Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Random Thought.

If Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is also used in The Justice Department probe into the Bush wiretap leak, will the Democrats still tell us how virtuous and honest he is?

A Smaller County Board?

How did smaller county boards become the standard conservative position?

I remember it was an issue in Milwaukee, following the pension scandal and the Ament resignation - Scott Walker ran (in small part) on the issue of a smaller board.

Now it's resurfacing in Waukesha County, where Dan Vrakas is being urged to give it a go. James has the latest volley over at Wigderson Library & Pub. I'd tell you to go read his post, but considering his traffic numbers, you probably already have.

Conservatives should ask themselves three basic questions, I think:

1. Will it save money? Well, yes, but only so far as payroll is reduced, and even that may not apply in (to pick a random example) Sauk County, where supervisors draw a couple hundred dollars a month, at most.

2. Will it improve oversight of the government? No, it won't. Fewer people can't do the same job as more people. Fewer brains working and eyes reading means fewer questions thought of and asked.

Less oversight means more power for the bureaucracy. Is that our goal?

Granted, there are plenty of county supervisors who are just filling a chair. We're not getting good oversight from them as it is. But making the board smaller won't change that.

3. Does it improve the voters' access to and control of government? No, it doesn't. Each vote will mean marginally less, when districts are made larger.

One more: will it be harder for members of a smaller board to stay "relatively anonymous" (as James puts it)?

I dunno, but: how many members of your local town board, city council, and school board can you name? How many of your neighbors know who their state and federal representatives are?

Seems to me this issue is becoming a conservative foil - a wedge issue for a good conservative to use against a go-along-to-get-along Board that's grown fat spending the taxpayers' money.

But I think success on this issue has more potential to run counter to conservative ideals.

Happy New Year!

As of this posting I am 1hr 40 minutes into 2006! Wow, it was neat. About 11:30 the fireworks from far away were a continuous roar, slowly that roar enveloped us and we were in it. Rockets, fire crackers, fountains, candles, and so on. Makes 4th of July in the States very tame.

Happy New Year!

Brainpost is done.....

Brainpost the blog is done. As part of the military, I am obligated to submit any postings on any blog, website, etc., to superiors to ensure they comply with operational security, understandably.

Even though I did not disclose any harmful information, not everyone in the military has this ability and the military has its rules and I want to respect them.

From my desire to remain anonymous and out of respect for my immediate supervisors and the desire to see that they do not suffer any consequences from my desire to speak as openly as the blog world allows, I am ceasing my activities of posting on brainpost.

Perhaps I can explain more later, until then, please take me off your blogrolls and accept my sincerest apology for creating link problems for everyone.
You may still contact me at
Sincerely, B.G.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Attention Green Bay Readers

Your shovels are needed.

The Green Bay Packers issued a "snow shovel advisory" Friday afternoon. Fresh snowfall is expected Friday and Saturday, just before the Packers host the last game of the season at Lambeau Field.

General manager Ted Thompson will decide at 5 a.m. Saturday whether volunteers are needed to shovel the Packers stadium.

The decision will be posted on the Green Bay Packers web site and, new this year, a "snow shovel hotline," (920) 569-7100 after the decision is made.

If volunteers are needed, they should gather at the Mills Fleet Farm gate at Lambeau Field starting at 9 a.m. Shovels will be supplied, and the Packers are paying $8 an hour.

Volunteers must be 15 or older.

This is actually one of the coolest thing the Packers do. Yeah, the season hasn't been that great, but your help would be appreciated up at Lambeau.

Plus, it's $8 an hour.

UPDATE - The Packers have announced that shovelers will not be needed.

Narito na Kami (we are here)!

After 24 hours of travel from takeoff in Appleton to arriving at my Sister-in-law's place we are here in Manila. Fortunately, I have brodband access here so at least when in Los Piñas (where my Sis-in-law and her family is at, Metro Manila) I will be able to stay in touch and keep you all up to date on things.

The trip was fine enough, and the only casualty was my camera which took a dive while the Empress and myself were reassembling our baggage after the TSA checkpoint in ATW. Her camera is workig and am hoping we can get my camera fixed.

Temps are in the upper 70s and very tropical here. I am in my shorts and the socks are banned (for the most part). Enjoy the winter!

Update: 12:57 pm 12/31/2005 MNL: My bad. Title should be "Narito na Tayo". Kami is inclusive for we meaning you along with my wife and myself arrived. Tayo removes you from the picture.

Homeschooling: Successful and Expanding

I've noticed a bit of discussion lately in a few of the local Wisconsin blogs on home schooling, and thought I'd throw in my two cents. I had the great opportunity, along with my three siblings, to be homeschooled. None of us would give up that blessing for the world. It is an amazing option that is often ignored due to a number of common misconceptions that are completely false.

This quote from a Seattle Times article details some of the common misconceptions:

Like many critics, I used to feel vaguely sorry for home-schooled kids. What a shame, I thought, that they might be deprived of the well-rounded education and social skills to become integrated, productive members of society. I never thought to question why cafeteria food fights or the predatory pack habits of teenage girls would be better for molding productive members of society.

The author then actually meets some home schoolers and her opinion based on false misconceptions is turned upside down:

This uninformed, critical opinion lasted precisely until I met my first home-schooled children several years ago. Within one month I met five home-schooling families, and their 13 children were among the most polite, well-adjusted, socially adept and academically advanced kids I'd ever seen. Being home-educated seemed to have given them a confidence and maturity — and yes, social skill — far beyond their years. They had many friends, but didn't seem dependent on their peers for approval — a far cry from what I remember as a kid.

Here are some further statistics from the article:

  • In a landmark study by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, among 7,000 young adults who had been home-schooled, 74 percent had attained some college courses, compared with just 46 percent of other young adults — and 82 percent said they would home-school their own kids. On the social front, almost twice as many home-schooled adults as those in the general population were active in their community (71 percent to 37 percent) and "very happy" with life (59 percent to 28 percent).

  • In 1998, a Home School Legal Defense Association's study of 20,760 home-school students found that: "In every subject and at every grade level (on standardized tests), home-school students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts." Younger home-schoolers performed one grade level higher than their public and private school counterparts, and by eighth grade, "the average home-school student performs four grade levels above the national average."

The author of the article concludes, "Obviously, home education doesn't fit every family. But the evidence makes me think it's the kids who aren't home-schooled who may be missing out, not the other way around."

It seems to be fitting more and more families however, according to the AP and Rich Glasgow:

More Black families are deciding to educate their children at home, according to an AP piece in The State. And why not? As government schools take it upon themselves to indoctrinate more and educate less, the home education movement will continue to flourish, as it should.

Rich goes on to state:

The success of home schooling is a threat, like no other, to the proponents of government education. Like so many failing leftwing institutions, schools and administrators are threatened by the success of home schoolers because it renders them virtually irrelevant. Not only can parents educate their children for a fraction of the cost, but they can actually do a far better job.

So how is the government and the teachers unions battling this threat? By fighting school choice and vouchers tooth and nail. If you can restrict a parents access to funds you can force them to use the only system they can afford. I hope and pray that school choice will become more of an issue in the upcoming election and that the amazingly successful programs that exist in this state are extended and expanded.

From my personal experience, the main societal hurdle in the way of homeschooling is not that kids don't get exposure to peers, on the contrary I met a wide range of children from many grade levels in group science classes that were taught by one or two of the parents with advanced degrees in a given subject to a group of homeschoolers from a range of grade levels. The amazing thing about these classes and most homeschool groups is the interaction and knowledge sharing that happens between older and younger kids, not only are the professors teaching, the older kids are helping the younger ones and the younger children are challenging and expanding the perceptions of the older kids.

Rather than this misconception, the largest hurdle I see for homeschooling is the unwillingness in society to slow down, and teach kids. Many people will say, "Well what if I fail, what if I can't teach my kids, what if I screw them up?". You would trust someone you barely know in a government institution known to be dropping in competitiveness and world status over the vested interest you have in your own children as a parent? With all the curriculum options and homeschooling support organizations out there, how can those who have the fiscal ability afford not to try? Maybe our public schools will take notice and improve once they face increased challenges brought on by giving the fiscal ability to almost everyone with school choice.

PS For a great blog from a Marquette University alum who has chosen to home school her kids check out Stand in the Trenches.

Cross-Posted at Triumvirate

Thursday, December 29, 2005

103-Year-Old Finally Gets to Packers Game

There's one bright light to Sunday's Packers game.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Re: It's hard to argue this...

Jonah is just a little off base with his claim that Wisconsin exports more socialism than it can consume domestically. Madison has a ravenous appetite for the stuff.
Thanks to National Review Online for the photo.

It's Hard to Argue This...

Jonah Goldberg on what Wisconsin has wrot on the American Political landscape.
It only seems fair someone bash the upper midwest. They get left out of all this stuff. Yeah, yeah. Nice people. But let's not forget the folks in Wisconsin alone have, for the last century or so, exported far more socialism than they've been able to consume domestically.
From "Fighting Bob" to Gaylord "Earth Day" Nelson to Russ "Mr. Campaign Finance Reform" Feingold. The list goes on and on and on.

On the plus side, we did give the nation school vouchers and welfare reform. And that was in the last 15 years. So, we're not a total loss, we just have a lot of damage to undo.

Manila Blogging!


I know I have always hoped to blog on Northeast Wisconsin in general and Appleton, but it turns out that I have not blogged a whole lot on local things.

Tomorrow, the Empress and myself leave for a vacation in the Philippines. I hope to post photos from time to time and submit reports. So, I will be the BBA's Manila Correspondent for the next few weeks!

Intellectual Fraud

Economics is the study of human action; history is the written or verbal record of human action. Therefore, today’s philosophical and political debates far from being unique have already been clarified by the historical record. The philosophical debate has long ceased to exist. What we are witnessing in the present is the denial of historical fact and truth by the collectivist's side of the argument. The debate is over intellectual honesty.

Recently as gas prices spiked, we saw the spectacle of Congressional inquiries, Governor’s of states [most notably of Wisconsin] grilling oil executives, and the demagogic outcry for price controls and a windfall profit tax. It was an exhibition of historical ignorance or intellectual dishonesty by the political participants and those who cheered from the sidelines. We have thousands of years of history to show us the ensuing result of price controls [a windfall profit tax is another form of price control. As recent as thirty years ago we imposed the folly of price controls on gasoline and what were the results which are conveniently absent from the arguments of the other side? It was long gas lines; if gas was even available. The ability to receive fuel on any given day was not based on price; but was determined whether your license plate ended in an even or odd number. The freedom to travel was tied to the umbilical cord of those numbers. A two day trip would now take three days; since on one of the days you were not eligible to fill-up. The incomes of sales people was no longer dependent upon their product or abilities; but instead depended on the day of the week and the numbers located at the rear of the car. Also noticeably absent is the recollection of mass unemployment among petroleum workers.

The point of this is not to rehash the debate over gas and price controls; the point is, given the historical evidence, why such a discussion would even take place. It is tantamount to revisiting the debate whether the earth is flat or not. The only reason it would take place is due to the ignorance or intellectual dishonesty of one side. At any given moment resources are scarce and can be allocated either through the workings of the free market or by collective decree. This is a truth which has been in existence since the beginning of human time. We do not need to guess the results of each path for history foretells the consequences of each method; just as the theorems and formulas of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians guide our space-age mathematical calculations of today. Karl Marx and his followers only had to flip back through a few pages of history to see the recorded outcomes of communism. The pilgrims and the settlers at Jamestown had already attempted this experiment and the results were starvation and death. The results of Europe’s and Asia’s experiment with communism were no different, except the numbers who starved and died were in far greater numbers.

The result of allocation by government decree is always the same. Today we debate government allocation of health care and education and almost every facet of life as if we expect to formulate a result different than the past. Government allocation of healthcare will give results similar to government allocation of gas thirty years ago. Patients will face long waits for treatment; if treatment is even available. Whether you live or die could well be decided by the last digit on your license plate. But we do not need to speculate, Canada and Europe have already provided the evidence of such experimentation see story. A friend of mine who is working in London told me last night on this very subject that compared to this country, the British health care system is Medieval. Bluntly, you are afraid of becoming ill!

Government allocation of education is no different, though it may not result in death per se of the person but of their intellect. . Why would we expect any different results from government controlled education then from other such experiments? We have already been given the answer through the history of Sparta, Nazi Germany, Eastern Europe, and Cuba. These were not systems which provided intellectual enlightenment; they were cultures reminiscent of the “dark ages”.

As stated previously, the debate today is over the denial of truth. Today’s educational apologists continue to deny time and again data which shows the decline of student achievement and the costs for such a system. Their logic is void of facts or they provide data which is outdated or a distorted account of the historical record; for it should be obvious that facts and historical evidence unwind their twisted yarn of logic. It is a logic borne of ignorance or that of one found in a pathogenic liar who wishes to mask the thirst for power and personal gain.

spiritofpublicas @ OnTheBorderLine


I gather from the lack of posting that the Leinie's flowed freely amongst the BBA this Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Question:

Thursday, December 22, 2005

See You in January

After being handed a six-month extension on the Patriot Act by the Senate, an extension brokered by Wisconsin own San. Russ Feinwith terrorismgold (D-His Ego), Wisconsin's own F. James Sensenbrenner one upped the state's junior Senator by offering a one-month extension of the Act.

This extension just passed the House.

The House passed a one-month extension of the Patriot Act on Thursday and sent it to the Senate for final action as Congress scrambled to prevent expiration of anti-terror law enforcement provisions on Dec. 31.

Approval came on a voice vote in a nearly empty chamber, after Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, refused to agree to a six-month extension the Senate cleared several hours earlier.

House passage marked the latest step in a stalemate that first pitted Republicans against Democrats in the Senate, then turned into an intramural GOP dispute.

It was not clear when the Senate would act on the one-month bill, but approval was possible by evening.

Without action by Congress, several provisions enacted in the days following the 2001 terror attacks are due to expire. President Bush has repeatedly called on Congress not to let that happen.

The Senate vote Wednesday night marked a turnabout for GOP leaders, who had long insisted they would accept nothing less than a permanent renewal of the law. The House approved the measure earlier this month, but a Democratic-led filibuster blocked passage in the Senate, with critics arguing the bill would shortchange the civil liberties of innocent Americans.

Passage of a one-month extension would require lawmakers to debate the issue early in 2006, and is certain to require concessions to the Senate critics who are seeking greater privacy protections.

What this causes, in the short-term, is a scuttling of Senate Democratic plans to further weaken the bill. It also proves that of the two men, you fear angering Sensenbrenner much more than you fear angering Feingold.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Slippery Slope

Over the recent months some writers, including myself using some colorful phrasing, have blistered the positions and votes of Republican officeholders. The messages here locally are no different than the messages which are being echoed throughout the country. Republican officials are hearing the disgruntled chorus from who has been to now their most ardent supporters. What is the ultimate cause of this fissure?

What must be understood from the outset is that most true conservatives hold the principles of individual freedom and limited government first and foremost above the political party. The party’s role is to be the vehicle in which the message is to be delivered. The election of candidates is the means by which the philosophical ideas become policy. Almost a hundred percent of those who identify themselves with the Democratic Party have long ago abandoned any semblance of a philosophy or political principle based on individual freedoms. They have become collectivists where people are grouped and sub-grouped with each grouping holding a claim of victimization. The remedy is not seen in the creative genius of the individual but in layer upon layer of government bureaucracy. It is a virtual wasteland for the conservative mindset.

Starting with Barry Goldwater in 1964 the Republican Party headed in a direction opposite of the “New Deal” Democrats. The party touted the virtues of individualism. The core principle was summed in the words of Ronald Reagan who pronounced, “Government is not the solution: Government is the problem.” Under this principle and the leadership of President Reagan the malaise of the sixties and seventies gave way to a bright new morning. Surely as we witnessed in the late eighties the seemingly impossible images of the Berlin Wall tumbling down and subsequently exposing the fallacies of socialism; there was no reason to believe the same fate would not soon happen to the socialistic institutions which began fifty years past in this country. The election of President Bill Clinton was mere stumble as Republicans took control of Congress in 1996 and most statehouses. With the election of 2004, Republicans comfortably controlled the power at the federal level and again in a majority of statehouses. It was past time for the walls to come tumbling down. It is in utter disbelief, which is turning to disgust, that not only did the walls not come down; but they have in reality become stronger. The growth of government has exploded! Read more »

Sadie Says:: Carnival of The Badger!!!

If you're going to submit something for the Carnival of the Badger this week, Sadie Says...submissions are due at 8 pm tonight!

Personally, I think Sadie's a little too free with her exclamation points, but that's just me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Debunking the papers.

The Racine and Milwaukee papers came out with their spin on Cathy Stepp, Voces de la Frontera story today (3 days late). The spin, we could not meet with her.

The truth.

October 28, 2005: Senator’s Staff met with Ryan Knudson, a teacher at Horlick High School, representing Voces de la Frontera. Mr. Knudson is not a resident of the 21st Senate District. Mr. Knudson discussed his opposition to AB 69.

November 18, 2005: Senator’s Staff met with constituent Diana Garcia and roughly 40 others (some constituents and some not) who opposed AB 69.

December 13, 2005: Senator’s Staff met with VDLF’s Racine Coordinator Maria Morales, four students and two Dominican sisters. They all expressed their opposition to AB 69. The group included: Bill Lange, Wauwatosa 53213 ; Joanne Lange, Wauwatosa, Racine Dominican Joyce Quitana, O.P. - Racine Dominican Therese Van Thull, O.P.

December 15, 2005: Senator Stepp hears from dozens of constituents at the roughly five hour public hearing on AB 69. Horlick Teachers Al Levie and Ryan Knudson are in attendance.

You may or not remember Al Levie, he was involved in a "bipartisan" election effort that turned out to be purely partisan.

December 16, 2005: VDLF’s leader Christine Neumann-Ortiz (not a constituent of the 21st Senate District) organizes a rowdy protest on Senator Stepp’s private property, at night, after dark.

As you can clearly see, the Senator has heard from and her staff has taken time to meet with perons in, and out of, her district. If either of the papers had bothered to look into this they could uncovered it.

I also find it odd that while it took the Journal Times 3 days to cover this, they covered the Voces de la Frontera release almost immediately.

Kudos to Pedro Colon who was critical of the activity of Voces de la Frontera.

There is more at RDW, plus the Texas Hold 'Em Blogger has been doing a bang up job on this as well.

Feingold = Carter 2


That should be the battle cry for those of us fighting to stop this Moonbat from becoming president. As weak as Feingold would be on defense it would be 1978 all over again. Can you say Malaise. Just what we would need Carter2 to deal with a Nuclear Iran remember how well Carter1 did handling the first problem with Iran.

Russ is an AntiAmerican elitist lefty who thinks he is just so much smarter than 98% of the people in the room. I shudder to think how bad the US Military would be treated under a Cut and Run Presidency.

So remember if you vote for Feingold you will be getting a Yankee version of Jimmy Carter.


A quick bleg does anyone know how to do Morph pictures on Blogger I think it would be great if you could have Russ morph into Jimmy on the blog but I cant get it to work anyone know how to do that please let me know.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Stepp story starting to get legs.

Jeff Wagner will interview Cathy Stepp in the one o'clock hour.

There are a number of new developments including some tax shenanigans at Voces de la Frontera.

As expected the MSM is silent.

Two Plus Two Equals Four, Ed

Ed Garvey still has a little trouble putting two and two together. Here's what he wrote in his latest blog post over at Fighting Bob:

What a week!

We lost Bill Proxmire and paused to recall the days when one could seek office without spending a fortune. Sad to say, but Gene McCarthy, Prox, Gaylord and Hubert would probably not run for office today. The tin cup in hand would get in the way.

Why, I wonder, did the "tin cup in hand" not get in the way back when that list of worthies were in office?

Here's my theory: they could raise large amounts from a few people, instead of having to spend lots of time and effort raising money from lots of people.

Consider this from last week's George Will column on the late Sen. Eugene McCarthy:

McCarthy's insurgency, the most luminous memory of many aging liberals, would today be impossible -- criminal, actually -- thanks to the recent ``reform'' most cherished by liberals, the McCain-Feingold campaign regulations. McCarthy's audacious challenge to an incumbent president was utterly dependent on large early contributions from five rich liberals. Stewart Mott's $210,000 would be more than $1.2 million in today's dollars. McCain-Feingold codifies two absurdities: large contributions are inherently evil, and political money can be limited without limiting political speech. McCain-Feingold criminalizes the sort of seed money that enabled McCarthy to be heard. Under McCain-Feingold's current limit of $2,100 per contributor, McCarthy's top five contributors combined could have given just $10,500, which in 1968 dollars would have been just $1,834.30. But, then, McCain-Feingold was written by incumbents to protect what they cherish: themselves.

I had a similar comment about Fighting Bob LaFollette in one of my previous columns:

Running for President, then as now, requires money, and LaFollette received his share of help on that score. As he himself wrote in "LaFollette’s Autobiography":

“The two Pinchots and Kent had each furnished a contribution of $10,000… Crane was contributing $5,000 a month, and had agreed to continue his payments monthly until the time of the meeting of the National Convention in Chicago.”

That’s Amos and Gifford Pinchot, who were born to wealth on the East Coast; and Congressman William Kent, from California. Adjusted for inflation, their $10,000 contributions would be worth $200,000 in today’s dollars.

That’s $200,000 each.

Charles Crane, whose family owned manufacturing interests in Chicago, was giving the equivalent of $100,000 a month.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Garvey to lambaste McCarthy and LaFollette for taking such big donations - donations Garvey today would call obvious proof of corruption.

12 days, The count down to Senators Feingolds Victory for Terrorist

In 12 days Senator Feingolds Christmas present to Americas Enemies will be unwrapped.

Here is a question for Senator Feingold (D-Al Queda)and the Democratic Leadership in the Senate. If the Patriot Act is so bad and evil, why did you right after you filibustered to stop it, giving a victory to your enemies, did you offer to extend it in its present form for 3 months? I mean wouldn't the evil US government use those 3 months to run ruff shod all over the civil rights of every American? How can you one moment vote to kill the Pat Act because its so bad for America then 10 minutes later want to vote to extend the Act for 3 months?

Can you say Grandstanding, Can you say you care more about attacking President Bush then protecting the country. Can you say you are the party of defeat and giving aid to our enemies.

You wanted that 3 month extension of the evil Pat Act so people like me wouldn't be able to do these little count downs to your treason taking effect. But for once the GOP leadership in the Senate wouldn't provide you with Cover.

So 12 more days till Senator Feingold and his Allies weaken Americas Defenses, Lets all hope that no American lives are lost due to this political grandstanding.

Hey Senator Feingold why don't you look at your Passport, You are an American citizen why don't you start acting like one and stop trying to weaken our country.

Regards,Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

cp at SpottedHorse

Saturday, December 17, 2005


State Senator Cathy Stepp was harassed at her home last night by members of Voces de la Frontera, a Hispanic advocacy group. The Senator intends on filing charges. These advocacy zealots are out of control, the office is the office, but you should not storm someone's home.

Full details and the Senator's public statement are posted at RDW.

Dueling Referenda.

Last night in Woodman's in Appleton I saw a sign on the community bulletin board that caught my eye. Some fellow is looking for 450 Little Chute residents to sign a petition to put a referendum on the spring ballot.

What is the proposed referendum you may ask dear reader? It is a resolution calling on the Federal Government to pull our troops out of Iraq. In other words, wave the white flag.

Our normal response is to call it what it is (white flag waving, surrender, cutting & running, etc) and that is good. However, I would think it a great idea if instead of just talk a competing referenda be placed on the same ballot. A referenda resolving to support the troops in completing their mission and support for the mission.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Giving credit where its due.

I did this over at SH first, but I think since we all tend to bash politicos who vote what we think is the wrong way, we should also give the guys who are standing up for us credit. Then they get some positve feed back that "Yes you did the right thing and we noticed"

So I will go first

Drum roll please Representative Joel Kleefisch of the 38th district(my district. Not only was he a solid vote to end the automatic gas tax increase, he voted for concealed carry and was a NO vote against the stupid ethanol mandate. So I am quite happy with my "Freshman" assemblyman he ran as a conservative and so far seems to be voting in Madison as one.

I have had the chance to meet Joel twice he stopped by my house twice during his campaign and one of the things I liked about it he was not afraid to say he was a conservative(now we all know a lot of Wisconsin politicos say that and don't mean it) but so far he seems to be living up standards he ran on. Another thing I liked was when I called his office before the Senate had even voted on the gas tax he already knew how he would vote with the caveat of beware poison pills. Maybe it because he is new that he is voting his beliefs not sticking his finger in the wind.

So I thought today would be a good day to give one of the good guys a little credit.

Now on to calling Senator Fitzgerald office to tell him to vote no on the stupid ethanol mandate.

Regards,Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Call to action r.e. Drivers Licenses for Illegal Immigrants.

I got a note from one of our State Senators today, they are asking for public imput in regards to the pending legislation in regards to Driver's License / Illegal Immigrant bill pending before the State Senate. The Illegal lobby (hard to believe there is a lobby for illegal activity) is motivated on this one and applying great pressure on this issue. The Senator I heard from (a usually solid conservative) is leaning towards approving this legislation. Why? Most likely because everyone they are hearing from is in favor.

So agree or oppose let your voice be heard.

You did it on the gas tax, now we need to do it on this issue. Reach out to your Senator and let your voice be heard on this issue.

Look up the contact information for your Senator here.

You Know You Live in Wisconsin

When you head down your driveway on a snowy morning and notice the snowmobile tracks that swing across your yard and stop abruptly at your now-dented chain link fence.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ethanol Mandate

Wish it was better news folks.

AB 15 passed 54-38. Monstrosity now moves on to the State Senate.

“Public Schools” or “Government Schools”

Time and again there appear in editorials and in news articles references to government schools as "public schools." Such a reference used to roll right off of my own tongue and litter my own writing. Not anymore.

Make no mistake about it, government schools affect entire communities of people, and they are maintained for and used by some of the people in their general geographic area and therefore have been referred to imprecisely as "public," as in the "public good." But they are hardly public in the sense that they are open to the knowledge or judgement of all nor are they organized such that their shares of stock are traded in an open market, in fact there cannot be shares of ownership in such institutions because they are "owned" by the state in a collective sense. Worse yet, here in Wisconsin, the state constitution along with statutory provisions, creates a virtual government imposed and proped up monopoly in the realm of education which limits severly the introduction of other education models. In this sense, there is no diversity except the diversity which is authorized by the state.

Nor can it be argued that there is an inherent "public good" to these institutions (and its model) that is so pervasive and exclusive that it should render all citizens subserviant to them (it). The results of this model of education are available for all to see as compared to other models (non-government schools, home schooling, etc.), and as compared to the history of education going all the way back to classical Athens and beyond. In fact, the contrast between Athenian society and its mode of education verses Sparta and its educational boot camps provides a very revealing study. A contrast I will not delve into deeply here but I highly recommend anyone interested to do so. What you will discover is that the free market for education that permiated Athens produced the most literate and scholarly minds of their era while Sparta (which bares distinct resemblences to the track our statist system is on) produced by and large the least literate people in ancient Greece. Socrates and Plato were both Athenians and Artistotle was a resident alien. Then you had Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes who produced some of ancient Greece's greatest literature. In Sparta, virtually no notable minds were produced.

Fast forward to the 21st century and what do you find? Well, as a result of "school reformers" of the 1800's the chickens have come home to roost and we find ourselves in a situation now where parents are merely spectators in the educational process while control and responsibility has been transferred from parents and granted to elected and appointed government officials. Views and concerns of parents here in the 21st century are given far less weight than those of "professonal educators." The whole purpose and mission of the government schools is clearly not focused primarily on acedemic excellence, rather its aims are primarily focused on social control and social outcomes - just examine the mission statements of any ten randomly selected government school districts in Wisconsin. Anyone who would argue otherwise has a very tough case to make, just look around you and explain the results of non government schools which produce on average better trained minds. There is no evidence from which the claim can be made that government schools produce students with higher academic achievement, or that the environments in government schools are more favorable to parents. There is, however, plenty of evidence to show the opposite.

Just recently I read an editorial in the local Hudson weely paper which stated in part:
"An interesting new term currently being used to show derision is "government school." How thankful I am that in this country we are so fortunate as to have an eduation system free and open to all. The democracy we enjoy is possible only with a literate public, and the lifestyle we take for grated can be maintained only by an educated pupulation. Schools supported by the government are and have been a cornerstone of our society almost since its founding."

The editorial commentary went on to imply that non-government schools offer only selected curriculum to an elite clientele leaving the reader to assume that were it not for government schools democracy and freedom could simply not have survived. Notwithstanding the obvious logical and factual mistatements (government schools were not pre-eminent at our founding, and only showed up about 100 years later in any serious way) in the above quote, the writer's tacit conclusion is fatally flawed. The reality is that America is not a democracy, it is a representative republic based upon the precepts of individual freedom, liberty, and private property.

The truth is that we have made it this far in spite of the educational system sold to us 160 years ago by the likes of Horrace Mann and Egerton Ryerson who,
"rather than examining the historical record to determine the likelihood that their chosen approach to education would succeed, they allowed themselves to be blinded by their romanticized view of government. Our ancestors were swept along for the ride, persuaded more by the fervor of the reformers' rhetoric than by the weight of their evidence. After one hundred fifty years of experience with state schooling, we should now have the wisdom to resist their siren song. Wehn we are promised educational salvation, whether through privatization or yet another tweak to the government system, we should consider the evidence and arguments carefully." Andrew Coulson, Market Education 1999

To refer to a government monstrosity such as this as being "public" is not just a stretch of symantic mental gymnastics but it clearly a diversion, a purposeful technique used by philosophical socialists. It is a diversion, a purposeful tag, in a 150 plus year experiment that has failed. To not call it what it really is, government schooling, would be to plainly and purposefully hide its true purpose and character - that of another interventionist attempt at social control and social engineering, all at the taxpayer's expense.

It bears noting that this same intellectual approach to societal nomenclature was undertaken, again, by philosophical socialists, particularly in the U.S., in reference to term "liberalism." The term "liber" in latin means "free," and liberalism originally meant the philosophy of freedom. It was taken over by the philosophical socialists to refer to their government intervention and "welfare state" programs. Prior to WWII, being a advocate of liberalism meant being an advocate for laissez faire, the antithesis of what is currently understood as liberalism (full government intervention, confiscatory taxation, increasing limitations on private property ownership, and use of government force as a tool to implement its advocates specific social goals - through such mechanisms as government schooling).

As an advocate for laissez faire, and generally a philosophy of individual freedom as envisioned by The Founders, I cannot bring myself, nor should you, to refer to government schools and government controlled education as "public schooling," or to refer to their institutions as "public schools." I suppose the intellectual laziness that does make this reference is to be expected from those who blindly support the government's monopoly status over education, but this mere acceptence through use simply illustrates the effect of brainwashing and not critical or rational thinking.

When the day comes when there is a free market in education, then and only then can we refer to all schools taken together as truly public because in a market based system education would reflect real economic educational choices and direct participation by parents. It would not simply represent the tortured euphamism is does today for what has become a social jobs program masquarading as an educational model...

bildanielson @ OnTheBorderLine

'He became the scourge of defense-industry lobbyists, pork-barrel public works projects and seekers of tax loopholes'

Senator William Proxmire died this morning.

William Proxmire parlayed tireless shoe-leather campaigning, a mile-wide independent streak and golden political instincts into a record 32-year tenure, a place among Wisconsin's political giants and a measure of national fame as a crusader against government waste.

He died early this morning at a long-term care facility near Baltimore, at the age of 90, after struggling for years with Alzheimer's disease.

Almost relegated to history's dustbin after three straight gubernatorial losses in the 1950s, Proxmire pulled an upset shocker in the 1957 U.S. Senate race and never looked back until his equally surprising retirement in 1989.

The media savvy and "outsider" approach he perfected are much in evidence throughout politics today, while his frugal campaign ways, near-perfect attendance and indifference to special-interest lobbying now seem quaint, if not unthinkable.

Michelle Malkin calls him "the original Porkbuster," and cites his Golden Fleece Awards. From the Journal Sentinal article:

His gadfly style - epitomized by his trademark "Golden Fleece Awards" that mocked overnment boondoggles - earned him few friends in the Senate and limited his egislative clout. But his talent for publicity propelled remarkably effective attacks on what he saw as wasteful Pentagon spending. In one of his brightest moments, in 1971, he persevered in his long battle to kill government funds for the supersonic transport plane, earning him mentions as an attractive presidential candidate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Carnival is up.

Carnival Submissions due today

Don't forget to get your Carnival of the Badger submission today (Wednesday). It is being hosted by fellow BBA member Fred (RealDebateWisconsin).

If you don't know what this Carnival is or how to submit a post to it, you can find more information here

Janesville Gazette to Judge: Call Chvala's bluff

The Janesville Gazette on Tuesday published an open letter to David Flanagan, the judge who will be deciding Chuck Chvala's sentence. They pull no punches in asking Judge Flanagan to sentence Chvala to time in jail:
Likewise, Chvala must do time. Sure, Chvala has filed testimony claiming he didn't violate campaign laws by setting up an independent group to help elect fellow Democrats to the Senate. That testimony relates to one of two felony charges that Chvala pleaded guilty to in November.

But Chvala faced nineteen felony counts before taking a deal and pleading guilty to two. He and his attorneys hope to reduce his sentence. Don't let it happen.

As defiant as ever, Chvala has suggested that if you don't follow the plea deal's suggested six-month jail sentence, he'll rescind his acceptance and go to trial.

Fine. Call his bluff.
They ultimately call on Wisconsin to enact tougher campaign finance reform, and idea which may be worth looking into but which generally makes me queazy. For the bulk of their open letter, though, they lobby hard for a tough sentence to be handed down to Chvala.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Newcomer to take GOP nomination in the 33rd.

I have been live-blogging the results, Newcomer has been well ahead all night. Still waiting on the last three precincts, but Newcomer will take it easily.

This district is strongly Republican, so the winner of the GOP nomination will win the former Vrakas seat in the assembly.

UPDATE: Final Results

Votes %
KENT D. WOODS760 20.72
JACK F. PERRY522 14.23
DAVID E. MARLOW 318 8.67

Voter Turnout
The voter turnout was very very low, only 8.82% of the registered voters cast a ballot. I hope that the Iraqi's take their election more seriously.

Reason for the Season with a chuckle...

I was reminded this evening of the PC crowd's hypocritical mantra of using the word "Holiday" in lieu of the word “Christmas”. I was in line with an “80 something” lady named June in one of our crowded retail merchants filled with gift givers trying to find the perfect gift. We were stuck in a long line and as usual I got the pleasure to talk with an elderly person, I just met, for quite a long time. We shared many a tale about our families and Christmas. I really enjoyed listening to her as she spoke of her husband and grandkids. But what really stuck in my mind is when she said, "You know those liberals don't have a clue. They say we have to use the word 'Holiday' instead of Christmas. What in the world to they think it means? It means 'A HOLY DAY'. That's Christmas, right? The day Jesus was born." I chuckled with her on that.

God bless June.

Looks Like a Late Night

Here's the State Assembly Schedule for today.

The big bills of interest are SB 403 (Concealed Carry) and SB 331 (Gas Tax Indexing Repeal).
AB20 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB120 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB122 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB397 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
SB175 - Links...
AB521 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB624 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB700 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB763 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
SB403 - Links...
AB802 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB823 - Links...
AB840 - Links... Fiscal Estimate
AB829 - Links...
SB402 - Links...
SB331 - Links...
Happy Reading. Bring a lawyer friend to explain it all to you. (Can for once they write laws people without a J.D. can understand?)

The amendment attached to SB 331 deals with sales tax on used vehicles going to the transportation fund. (I think.) Not the "Poison Pill" Patrick believes could be coming.

It is early in the night though.

Carnival Reminder

Get your submissions in soon, you have t-minus 36 hours (give or take 20 minutes).

Monday, December 12, 2005

Indoctrination is alive and well.

On a trip up north late last week, I decided to pick up two local Rivertowns weeklies just for fun. I read both the Hudson Star Observer and the New Richmond News focusing primarily on the Letters to the Editor section of both papers. Lori Bernard had a letter that appeared in both publications.

I would like to send out Kudos to Lori (County Board member and Chairman of the St Croix County Republican Party) for her precisely written (and very polite) letter regarding what many of us know to be one of the inherent problems with government schools - unapologetic statist indoctrination. Lori states in her letter that, "As parents and taxpayers, it is critical that we speak up when controversial or political issues are presented in a skewed fashion by our government schools, simply because it is wrong. Our students should be taught how to think critically about issues when presented all the facts. The public is best served when students are taught how to think, not what to think." Read more »


Sean at The American Mind got a link on Instapundit today.

Here's the permalink to Sean's post.

On another note, I couldn't figure out why this post's title looked wrong, until I realized I'd written "Instalance!" Am I full of myself, or am I full of myself?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Here comes the real winter weather

Okay fellow Wisconsinites. We've had the chance to pretend the weather was bad a couple of times now, but it has really been fairly mundane stuff. This Wednesday we may get our first real taste of bad winter weather. is forecasting by Wednesday the first in a series of storms will move out of the Gulf of Mexico and produce a swath of snow, ice and rain from the Upper Midwest to the East Coast through Friday. The best chance for significant snowfall will be from Wisconsin to New Hampshire, while a mixture of snow, ice and rain will fall from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic states.
It's making a schlub like me wish that I'd purchased a snow blower instead of a camera.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


JS Online: Badgers pull away from Marquette

Kammron Taylor scored 18 points and Ray Nixon added 15 as Wisconsin dominated in-state rival Marquette 77-63 at the Kohl Center Saturday.

The victory was the 100th of Bo Ryan's career at Wisconsin.
The Badgers (7-1) have won six of its last eight games against Marquette (6-3), including four straight at home - but the victories usually haven't come this easily.

I was going to say something nice and polite and sportsmanlike for the Marquette fans, but...yeah. Right. Like I could pull that off.

Outrageous attack on Christians.

Peter has the details. This is ridiculous.

Selective Outrage Inouye Style

Senator Daniel Inouye is out with a statement today in regards to the GOP ad featuring a waving surrender flag.

"The Republican Party’s latest ad is a shameful and disgusting attempt to distract the American people from the problems in Iraq. It may improve the President’s political fortunes, but the American people and our troops will pay the price. I hope that President Bush realizes how shameful it is to play politics when what we really need is leadership, and that he will direct his Party to take down this ad immediately."

This statement is almost funny.

Senator Inouye is worried the GOP is playing politics? Tell me Senator exactly what has your party been up to? Additionally Senator what does that ad do? Does it paint your party in a bad light? All they did was repeat your party leaders words in their own voices. Are you unhappy with what they said? Seems to me you should take that up with the people who came out with those quotes, not the ones who imposed a white flag over their comments.

I guess republican politics are offensive and democratic politics are not. I wonder how Inouye feels about this?

Know your enemy or The DNC, we cant surrender fast enough

Ahh DNC Chairman Dean a founding member of the Cut and Run wing of the Democratic/Defeatist party. Our own Cut and Run Russ Feingold is also a charter member.

When the defeatists try and say we support the troops, then why is their party leader touting a anti america group which uses wounded soldiers for political gain.

The slogan of the Dean led Defeatist party should be "Peace at any cost" or "The DNC, we cant surrender fast enough"

I give you Chairman Dean leader of the Defeatists and Face of the modern Democratic Party

or as we like to call him the Gift that keeps on Giving.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah


H/T to Uberblog babe Michelle Malkin for the photo. CP at SpottedHorse

Friday, December 09, 2005

UpChucking All Over a Judge.

Did any of you here or see the story about Chuck Chvala's pre-sentencing plea to the judge? I am sure quite a few guilty defendants make similar whinings but this one shows Mr. Chvala has learned nothing.

The manner in which the media has portrayed Senator Chvala does not accurately portray the man for whom I chose to work for seven years. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the most important thing to Senator Chvala was helping constituents and being a strong advocate for children, the elderly, and the disabled.

This comes from the Defendant's Sentencing Statement available at Wisconsin Politics but I heard about it on WImP radio.

Yes, Mr. Chuck did not utter the statement but there is a lot of ends justify the means sentiment in the inclusion of the statement above.

Come on Mr. Chuck take it like a man.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Carnival of the Badger is out for vengence

Whew, I don't know if we dare, but the Carnival of the Badger is up, and Aaron is out for vengence!
Subject to Change: Carnival of the Badger XVII
Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Vengeance!

Two of my previous CoB posts have been neglected, and I’m not taking it sitting down! You may have submitted your entries this week in good faith, but this week’s carnival is mine! And, I’m going to post whatever I feel like. Sit down, shut up, and enjoy!

Marriage Amendment Passes Wis Senate

No doubt Doyle wishes he could make this go away with his magic pen:

MADISON, Wis. - The state Senate approved a proposed amendment to ban gay marriage and Vermont-style civil unions Wednesday over objections it could strip unmarried couples of health care benefits and other legal recognitions.

Supporters countered those concerns were overblown and maintained the amendment would ensure marriage in Wisconsin would remain a union between one man and one woman while allowing room for future lawmakers to grant limited benefits to unmarried couples.

The amendment prevents "judges or the state from creating marriage in another name and granting identical benefits" to unmarried couples, said amendment sponsor Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

The Senate voted 19-14 to approve the amendment, leaving only a vote in the Assembly before the proposal could go to the public for a final vote. Lawmakers there are expected to pass it easily when they take it up after the first of the year, with an expected statewide referendum in November.

After trying to rally the cause based on the standard appeal, Senator Tim Carpenter inserts my favorite recent example of pretzel logic:

Sen. Tim Carpenter, one of two openly gay state lawmakers, tried to alter the amendment to strip that language, maintaining it would have an impact far beyond its intended purpose. That includes impacting the ability of unmarried couples to visit partners in the hospital, their inheritance rights and their access to health care benefits.

After lawmakers rejected those moves, he proposed amendments to prohibit divorcees and adulterers from marrying, which he argued was a much greater threat to the institution of marriage than a union between two gay people.

That's right, don't worry about looking silly or petty on the floor of Wisconsin's legislature, Senator Carpenter. The article discusses some of the debate and includes responses from pro- and con-amendment sources:
"If the state Legislature wants to take up adoption and inheritance rights, it can do that" if the amendment becomes law, Appling said. "Nothing in the second sentence prohibits that. Nor does it in any way affect existing benefits given by local governments or the private sector."
The vote split exactly along party lines. No surprise there.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2005 Weblog Awards

Check out the Weblog Awards put together by Kevin Aylward at Wizbang.

I decided to do some recommendations, which you can see if you're interested in my Blog Blogging post.

You can vote once every 24 hours during the contest, which I believe runs another week.

Update: Another good reason to vote for Jeff G. in the Best Humor category.

The Capital Times slobbers over Al Franken

Of course, I don't think there is anyone that would be surprised to hear that the Capital Times is rolling over like a puppy waiting for a belly rub from Al Franken, but I am a little surprised at the way they choose to do it. They open their editorial by lavishing their praise on the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. That's fair. While I don't think there was ever an issue that I agreed with Wellstone on, the man had some substance, and I can grudgingly respect that. But then they transition to their Franken slobbering with this:
So it is that, like a great many Minnesotans, we are looking for a suitable replacement for Wellstone to stand against Coleman in the 2008 Senate race.

One of the most intriguing prospects, Al Franken, the comedian, author and social commentator, is in Madison today to present his Air America radio show. And we welcome him as an eminently suitable contender.

I find it odd that I, a conservative Republican, have to point this out, but the Capital Times is disgracing Wellstone by bringing him up in the same sentence as Al Franken. Franken may be as far to the left as Wellstone, but he is a buffoon who has no substance whatsoever. You can tell what position Franken has on any issue by looking at the biggest lefty conspiracy theory currently attached to the issue. Wellstone, dislike him or love him, was a leader on the left. Franken is follower, and seriously angry and disillusioned one at that. If Al Franken is the new Paul Wellstone, then we really are in the middle of a generation of Republican leadership in Washington because Franken couldn't hold Wellstone's jock strap.

(I know I'm going to get the "Wellstone sucked" comments. That really isn't the point here. The point is that Franken is an idiot)

You did it!

All of your calls to our State Senators has paid off! The Senate has voted to repeal the automatic gas tax 20-13!

The fight is not over, we can savor this victory, but we next have to begin pounding in the Assembly! It is there that he will have to fight through the likes of John Gard (Republican In Name Only - Payne & Dolan).

Since Jib has so much fun with his question.

the following is a just a bit tounge and cheek

I have a simple plan that is a fair and equitable way to keep road money in the county where it was raised.

If the gas tax or automobile registration or License plate money is raised in Richland County(home of Sergeant Schultz)fine it stays there. But they have to build and maintain thier own roads. No money from other counties if they have a short fall. Then lets see if all the DOT money is really being sucked up by SE Wisconsin.

ROAD MONEY RAISED IN A COUNTY STAYS IN THAT COUNTY I don't think you could get any more fair and no Outstate county would ever have to fear SE Wisconsin stealing their road money ever again.


Supporting the Troops

Blackfive points to a visit by Two Babes and a Brain, and what these well-wishers found among the cards sent to the soldiers.

Must be one of those third-grade projects again.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Want a raucous debate?

Okay, let's debate this in the comments. Southeast Wisconsin (Madison & Milwaukee) have such a stranglehold on state road funds that necessary road projects in other parts of the state often get put off until the existing roads are over capacity and/or dangerous. Discuss.

State Senate Votes Tuesday on Marriage Amendment

If you have not done so already, call or email your senator and let them know that you support traditional marriage. Think of your parents, look your wife or husband in the eye, see the twinkle in your child's eye and ask yourself if marriage is something worth protecting.

Also posted at Wild Wisconsin

Marquette University Suspends Blogger, Snuffs Free Speech

In Marquette's continuing attempt to control every aspect of student life, they have suspended a student for what he posted on his personal blog. The student evidently posted some negative remarks about his teachers and some fellow students but never named any of them specifically. After the Marquette Dental School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Denis Lynch heard about the blog and read the students remarks, he promptly threw a fit like an insulted three year old, then demanded a signed letter of guilt and public apology. When the student would not acquiesce to these rediculous demands, the Associate Dean set up a trial that can be described as nothing less than rigged.

I think every single one of us is guilty of making negative remarks about our teachers or friends out of frustration. As McAdams mentions, we all make comments on DogEars and some of them get nasty, I can remember one student saying "avoid him like SARS" (the disease) about an accounting professor who many other students found very competent. Criticism spurs change and improvement, it appears this school has no interest in either.

I am extremely outraged at the University's actions however, I am not surprised. Look at the trend, they abruptly shoot down College Republicans supporting the troops through the innovative "Adopt a Sniper" program, send campus police Public Safety to make sure The Warrior, an independent student voice on campus, is not distributed on campus, and now they suspend a student and take away their scholarship in typical knee jerk, anti-free speech, reactionary fashion.

I hope that the Dean of the Dental school quickly discerns the implications of this outrageous decision and overturns it.

Let Marquette Dental School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Denis Lynch know how you feel:
Office: 414-288-7485

Or check out his webpage.

If you'd like to hear him speak and have a few extra dollars, hop on to his Alaskan Cruise with the Michigan Dental Association.

Check out Brian's Open Letter to the Marquette Administration on the matter.

Cross-Posted at The Triumvirate

Call Your State Senators tell them to vote for the repeal

If you haven't already called your State Senator to tell them to vote to repeal the automatic increase in the gas tax.

if you need to find who your Senator is go here and you can find out and get their phone numbers

Please call them and let them know you want them to have to go on record and have to VOTE to raise the gas tax.

Do not buy the line if we stop this there will be no money for Roads. All they would have to do to raise more money for Roads is vote for a higher tax.

What this comes down to is a bunch of State Senators are hiding behind the skirts of the auto increase. Its time to call the State GOP out

Its a simple choice the State GOP has to make, will they follow Tom Reynolds and vote for the Taxpayers or will they follow the leadership of Dale(Sergeant)Schultz(when it comes to tax cuts he sees "nothing") and do what their masters the Road Builders want.

Get on the phone and call them.

Regards and Merry Christmas

Op-Ed on the Wisconsin Marriage Amendment in MKE Magazine

The people of Wisconsin will likely vote in November on whether to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to define marriage explicitly as between one man and one woman, and to prevent an analogous legal relationship from being created in its stead.

As part of a recently started monthly feature on relevant state political issues, I was asked to write an article defending the proposed amendment for MKE, a free Milwaukee area weekly magazine published by the Journal Sentinel. The article is online (and features a picture of me for those of you have never met me). You can also check out page 6 of the print edition to read the article. Type your zip code here to find out where you can obtain a copy. But since my name is spelled "Hagendorn" in the print edition instead of "Hagedorn", stick with the online version to keep my embarrassment to a minimum (Why do people always like to make my last name more complicated? I mean really, what does the extra "n" accomplish here?).

The hardest part about this was writing on an issue as complex as same-sex marriage in 300 words or less. The article is based in part on this prior post on the amendment. But I had to pick exactly what issues I was going to address due to space issues, and certainly left many things out. But I was happy with the final product. Check it out!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Recording audio on your computer

Last night at the party, a few of the Bloggers asked me how I get all of that audio on my Blog, this is the program I use, The Audio Recording Wizard. The free version gives you three minutes of record time, that's enough to play with, I bought the full version and consider it the best $25 I have ever spent online.

This could also be used if you would like to make a podcast, just get a decent microphone and talk away! You will of course need space to store the audio files, they are large files, so keep that in mind.

I also have a few posts about how I use my audio recorder, you can find them here:

  • Bloggers Kit

  • Record Audio on your PC

  • How I record my audio clips

  • And Windows XP has a built in recorder, it allows only 60 second clips, but here is some info on that too.
  • WinXP Audio Recorder

  • I hope this clears up the mystery, it really isn't hard!

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Post-Party Briefing

    I didn't give away all the secrets. At least not the ones involving Haliburton, Dan Rather, Porky Pig, and Jay-Z.

    We're Home!

    The Empress and myelf just arrived safe and sound at our home in Appleton.

    There were a few cars in the ditch the roads were snow covered and hazardous. We did not push too hard but the old Impala with the newish tires pulled us through.

    It was great to finally meet everyone face to face. What a great group I am associated with here!

    I like the idea of picking a primary race and as a organization pushing for one candidate.

    See You All Soon!

    Originally uploaded by maurelius.
    See you all soon at GBFan's house!

    Happy Birthday, Badger Blog Alliance

    Today is the Badger Blog Alliance's 1st birthday. It was one year ago that this humble post went up here. And it stayed up, all cold and lonely, for a month without any other posts.

    Here's a little BBA history, if you are interested. I had been watching the Minnesota blogs with great interest. It seemed like the Minnesota blogs were really kicking our tails here in Wisconsin, and the biggest and the baddest of the Minnesota blogs were aligned in what they called "The Northern Alliance." I wanted something like that for Wisconsin, but I only knew of a handful of Wisconsin blogs. I posted on the idea at Jiblog, and after exchanging emails with a few of the founding members of the BBA, Lucas, Blog General, and Drew, we decided to get something going under the title Badger Blog Alliance. And that's where things stood for a month.

    In January, things started to get rolling a little bit. A few posts were made, some links went up, and the Badger Blog Alliance, with its old burgundy and pink format, was off to a crawl. I went off to California for a 10 day business trip pleased that we had a start, but not exactly sure how we would take it to another level. And then there was a perfect blog storm.

    I was working in California, and one night in my hotel room I was scanning through blogs. Blog General had posted that he was going to be on Charlie Sykes' show on 620 WTMJ, along with Patrick, Owen, Kevin, Sean, and Badger Pundit, to do a segment on blogging. That was the spark the BBA needed. The show created a lot of buzz amongst Wisconsin's conservative blogs, and after a few emails were exchange, Patrick, Owen, Kevin, Sean, Mary Eileen, and Chris agreed to join us here over the course of the month.

    This whole BBA thing was still a little shaky, though. We had posting members, but I hadn't really given anyone a sense of purpose. A story came about the really solidified this blog as a place that had a snowball's chance of lasting: The voter fraud story. Wisconsin had a major story that all fo the Wisconsin blogs and some of the nationals were talking about, and the Badger Blog Alliance began to feel like it had a purpose. With the voter fraud story, the BBA got an Instalanche (I believe from one of Kevin's posts), and the rest is history.

    There is a lot of thanking to do, so I am going to try to do so as effeciently as possible. First, I'd like to thank Drew, Lucas, and Blog General. Without the three of you, this never would have even started up. Thank you to Charlie Sykes for being a huge supporter of Wisconsin blogs. Without that segment on the Wisconsin blogosphere, we probably never would have coalesced into the self aware entity that we are today. Thank you also to Kevin, Patrick, Owen, Sean, Chris, and Mary Eileen. Their joining the BBA in January gave it some heft. We should all thank Greg Borowski for his terrific work on the voter fraud stories. Glenn Reynolds, even though I am hard on him sometimes at my own blog, deserves thanks for giving us that first huge burst of traffic. Thank you to all of the BBA members who have joined over the course of the year, because you all really round the site out. Thanks to all of the Wisconsin bloggers who aren't posting members of the BBA, because you've had a great year and made the Wisconsin blogosphere and the BBA a much more lively place. And most of all, thank you to all of our readers. Without you, none of these previous thank you's would be possible.

    Here's to a great year for the Wisconsin blogosphere, and to an even better 2006.

    Party Party Party

    Well the BBA Christmas Party/first meeting of the honorable order of the No Xoff club lol is almost upon us. Happy Happy Joy Joy Time.

    This should be good time it will be a smaller cooler meet en greet not unlike PJ/OSM/PJ get together in NYC. Except no one has given the BBA 3.5 million to play with yet lol.

    Since this is a BBA posting members only party(we need to meet each other before we meet the public lol) we decided to spare no expense and since we are putting it on Jibs VISA card why not.

    So after being picked up by the "Black helicopters" we will be whisked to wonderful West Virginia and the former congressional Bunker there in.

    Yes folks the BBA Christmas party is being held at the Greenbrier Resorts wonderful underground fallout shelter/bunker. Now that congress has no use for the place it has become the hangout for we evil conservative bloggers.

    So hopefully if we can keep Patrick from skinny dipping in the pool we will have reports for those of you who care tomorrow.