. He is the County Executive and it’s his ship. He is getting past the time where he can effectively blame his predecessor, even if that is where the blame belongs. What we have seen in the past year or so are a few scandals like the Milwaukee County Museum fiasco that have been troublesome. Even though Walker handled those scandals very well, he needs to uncover them before they hit the news and diffuse them. To do this, he needs a tough Chief of Staff who knows county government and who has Walker’s political interests in mind. Although the positive effects of this move may never be known by the general public, it may be the best move that Walker makes this campaign preseason.

    In the end, I think that Walker made a good decision. He will take a lot of heat – most of which will be unfounded – but the long term effect will be a positive.

    My advice to Walker?

    Respond forcefully to every criticism, and then refocus attention of Doyle’s failures. The coming veto marathon will help divert attention away from Walker.

    (crossposted on B&S)

    The Ethanol Scam...

    When accessing the supossed benefits of ethanol I did a little research. I first looked into the work of a scientist from Cornell University, a former Reagan Administration White House Science Consultant (physicist), and a fellow who earned his law degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Last, but not least, I consulted my own common sense...

    Then I read a press release from State Senator Harsdorf and Assemblyman Andy Lamb, two politicians from local farm country beholding to their respective constituencies. These two are "Lauding E10," or E10 legislation. The press release states: “Ethanol is a renewable energy that allows us to satisfy our energy needs by looking to family farmers in our own hometowns instead of overseas oil conglomerates.” It goes on to state, "the E10 plan is fashioned after the Minnesota law that requires not less than 9.2 % nor more than 10% ethanol in automotive gasoline. In addition, the E10 bill contains several exemptions for aircraft, collector vehicles, boats, and various other vehicles."

    Read the rest @ OnTheBorderLine

    The Speed Limit.

    From Today's Post Crescent.

    Saving seconds not worth risking lives


    However, the main purpose of government is to protect the people we represent. That is why we pass laws. To protect people from themselves and others.

    Ask yourself a question: Why is the speed limit in residential areas 25 mph? For safety. That is, to keep people from killing each other. So, if we are creating laws to protect people, why would someone in government introduce a bill that we know will increase fatal accidents?

    This brings us to a well-known phrase: Does the end justify the means? To lose your life or to cause the death of another to save 3 minutes and 20 seconds getting from Appleton to Green Bay to me doesnÂ’t answer the question in a positive fashion.

    Chief David L. Peterson,

    Fox Valley Metro Police Department

    The points left in the above letter need to be addressed. If you want to read the entire letter the link is provided above. Please, do not take this as disrespecting Officer Peterson or the job he does.

    Of course the speed limit is 25 mph in residential areas! In an area or two in Appleton I deem 25 too fast and drive 20 or even a touch slower. There is nothing magical about a speed limit, does your comment about the 25 mph mean you think the speed limit on the HWYs should be 25 as well? Come on Officer Peterson, think of the lives it would save!

    No officer Peterson, the government's purpose is not "To protect people from themselves..." I agree to a cetain extent it is to protect us from others. You know what, though? A person weaving in & out to drive 65 scares me much more than a guy who passes me doing 95.

    I drive 41 frequently. I have put on many miles between Appleton & Fond du Lac and Appleton & Green Bay and I have yet to be stopped for speeding and I have been clocked at 73-75 mph plenty of times. If I am constantly changing lanes to maintain this speed I slow down so I do not have to change lanes often. This means in Oshkosh I am driving 65 or even 60, past Oshkosh it is back to 75.

    To those of you who think 75 is too fast, one word of advice STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE AND DO NOT CRUISE IN THE LEFT LANE!

    Wealth creation and the doctors of doublespeak

    Let's consider the irrational notion that government can create wealth. I guess I could quit right there, but that would ruin all the fun! Every now and again, you will hear some true crackpot suggest such an idea that government actually creates wealth, so let's deal with that here and now so that we can once and for all dispense with such nonsense.

    What those who suggest the above are talking about is not wealth in the sense that most on this blog would construe it. Rather, the wealth referred to is job creation, redistribution, and government provided services. And the only way a government can accomplish those goals is through either printing its own money, or taking property away from individual producers or private property owners.

    The fact that real wealth is the accumulation and complete safety of private property is of little consequence to the gang of looters who are merely interested in government's role in confiscating private property in the pursuit of creating jobs, and growing the size and scope of government. It should not be surprising that a by-product of such intervention is the taking of your real wealth to accomplish it, and I would suggest that this is not simply a by-product but rather a desired social outcome for many on the liberal left (as well as the RINO muddled ground).

    To those recipients of redistribution or government induced incentives, it may appear that their personal wealth is increasing - after all, they have more money today than they did yesterday. But paper money and public debt is not the same as individual wealth and all that government intervention does is inject the government into the market, and by doing so creates automatic dislocations and misallocations of resources, pitting groups against each other for pieces of the government redistribution pie. Worse, it creates distinct disincentives to achieve – disincentives to pursue efficiency and new technological innovations, i.e. risk taking.

    If the answer to all the worlds’ problems was the recognition that government can create wealth, then let's run the table.. We could all be independently wealthy with the single stroke of the pen of congress, in which each and every citizen would be issued $10,000,000 US Dollars - why beat around the bush? We'll all be independently wealthy and could simply sit back and enjoy life... But wait, who would make our food? Who would pick up the trash? Who would mow the grass at the golf course? Hmmmmm. We have a little problem here, don't we. When taken to its logical conclusion, wealth redistribution is simply a ponzi scheme. It is merely a dangerous game of generational socialism, and “works” only as long as there are more coercible contributors than there are willing recipients.

    Another example of the folly of confusing job creation with wealth can be illustrated by a story related to me by a friend who buys fabric in Hong Kong. While touring China, he came upon a team of nearly 100 workers building an earthen dam with shovels. The fabric buyer commented to a local official that with an earth-moving machine, a single worker could create the dam in an afternoon. The official’s curious response was, "Yes, but think of all the unemployment that would create." "Oh," said the buyer, "I thought you were building a dam. If it’s jobs you want to create, then take away their shovels and give them spoons!"

    The realities of economics cannot be wished away or ignored. In order to create wealth, individuals must be able to accumulate and hold private property - the absence of private property rights removes any ability to conduct cost accounting. Without the ability to account for the real cost of goods and services in a market, and thus any chance to profit from one's labor and mind work, there will be no rational incentive for individuals to risk their time and efforts for the rewards of producing something others are willing to trade for, so that they can then accumulate and hold property for their own use and enjoyment. Legitimate, profit making trade is the key and it cannot take place without risk, and it certainly cannot take place without private property.

    So, this idea that it is not taxes that are the problem but rather who is paying them is incredibly naive and plainly irrational. What matters most is the fact that taxation has evolved to consume as much of our production as it has, it must be reduced along with the size and scope of government interventions. This will allow for more independent capital formation, and thus far more stable employment in our economic system (with higher real wages, I might add).

    There is a principle role for a moral government in the mix, but it is strictly limited and it is not redistribution. The demarcation line is drawn at the protection of private property rights. Once government gets into the business of taking private property away and giving to others we have left the realm of a just and moral government - this is not only what the Paulahanians of the world advocate, but they want much more of it. And it should be emphasized that it does not matter who the tax payers are, or who the recipients are, in the end the problem is the mere fact of the redistribution. The greater it is, the less real wealth can be created – the exact opposite effect than that advocated by those who argue that government can create wealth. Such socialists truly believe that the producers will never go on strike, regardless the burden. If one group yells too loud, hell just shift the burden. Heaven forbid we critically evaluate the core problem - government itself.

    Government induced job creation is almost always jobs protection sold and veiled as "wealth creation." Such ideology tends to strangle the creation of new, wealth-enhancing technological advancements. Just look at the European Union, particularly France and Germany. Europe’s stagnant labor markets are a direct result of labor laws and regulations designed to protect existing jobs, even at the social cost of discouraging new capital formation and therefore wealth creation. There is a distinct lack of vision in such policy or, as Henry Hazlitt would comment:
    "It is a doctrine that may always be privately true, unfortunately, for any particular group of producers considered in isolation-if they can make scarce the one thing they have to sell while keeping abundant all the things they have to buy. But it is a doctrine that is always publicly false. it can never be applied all around the circle. For its application would mean ecnomic suicide...For many things that seem to be true when we concentrate on a single economic group are seen to be illusions when the interests of everyone, as consumer no less than as producer, are considered."

    On its surface, to swallow such an idea that government can create wealth one must believe that "government" or "societies” are unique entities. The fact that they are not, that they are actually nothing more than many individuals acting in various manipulated and planned ways should be self-evident. But yet the purveyors of such notions would also have us ignore that reality and assume that free markets are less efficient than government ownership and central planning - despite all the evidence to the contrary! Why did the Soviet Union fail? And why does and did China see fit to build earthen dams using shovels instead of bull dozers?

    To the contrary, what is needed is far smaller and less intrusive government, far lower levels of taxation (implicitly far less redistribution), and the recognition of the inalienable right to private property. Pursuit of such fundamental philosophical and political policies would once again release the dynamo that gave us such momentum as in our first 100 years...and remove the need to debate which group should bear the current or future higher levels of taxation thrust upon them.

    The conclusion in a study of more than 100 countries over a 20-year period was that governments with strong commitments to economic freedoms—free personal choice, the freedom of exchange, and the protection of private property—tended to be faster-growing and wealthier. The 17 countries with the most improved freedom ratings all had positive and generally strong growth rates, while the 15 countries where economic freedoms declined recorded real per capita wealth declines. The message is clear, government, in and of itself, simply cannot, by definition, create real wealth – only individuals able to exercise free personal choice, with freedom to trade their labor and mind work, and the knowledge that their private property is safe, can create wealth.

    Don’t be fooled by the doctors of doublespeak…

    bil danielson @ OnTheBorderLine

    Urban homicide rates

    I only have the luxury of listening to talk radio during the day on occasion. Everyday I get to catch a little bit of Jeff Wagner's show during lunch, though, and I know that he has been focusing on the increase in homicides in Milwaukee this year. Hopefully he discussed this article today from the Weekly Standard. Powerline's Scott Johnson takes a look at Minneapolis' 55% increase in homicides this year and lays the blame soundly at the feet of those opposed to racial profiling.

    While anti-racial profiling forces seems insufficient to completely explain these booming year over year homicide rates, the affect it has on traffic stops may play a part. After all, traffic stops are the front line in crime prevention. I know of a city (which I will leave unnamed, sorry) which was facing an increase in gang related activities several years back. One of that city's police department strategies to combat this was to increase the number of traffic stops and citations they made. Gang activity stagnated and fell off while increasing in other near by communities. It's funny, but people who partake in criminal activity are also inclined to disobey the rules of the road. When you continually pick them up for these violations, not only do you find things like drugs and illegal guns in their cars, you also discourage them from continuing their activities in your city. I'd be curious to see if the city of Milwaukee has had a decline in the number of traffic stops they've been making in the city over the past three or four years.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    A Blow to the Culture of Death

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a hospital violated federal law by allowing a baby born prematurely at 23 weeks die. A culture is in a very scary place when a headline screams, "Wisconsin Court Rules Hospitals Cannot Intentionally allow Newborns to Die."

    Update: Here's a link to the Alliance Defense Fund press release. It includes a link to the opinion.

    If Roe is overturned...

    Most Americans don't understand that Roe v. Wade simply puts our nation's abortion laws in the hands of the Supreme Court. If Roe is overturned as it should be, we would revert back to a state by state debate over the issue. A recent study notes that the default law in Wisconsin is among the most life-affirming in the nation. It would prohibit most abortions with few exceptions. With a pro-life legislature, Wisconsin is in a good position to be having this debate. With a Republican dominated legislature, it will be much more difficult to pass a law allowing greater access to abortion in Wisconsin than it would be to pass a law reducing abortion access. Let's just hope Bush sticks to his guns and nominates someone who can get us closer to having this debate.

    Doyle Won't Veto Entire Budget

    Caught this at the JS's State Politics blog. It confirms what most have known, only if Doyle was listening to an idiot [coughXoff/CapTimes/EdGarveycough], would he veto the entire state budget.

    This confirms he won't.
    Twice last week, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle talked about how he will respond to the state budget sent to him by Republicans who control the Legislature -- and both times he did so in ways that signaled he won't veto the entire $54-billion spending plan.

    That's significant because, until last week, Doyle has publicly insisted that the GOP budget was so horrible he may have no choice but to veto it entirely, which no governor has ever done.

    Thursday, Doyle said he would sign into law a package of new tax and tuition breaks, expanded benefits and other changes in the budget that would help Wisconsin's 497,000 military veterans. Against the backdrop of Wisconsin losing more than 40 of its native sons and daughters in Iraq and Afghanistan, the governor said the new benefits were fitting and overdue.

    Asked whether promising to sign the pro-veterans package into law means he won't dump the entire Republican budget, Doyle paused. "I'll be announcing my decisions soon enough," he finally added.

    One day earlier, at a state Democratic Party fundraiser at the Orpheum Theatre in Madison, Doyle thundered against the Republican version of the budget, but again suggested he had thrown out the idea of vetoing it entirely.

    "“I can make a lot of this better,"” he told the crowd after detailing the GOP plan for school funding. "“I can'’t make it perfect, but I can make it better with the extensive use of (line-item) vetoes perfected by Republican governors."

    At the same event, Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton also hinted Doyle would focus on individual vetoes.

    "“We have a governor who is now buying ink by the barrel,"” she said, adding that he would make the budget bill “look like a Jackson Pollock painting when he'’s done."
    Oh that Barbara Lawton. Woman should really considering a career in comedy after she's retired in 2006. But, then again, she has been the best life insurance policy Doyle ever purchased.

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Bucher Meet & Greet in The Fox Valley.

    Just found this in my inbox:

    For your information, from the Bucher campaign:

    You are invited to a meet-the-candidate breakfast with Attorney General candidate, Paul Bucher
    Wednesday, July 27th 7:30 - 8:30 the Perkins Restaurant, 3030 East College Avenue [Appleton] (we have reserved the room in the back)

    This is a great chance to talk with Paul Bucher one-on-one and see where he stands on issues important to all of us.

    We hope you can make it!

    RSVP to Valerie Johnson at 920-326-5553 or

    The Madison Paradox

    Madison "progressives" currently find themselves with a paradox on their hands, and I don't think they even realize it. City progessives want two things which end up being diametrically opposed to one another.

    The first item is the ban on tall buildings downtown. City progressives want to preserve the view of the state capitol building. Therefore, new developments which could bring big businesses, residential space, and retail downtown are stymied, because often their building needs exceed the height limit. Instead they build a facility out on the west side of town on the belt line, or they build east of Interstate 90/94/39 near Highway 151. What this accomplishes is both spreading the city out over long distances, and also spreading the distance between people's homes and their jobs. This results in more traffic as people travel greater distances between work and home.

    The second item is to supposedly remedy the first: Public transportation. In their very simplistic view of things, Madison progressives think that if they offer more public transportation, then they can deal with the greater traffic congestion on Madison roads. There is a huge flaw in this logic, though. Public transit is more successful the greater the population density of an area. In highly dense areas, you need less track and less energy to transport the same number of people as in less dense areas, and this is what makes public transportation economically feasible. People in highly dense areas are also more likely to use that public transportation, because it is more convenient for them to ride 10 blocks in an elevated train or a trolley than it is for them to drive. But in areas of lower density, it is more convenient for someone to drive 2 miles than it is for them to ride in public transit, because they may need to travel 7 blocks just to get to a stop. So in less dense areas, you get fewer customers for the public transit because it is less of a convenience.

    So here's Madison's paradox. If city progressives continue in their refusal to allow the downtown to be developed upward, then they are going to see continued growth outward. If they allowed skyward growth downtown, then they would have a lot of residents, a lot of retail and entertainment, and a lot of business offices in a smaller area, and people are going to prefer to use public transit over using their cars. But as long as they refuse to allow this skyward growth, the city will continue to grow outward, and it will be less and less economically viable to maintain public transit, as it will be less convenient for riders (which means fewer riders) and it will be more expensive to transport each individual rider, because the distance they'll need to travel will be further.

    Madisonians, you can have your beautiful view and clogged roads or you can obscure your view and have fewer cars on the road, but you are a big city now, and you can't have both.

    (Cross posted at Jiblog)

    Dodging the monkeypox bullet

    It appears we dodged a bullet on with the monkeypox infections here in Wisconsin a couple of years ago. From the Marshfield News Herald:
    Monkeypox, a less deadly relative of smallpox, kills up to 10 percent of its victims in Africa.
    New research finds that there are two distinct strains of the virus, and that the U.S. outbreak involved the weaker West African one rather than the more deadly Congolese one. The illness was spread by prairie dogs after they were infected by imported African rodents at a pet distribution center.

    "If it had come from Congo, we might have had a bigger problem on our hands and very well might have seen patient deaths," said Mark Buller, a St. Louis University virologist who led the federally funded study, published Friday in the journal Virology.
    Because we were fortunate to see the weaker version of the illness, monkeypox shall remain a funny thing to say in the Western Hemisphere.

    Milwaukee D.A: Some interesting facts

    Bruce Murphy, the man that broke the whole Milwaukee Pension Scandal has some very interesting information on E. Michael McCann, the Milwaukee D.A. that can't seem to find crime anywhere. I have the audio of an extremely interesting interview in which he talks about McCann's own reward from the pension scandal.

    • Did you know that he will make more in retirement than he does now?

    • Do you know the truth about his dealings with Archbishop Rembert Weakland during his own sex scandal?

    • How about the only two times McCann has looked into political corruption of a Democrat?

    That and more can be found at

    Milwaukee, we deserve better than this!

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Perhaps Too Soon to Tell But It Doesn't Look Good!

    Letters: Smoke is cleared, but clean air crowd MIA

    I’m owner of Frank’s Pizza Palace in downtown Appleton. Recently, my sons and I had an incredible lunch as we patronized our neighbors down the street at Spats. One topic of conversation with owners Julie and Bill was “where should we hang our $80 outdoor ashtrays we bought from Appleton Downtown Inc.”

    We both “rode the fence” in regard to the smoking ban because we’re in the hospitality industry to please all of our customers.

    Spats has had people dine because it is now smoke-free. A good customer told me he enjoys sitting “up front” at Frank’s, where the action is (formerly the smoking section). However, we haven’t noticed any of the thousands of “clean air” folks come in.

    Spats lost a Tuesday group of lunch guys — $50 a week. I lost a local Friday group — $50 a week. Together, those alone represent $5,200 a year in lost sales.

    Maybe we’ll both save that on our building insurance since we’re smoke- free? Oops, sorry, both of our annual premiums went up more than $1,500 each. Ouch. Don’t even ask about our new building assessments and increase in taxes. Skip the lady that literally blew smoke in my face June 30 as midnight approached.

    When I was 12, and visited my father, Frank Pierri, at the “Pizza Joint,” he taught me about the dairy market and how it would affect the price of mozzarella and pork for our pizza. The first day of the ban, I put a flowerpot of sand for cigarette butts outside the front door. Today, my 12-year-old was out front sweeping up butts and sand from the person who stole my flower pot last night and conveniently dumped it in front of my restaurant door.

    The bottom line for the hospitality industry in Appleton? Way too soon to tell.

    So sayeth Jeannie Pierri Brice in the July 14th Appleton Post Crescent. Franks serves good pizza and it would be a shame they have to close shop because of the silliness the health police are enforcing.

    Magnum column

    Dave Magnum, radio station owner, once and (hopefully) future Congressional candidate in the 2nd CD, weighs in with some damn good ideas on how to deal with sex offenders.

    Last Night at the Fair

    Working the GOP booth at the Sauk County Fair last night, I was approached by a boy, maybe 15 years old, who told me he disapproved of the President’s policies.

    “Which ones?” I asked.

    “Iraq.” He replied.

    “Oh,” I said. “What do you think he should have done differently?”

    He went into some crap about how Saddam didn’t do anything, and how it was all about Bush’s dad. I rarely confront such ignorance head-on – if someone’s head is in the sand that deep, it’s just too much effort to pull it all the way back out. So I just tried to plant the seed, mentioned the bounties Saddam paid to the families of suicide bombers, the gas attacks on the Kurdish population, the Prison of Dissident Children, and sent him on his way.

    Gave him a little American flag first, of course. Our booth has a flag etiquette theme this year.

    Now, today, I read yet another excellent column by Victor Davis Hanson, which I wish I’d had last night to hand that kid. I hereby declare it to be today’s required reading.

    Death by Pension

    Folks, there is a crisis in America - it's called full funding of defined benefit plans, and it's going to kill us. Typically, you only see "defined benefit" plans in government jobs or in situations where unions are so strong (UAW is a good example) that ownership and management have no choice but to give in to their unceasing demands.

    The notion of a defined benefit upon retirement, to the worker, is seemingly enticing. You work at a job for many, many, years and then you retire without having to worry about the market affecting your investments - your retirement benefit level (monthly check) is guaranteed (including inflation adjustments). Furthermore, some of these plans (such as the Hudson School District) don't even require the participants to invest any of their own earnings! What gig, if you can get it. The obvious problem is that there is no self direction, the plans ignore the market, and any shortfalls in plan assets must be made up with additional taxation (in the case of government employees, Wisconsin is a good example of this), or in the case of large private corporations (like GM) you can face financial disaster.

    Two recent examples popped up, it's happening all over America and it may be coming to a state near you!

    Illinois Budget Shortchanges Teacher Pensions

    Financial Crisis, Felony Violations Rock San Diego

    Bottom line - Retirement plans, whether they be for government employees or for private corporations, must be a defined contribution or, better yet, self-directed by the individual employee. Until and unless we focus on such long range thinking we are simply going to see much more of the type of examples linked above - and it will get worse.

    bil danielson @

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Can you guess the only member who has served in the Military

    Can you name the only member of the Wisconsin members of the Legislative branch who have served in the Military? You can go to the Website Who Served to find the answer.

    I will be totally honest the answer surprised me and I will give that member the credit for having served.

    I really thought the number who have served would have been higher.


    Spot the Bias

    See if you can spot the liberal bias in this AP headline:

    White House Touts Falling Budget Deficit

    Not "Budget Deficit Down 25%," or "Rising Economy Shrinks Deficit." No, the story is that the White House is "touting" the shrinking deficit.

    Call for Collaborators!

    I posted this call for collaborators on Blogger Beer and well...nevermind.

    I post the call here. Visit the above site to see what I have in mind for the 2006 BBA Symposium and RPW Convention. Check it out.

    Kudos to McAdams

    I think Professsor John McAdams' smackdown is the first instance of the "mighty" Journal Sentinel succumbing to the power of the weblogs. The good professor has earned himself a scalp.

    [via Charlie Sykes]

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Wisconsin Has Great Schools!

    So what are we beating our heads against the wall for?

    Third-grade reading scores improve statewide:

    The percentage of third-graders in Wisconsin who are rated as proficient or better in reading comprehension has increased to the highest level on record, according to test results released today by the state Department of Public Instruction.

    If only I'd known this when I was writing last night.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Open Letter to Rick Graber

    Today at the GB household we received our "2 month pledge of support" letter. This is from the State GOP. They were asking for $200.00 a month for 2 months for a grand total of $400.00.

    I said, damn $400.00 dollars that's a heck of a lot of money to give to a political party that doesn't give a rats butt what I think is right or wrong. This is not one of my usual tongue in cheek posts I mean this. What is the reason you give money to a political party to "buy" a voice in the discussion. I don't believe the conservative voice is heard by the state party. Or if they hear it they feel safe ignoring it "because where the hell are the conservatives going to go"?

    This letter did a great job of telling me why governor Doyle and Senator Kohl have to go. What it didn't talk to me about, is am I being represented by Sen Shultz, Sen Ellis or Sen Lazitch? Why do I still have to suffer an automatic increase in the gas tax, When the so called friends of the taxpayers are writing the budget. Speaking of the Budget do you think the job the State GOP did on that is worth another $400.00 of my money.

    I know here comes the if you don't give us the money Governor Doyle will get reelected. Well my answer to that is if I give you the money he still may with you all running the show.

    Here is my final thought for the State GOP as a "buyer" wouldn't my money be better spent giving it to Scott Walker(I make no bones I am a Walker supporter) at least he has a track record of trying to follow the Conservative path. Or if I was a Mark Green supporter wouldn't I be better off giving that money directly to him.

    I am trying to make sure this isn't a rant. I am looking at this in a cold business sense. Where am I going to get the biggest bang for my Buck and it isn't with the State GOP

    So next time they ask "where the heck can the Conservatives go?" know this there are places and we are starting to find them.