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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Reynolds is Letting the Children Down

Why has Sen. Reynolds decided to get all "quirky" on school choice? If he wants any support for fixing Milwaukee's public school funding he better make sure his vote isn't needed on the school choice compromise.

I don't like pumping money to reduce class size but the compromise has to be passed "as is." Any additions will only give Gov. Doyle an excuse to veto it with some cover. I say pass the bill and make sure we work really hard so either Scott Walker or Mark Green are running the state next year so really fix school funding.

Re: Ladies and Gentlemen, Place Your Bets


As if the lefties really care what the supreme court decrees. Actually I suppose they do in this instance because this benefits the Teacher's Industrial Complex (TIC).

IIRC, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin also ruled that concealed carry is within the state constitution. Handgun Control Inc.'s best buddy in Madison doesn't seem to pay any attention to that ruling.


Ladies and Gentlemen, Place Your Bets

Democratic Leadership (an oxymoron?) just released this press release.

A mix of Wisconsin lawmakers are demanding the Legislature roll up its sleeves and do some homework to meet a Supreme Court requirement that every Wisconsin student receive a equal education. Senator Roger Breske, Representatives Sondy Pope-Roberts, Gary Sherman, Barbara Toles and John Lehman, will introduce a Joint Resolution directing the Legislature to create a new school financing system to meet the mandates in Vincent v. Voight, the Supreme Court decision that blasts the state's current funding formula.

Under the resolution, the school financing system must find a way to provide an adequate education to all pupils in the state regardless of their circumstances or regional differences. The legislation would require the legislature to equalize state aid over 426 school districts by July of 2007.

For the uninitiated, since 1993 or 1995, the dates are fuzzy to its initial genesis, the State of Wisconsin - in the name of "Property Tax Relief" financed schools with a program that was called "The Three-Legged Stool."

It was:

  1. Revenue Caps on School Districts that can only be bypassed by local school referendum
  2. State Government's "Promise" to pay for 2/3 of all school funding
  3. The Qualified Economic Offer; i.e The QEO
It's never was a perfect system. WEAC's been chopping at the QEO leg for years, and 2/3's funding feels more like a blank check than a promise to see results. And as for revenue caps, how's that working out for Racine taxpayers?

The reason I'm asking for wagers is simple. A quick Google search of "Vincent v. Voight" finds a plethora of info as only Google can. But you also find the list of usual "Progressive sources" urging for something "different" -
WEAC, Ed Garvey, and others.

Who here honestly thinks these clowns are going to give us something concrete, or just a WEAC wish list?

WEAC's already started the cavalcade early. Complaining about the Revenue Caps is an annual occurrence these days.

Protect privacy, Capitalism depends on it.

I have a thesis that is developing. One of the logical bricks in this thesis is the idea that what passes for accepted dogma and public policy in the realm of modern liberalism and the policies of the Democrat party in the United States (actually socialism) requires the de-emphasis of privacy. In fact, in order for the great society philosophy to be realized privacy must become an artifact of days gone by, the consequence is an indirect assault on Capitalism. It's happening as we speak and you need to be on the lookout for it.Read more »

On Michael Joyce

My thoughts are along the same line as Fred's. Michael Joyce was a very important person for both Wisconsin and conservatism. I think a lot of us were aware of Joyce, but never really had the chance to learn more about him and how truly important he was. I learned a lot more about Joyce yesterday than I had known previously and regret that I had not learned more about him prior to his passing. For most of us, finding the words befitting someone of Joyce's caliber and position is tough to do, and in those instances we leave that to those who knew the person, like Sykes, or those who are more on the inside of conservatism, like those at National Review.

Re: Top 10 Road Names or why nothing on Michael Joyce?

In a comment on the road name thing Ched asked the following: I have to wonder why not a single post on Michael S Joyce?

My Response:

I considered writing about Michael Joyce, but dismissed the idea.

Why? I did not know the man, though I am certainly a HUGE fan of his work.

They way I see it since there is a VERY prominent blogger (Charlie Sykes) who considered him his mentor I thought we should leave it up to him.

He is appreciated and he will be missed.

Consider this an open thread to discuss Michael Joyce, his life and his legacy. Maybe we should name a road after him. I would be honored to live on it.

Ched did leave some links on the subject here and here.

To Mr. Joyce I would say well done and a good rest to you. You earned it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Re: Hey Idiot! Comments

Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to do a quick out-by-backside numbers game to determine if cigarettes cost more than they "earn." First, let me say that if there ever was a definitive study one way or another, the government wouldn't be looking for our opinions on the matter. The law would be laid down! That being said, my standard consulting fee is $100 per hour plus expenses and I'll do my best to make sure you like the results.

Ok, let's turn the "if you stopped smoking now" numbers right back around.

Let's give the average pack-a-day smoker a lifespan of 20 years from the moment he starts smoking. Most people who smoke make it to 40, right? Even the anti-smoking commercials don't cite anything less than "she was thirty-five!" as an extremely premature smoking death. Most smokers start early (teens) and live to this ripe old age. Since I started at 21, I chose 20-40 because my family members who smoke are well into their fifties. In case you don't see it, I'm TRYING to low-ball a smoker's chances here.

Now, assume $3.00 per pack (which is like stealing a pack) for a pack-a-day smoker. Near the end of my smoking career, I could do a pack on a really bad day. 1/2 that in taxes is the standard claim: $1.50. I'm bad at math, but I put that at $10,950 in taxes over the twenty years.

Ok. That's about thirty seconds of care in a hospital. But we forgot interest! Bank that money at 2% (assuming the government can find a way to earn that much) and it becomes $13,000. That still sucks, but If I use 10% (a figure that I mostly pulled out of thin air, but could be obtained with WISE investing) I've got $31,000.

That's still not enough money to die on under hospital care. Would $100,000 seem more reasonable? At 10% interest, I get there in 32 years. 5% takes almost fifty years. So, it's starting to look not so good for cigarettes.

But, we're also assuming at this point that the state is paying 100% of the medical costs for smokers (FAT CHANCE!). Many smokers are paying inflated premiums on health care so that they can afford to die without being too much of a burden. And, since smokers die early, they save the government in retirement benefits.

I will leave it up to you to decide whether there are enough smokers paying taxes to offset the cost of health care for smokers without insurance. But, my thought is that there must be enough money in tobacco, or the lawmakers would be out making the case over the cost of smoking.

The real argument right now, in my mind, is over which end of the filter is safer. The anti-smoking crowd is now trying to convince me that I was better off with the cigarette in my mouth than I am with it hanging in the air.

PS: I do realize the ridiculousness of placing non-smoking tables next to smoking ones, or in poorly ventilated areas. But, let's deal with THAT issue instead. Perhaps if businesses are required to upgrade ventilation, they will decide to go smoke free instead and the true social experiment can begin.

1 wreck, 4 drunk drivers

You don't see this everyday:
TOWN OF MILTON-It's not very often that two drunken drivers are arrested after a crash.

Or three.

Or four.

But that was the case early Sunday morning on Highway 26 just north of John Paul Road, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Department.

After two drunken drivers collided, a third drunken driver crashed into them, and a fourth later attempted to drive through the crash scene.
Would this be poetic justice or just plain old justice?

Lileks on President Ford

No, not that President Ford. Harrison Ford. No, not the guy who died a month after his inauguration. Han Solo. Indiana Jones. That Harrison Ford.

Anyway, James Lileks just watched "Air Force One," the movie in which Ford plays the President, whose plane gets hijacked.

And, with the usual Lileks perceptiveness:

Cut to President Solo, giving a speech that puts forth a new American policy towards terrorists and terror-enabling states:

Peace isn't merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice. Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons. And to those who would use them, your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid.
He is also quite physically fit AND he can fly a plane. This was the sort of person Hollywood wanted for President in 1997. Then they get one, and they completely wigged out. Ah well.
Heh. I say again: heh.

$5 Million for Kampman?

JS Online:Packers, Kampman not close

Indianapolis - The Green Bay Packers have the ability to more than satisfy defensive end Aaron Kampman's financial demands, but the estimation of some National Football League observers is that unless they complete a deal with him before the start of free agency Friday, he'll be playing somewhere else next season.

If Kampman makes it to free agency, he will be one of the top ends available and stands to receive around $5 million a year on a long-term deal.
$5 million a year? He's a good player I'm glad to have, but $5 million a year?

Isn't that money a little too Reggie-like for somebody like Kampman?


I guess I didn't welcome out newest member, this strange guy that keeps following me around the internet just because I suffered through the entire Milwaukee Talk Star competition (which he didn't win).

I'm sure he will understand the humor in this after reading his last post, right buddy?

Top 10 Road Names

The following list of the top 10 road names was put out by Mitsubishi Motors.

(I like #5)

10. Tater Peeler Road in Lebanon, Tenn.
9. The intersection of Count and Basie in Richmond, Va.
8. Shades of Death Road in Warren County, N.J.
7. Unexpected Road in Buena, N.J.
6. Bucket of Blood Street in Holbrook, Ariz.
5. The intersection of Clinton and Fidelity in Houston
4. The intersection of Lonesome and Hardup in Albany, Ga.
3. Farfrompoopen Road in Tennessee (the only road up to Constipation Ridge)
2. Divorce Court in Heather Highlands, Pa.
1. Psycho Path in Traverse City, Mich.

Re: 'I don't think this is an issue that moves voters'

Unless people find out who supports and who opposes vouchers the issue will not move voters.

Its called outreach and the GOP has been bad at it but I see and hear signs the GOP is finally figuring it out.

A Bleg: Adware or NetZero?


Yesterday The Empress and I were at a friend's house for dinner. I was surfing around with him and visited some of my archives at Blogger Beer. When I was reading them, something was inserting advertisements into my text. For example one word it seemed particularly drawn too was national. Every occurrence of national in that monthly archive was linked to some sort of advertisement.

Needless to say I am generating value for someone else and I have a problem with that.

My buddy uses NetZero to access the Internet. So I have a bleg for the audience here.

What is stealing my intellectual property? Adware on my buddy's system or NetZero? Is there way I can stop that by placing appropriate code in my template (akin to directives to Google not to store a Usenet posting past a given amount of time)? Or would I have to ask the company to stop it and possibly carry out legal action?

Thanks in advance.

'I don't think this is an issue that moves voters'

From Star Parker's column:

I was aghast to read Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle's response to a question from The New York Times columnist John Tierney, "How long will blacks vote for a party that opposes the voucher programs they strongly favor?"

Doyle's response: "I don't think this is an issue that moves voters."

The discussion took place in context of the Democrat governor's opposition to moves to expand the number of vouchers available in the immensely popular and successful school choice program in Wisconsin.

In a recently released Zogby poll, only 3 percent of respondents, with barely any difference between Democrats and Republicans, listed "Education/Schools" as the two top issues facing the country.

Maybe Doyle is right.

Parker contrasts this with the reality for Doyle's base of black voters in Milwaukee:

Those that argue for school choice correctly make the case that competition produces better products, whether we're talking about computers or schools.

But in addition to the benefits of competition, it is inordinately important that single black mothers have the option of sending their kid to a school where the educational culture is defined by traditional values. This is not the case with public schools.

How much can be expected from a single, poor mother who must compete with a prevailing popular culture that conveys meaninglessness and relativism to her kid, and then must compete with a school system that conveys the same? This mother should, and must, have the option of sending her child to a school that teaches traditional values.

Schools can and must play a vital link in helping to break the cycle of kids from poor, broken families going on to create more poor, broken families.

It is ironic that a country that rejects the idea of imposing values on others maintains a monolithic public school system that does just that.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

I was a farmer too!

From third grade to the end of my college days! Hehehe, in nickname only!

My real surname (sorry to disappoint but my real name is NOT Marcus Aurelius) is not common and somewhat resembles farmer. So, some upper classman (a third grader conducting a Punt, pass, and Kick trial) said I can't pronounce your name and it looks like farmer so that is what I'll call you. It stuck through the rest of my grade school years and high school and followed me to college.

I met a shirt-tail relative in college who knew some people with my same surname and he had a laugh about it as well since one of those people was called farmer for the same reason.

After college though the only time I hear farmer is when talking with old classmates from grade school, high school, and college.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

I knew a farmer once. Oh, wait... his name was "farmer." I guess I don't know if he was actually a farmer.

Quote of the Day

"A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, simply to swell its ranks." ~Ronald Reagan

A Statement from Senator Cathy Stepp

I got the following note from State Senator Cathy Stepp this morning in response to my post over the weekend about Casa in Maryland and the strangely familiar tactics of Voces de la Frontera.

Her comments are posted with her permission.

The reality is appearing to be that illegal immigrants certainly DO have rights in this country--rights that aren't even extended to LEGALLY elected officials in this country. They have been passively granted the right to intimidate, harass, frighten and bully people into changing laws to suit their taste. I attribute it to the false fear that exists among prosecutors. I guess I can't blame them for not wanting to happen to them what happened to me. Problem with that: enabling only emboldens. Another nugget of wisdom spoken by our President, "We don't negotiate with terrorists." If only we all followed this policy, our country would be safer today.....

Why wouldn't they start stalking elected officials kids at school?! Why wouldn't they resort to more serious tactics each time they suffer no consequences for their actions? Those of us with kids understand that when you don't discipline/rectify a child's behavior, the outcome is predictable.

A brilliant analogy Senator. These groups are essentially throwing temper tantrums when they do not get their way. If we do not hold them accountable they will just become more emboldened.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

RE: Major Campaign Announcement

Fred, this for real?

Then we need a campaign slogan! I submit "Do it with Dooley!" ;-)

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

Since we're all touting our family connections to farming, let me ring in.

I have an Uncle, and now his son, who operate the third largest dairy farm (in herd size) in Manitowoc County. My father and a younger brother (Kurt's twin) have been or are currently milk truck drivers. Another uncle operates a trucking firm that includes milk haulers.

But the "piece de resistance" is that my grandfather was a founding member of the largest dairy cooperative in Northeast Wisconsin.

Sean might remember the name since they are now part of Land O'Lakes. Anyone ever hear of "Lake to Lake Dairy?"

So, yeah I get torn on agriculture vs. free market issues like most Wisconsinites. My posts on MILC tore at my soul when I wrote about them. But I've been told both GOPers running for Governor are for that, so it's a draw on that issue.

After all, who wants to piss off dairy farmers as you're seeking the state's highest office?

As for what Patrick brought up, I never said he's taking joy over Green's stance - Mark Belling is though - but I do feel that many Walker backers are over-hyping it because they finally have something they think could put 'their guy' ahead.

My guess is no since people in Milwaukee listening to Sykes or Belling weren't going to vote for Mark Green anyway.

As for other mandates, no one knows what could come down the road, so anything there is pure speculation. But yeah, this state does stupid things with farming and mandates. Anyone want to go to a restaurant or supper club and ask for margarine?

If there are future mandates, it's the ones that mandate your insurance company to cover things in your health care coverage that really worry me. Most of the time it's for things you aren't ever going to need, but your provider only gets to pass the 'joy of a higher premium' onto you.

That I've been told there is a difference between the pasts of the two candidates. But it's the reverse of this one - Walker has backed them, Green has not.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

I am still fighting off this flu, but I will try to make a coherent statement.

I think Kevin is misunderstanding the strong reaction against a bad decision that Green has taken, for some sort of joy to attack Green. I don't take pleasure in going after Green, until he announced that he would support the ethanol mandate, I was truly split on who to vote for. To be honest, I was leaning toward Green for a selfish reason. If Walker is elected, Milwaukee County will be left in the hands of the likes of Lee Holloway and that is a scary thought.

But with Green deciding that it is acceptable to use the coercive power of the government to force consumers to purchase and use an inferior product that is more expensive, less efficient, and when given the choice, they chose not to use, this is unacceptable to me. Forcing consumers to use a product that they don't want smacks of socialism to me. NO, I am not calling Green a socialist, what I am saying is this is not an acceptable stance for a Conservative/Free Market supporter to take.

I don't care who Green is or is not getting his money from, I will not support someone that is trying to force the entire state to use a product that we in S/E Wisconsin have been fighting to get rid of for years, and since we are finally making some progress with the EPA lifting requirements on reformulated gas, some leaders in this state are working to thwart those efforts.

Just a quick comment on not understanding rural points of view. I come from a farming family, one in the Black River Falls area (corn/wheat) and one in the Coon Valley area (tobacco and dairy). I can also tell you from personal experience with my family, farmers are by nature, frugal people. Try to tell my grandfather a few years ago when he was still farming, that he would be forced to use a fuel that costs more per gallon, gets less mileage per gallon and this means that he would have to buy more fuel per year. Then add that he would have storage problems because of the fact that ethanol evaporates and loses octane much faster than gasoline (farmers generally buy fuel in large quantities). I can hear his big booming voice ringing loud and clear, "Bull S%#t!"

Yes, a lot of corn farmers are supporting this, but it will be to the detriment of the entire state. In the long run, it will also hurt Wisconsin farmers since ethanol being made from other sources are being produced much cheaper. This legislation will harm us for many years to come, so it must be stopped before it is to late.

Another thing I fear about Green's stance is, if he is willing to support this mandate, what will be the next mandate he supports? Mandates are bad, if a product is better, then people will want to use it, they will even demand that they be allowed to use it, they will not need the coercive force of government to force people to use it.

Hey, Idiot!

I was saving this post on Subject to Change for a rainy day. I think that if I sit on it any longer I'm going to get heartburn.

    Dear national, state, and local representatives who are in favor of banning smoking in public places,

    Are you high? You must be smoking SOMETHING, and I'll bet it's not tobacco.

    I don't need anyone to prove to me that cigarettes generate a huge amount of tax revenue. All I have to do is scan a parking lot for discarded cigarette butts, or when I was a smoker, simply look in my "butt bucket" in the backyard.

    Each one of those nasty filters represents a huge chunck of change for the government to piss away on whatever you darn-well please. It certainly isn't money that's reserved for something that might make sense, like supplimental health care for smokers.

    Cigarette taxes are pennies from heaven for our schools, roads, stadiums, and cutsie little urban art projects. If you ban smoking in public, people will smoke less. You've figured this out, right? If people smoke less they will buy fewer cigarettes, and therefore pay fewer taxes.

    Suddenly, there will be a budget shortfall and you'll think it's a good idea to raise taxes elsewhere. It won't be a good idea, though, and you're going to make a lot of people very angry when you tell them that

    a) You can't smoke anywhere anymore.

    b) We can't afford to run things because we took away your cigarettes. Here's your new and improved property tax bill. Have a nice day.

    Seriously, we need smokers because they've got money to burn. Quit trying to treat them like the scum of the earth and accept the generous donation they make to the "greater good" through that enormous tax contribution. Smokers have let you beat them up for years, because they know that smoking is not good for them. They've stood passively by while you taxed them more and more, kicked them outside, and sued the companies that feed this nasty habit. They've put up with it because most smokers will admit that it's not a pleasant habit and people should be encouraged not to start.

    You've easily turned smokers into the new slave class, quietly pumping millions (or billions?) of dollars into the economy and the government. Now, you want to emancipate them by force? Is that the idea? Gosh, it's a noble cause but what if they don't want to be freed? And, what of that economy? How do you deal with that drying up essentially overnight?


    P.S. Ethanol also sucks rocks.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Major Campaign Announcement.

I am considering a Senate run against Herb Kohl.

Heck, the way I figure it since no one else is going to do it I should be ok.

I can get an easy 40%, that should put me on my way, I'll do better than Brian Kennedy.

The way I see it I need the support of the BBA for publicity and need to raise $1,54.72 to place ads in Wiggy's Warehouse to have a decent shot.

Heads Up on the Choice Compromise

Just in case you hadn't heard, the Choice compromise may be in trouble. Seems that Diamond Jim won't arm twist any Democrats in the Senate to support him, and two upstate Republicans are already on record as opposed. One is Mike Ellis, the other is Robert Cowles (hat tip to Charlie Sykes on the GOP Senators who are opposed).

That means there are only 17 possible votes for the bill. Of those, only 16 are on record as supporting. Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) has sent mixed messages as to which way he will vote. You can read more about this at Sykes Writes and McBride's Media Matters. Oh, and here too.

For the record, I believe Doyle wants this bill to fail so he can have his cake and eat it, too. He has deliberately refused to get any Democratic support in the state Senate for this bill.

That way, he can go to his Milwaukee base — mostly black, which he desperately needs — and say, "I did all I could, but it was those eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Republicans (who don't like blacks anyway) who killed this." An easy way to play the race card, while at the same time protecting his WEAC base. Playing one group against the other.

And the media will let him get away with it and frame it the way he wants it.

Call Sen. Reynolds' office in Madison (608) 266-2512 and in his district (414) 456-9230 and tell him how you feel and to support the Choice compromise.

Anyone else blogging on this, please feel free to jump in.

New rule at the BBA

I'm going to call this the "Aaron Rule." After listening to his last podcast with Jenna and Belle, we are going proactively ban any discussion of touching bear poop. So there you have it. We can rip each other to shreds on the Green-Walker race, but no nudity at the BBA and there will be no talk of touching bear poop.

Welcome, Aaron!

How to Fight RINOs

There has been a rash of RINO-like (RINO - Republican In Name Only) behavior from our republican representatives. This has been especially evident in state government with the ethanol and child safety seat bills that we've all been blogging about. You can also find a number of recent blogs that demonstrate how this behavior is turning conservatives off to the republican party.

The RINOs have to be called to the mat. But, how do you fight a RINO? I think that these individuals realize that the conservative base will continue to elect them, in order to keep liberals out. The problem with this thinking, is that conservatives tend to demand results. We don't want to continue to elect people who do not serve us, and sooner or later we may stop voting. Do you think that voting against RINOs or withholding your vote will teach them a lesson? Maybe, but it means that someone even more opposed to the conservative viewpoint could take their place.

Maybe there's a way to make a point to the RINOs without losing elections. I think that the key is to hit their pocket books. Running for office takes lots of money, and candidates rely on public support to keep the election from draining their personal finances. Perhaps if the voting public were to cut funding to RINO's campaigns, we can hit them where it hurts and keep them on a shorter leash while they serve us. If you're thinking of contributing to a campaign or the party during the upcoming elections, think about the power that you actually have and demand accountability!

Don't forget to support true conservative candidates in the primary elections, too!

Cross posted at Subject to Change


Warning. Aaron of Subject to Change is now a contributing member to the BBA.

Congrats Aaron!

The joint will never be the same.

What is wrong with government?

No common sense, that's what.

Obviously Tuesday was an election day, what I found the most interesting story of this election got no coverage.

In little Paddock Lake a few years ago a new ward was created in order to put the Union League Boys and Girls Camp ot the sewer service in the village of Paddock Lake.

In Tuesday's election there were two voters eligible to cast votes in this ward, both of them cast absentee ballots.

Local officials were curious as to whether or not they had to open the ward up for votes and sought an opinion the state elections board.

Their answer, you not only have to open the polling place but keep it open all day and staffed with at least 3 people.3 workers, 13 hours $10 an hour, that is $390 of mandatory government expense for the express purpose of no one to vote.

Now that is your government in action folks.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol


I know a little about farmers and farming since my father grew up on a farm. I worked many summers on that farm and know how hard people like my uncle and grandfather worked for so little. I grew up in a town (Hilbert) where the most important question wasn't "What do you think about the Packers?" or "How about the high school football team?" It was "Do you think the weather's gonna be good for [planting, hay baling, picking stones, etc.]" After discovering the beauty and logic of free market economics it was a challenge to bite my tongue during holiday gatherings when farm supports came up. So I understand the plight of many Wisconsin farmers. I know many of them want some way to earn a living, keep their farm, and pass it along to their children.

So Rep. Green isn't in ADM's pocket. He still supports a bad policy that will make the state worse off. His explanations have been illogical and display an underappreciation of economics. I call it like I see it.

I don't know much about Walker's education plans so I can't say how bad they are. When it comes to education I'm a radical. We must go past vouchers. I want the state out of education completely. I even signed a proclaimation. (And yes, any possible future political career is now doomed. At least I'm in some good company.)

It's obvious I lean Walker, but a lot of that is simply because I live in Southeast Wisconsin. It's not like Green's campaign has been doing a lot to reach out to conservatives like me here. But the campaign is just begun. There's a lot of campaigning to do. One thing is for sure: either man will get my vote and support over the corrupt current governor. I just hope bad gas doesn't come with it.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

The only 'truth' in that "ad" is that Green supports the ethanol mandate, an issue I believe he is wrong on, but not willing to go psycho on the guy like some of you seem so overjoyed to do.

Belling's been wrong from DAY ONE that this is all "Archer Daniels Midlands" doing. A quick look at the usual sources of data for who got money from whom shows that the only Wisconsin politicians who sought state offices who took ADM cash were Tommy Thompson and Mary Panzer.

Since Green was a Federal Candidate from 1998 to 2004, I looked there too. Nothing in 2004 for Green, nothing for 2002, nothing for 2000 & 1998.

If you want to go ADM's National PAC, check here, here, here, and here. The answers there are nothing, nothing, nothing, and nothing. John Gard's not on their list for 2006 for those interested BTW.

(I haven't figured out how to look at WDC's PAC database yet, so I couldn't check there.)

So, if ADM - Belling's self-created bogeyman - isn't the man behind the curtain, who is pushing the Ethanol Mandate that's not connected to the ethanol industry?

The answer is simple, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. The 800 lbs. Gorilla in agriculture issues in Wisconsin and a longtime friend of the State GOP. The other farm group pushing it is the smaller Wisconsin Farmers Union. It is much more left-leaning and friendlier to state Democrats.

It's the support of groups like the Farm Bureau that was the reason for Walker's line about farming on his blog. If he wins the primary, he's going to need the support of groups like them, and it was a subtle way of saying, "Hey, no hard feelings."

My own Assemblyman, who voted "no" on AB 15, told me something similar happened to him moments after the vote when he was approached by a WFB representative who said, "You know we're still friends after this right?" and that was it. One issue, not the end of the civilized world as we know it.

Finally, there's another thing at work here besides "Free Market vs. Mandate" and that is rural vs. urban or the east side of the state versus the west side of the state. The vote in the Assembly broke that way, and it could go that way again in the State Senate. That deals more with the reality that more urban areas of the state like Milwaukee and the rest of SE Wisconsin have plentiful economic opportunities, while places like Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, or Superior don't and see ethanol production as a viable option. Look at who signed that letter. The overwhelming majority are from the western side of the state or rural districts.

We here might not see it that way, but for a corn farmer out west, the E10 Mandate looks like help to him and his family. The BBA's lack of understanding on rural issues not involving DNR tyranny is a gaping blind spot in my opinion.

I could go on, mainly on the 'selective prosecution' some of you have on this issue, but Daniel @ GOP3 hit on that yesterday. Or on why I was the only one critical of Walker on the Luxury Suite story given the fact that Ethics is suppose to matter this year - or so we keep pointing out on the things Doyle does. Or like Owen, I too have problems with the Walker plan on 2/3 school financing when the state's looking at a $2.12 B dollar hole thanks to Doyle's budget shenanigans.

It's unrealistic, especially with the possibility of a $500 M increase he'd likely have to do, no matter what Team Walker says about the "Three-Legged Stool of School Funding," it's money the state doesn't have.

There, I've spoken my peace. It's late and I really like too many of you as people too much to go off on the phoniness some of you have at times.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Re: Guy's anybody know about this...?

When you find it let the rest of us BBAers know and we'll be right there!

Guy's anybody know about this...?

Any of you guys know about the missing beer truck?

The missing product, valued at $25,788, included:
- 384 24-packs of Miller Genuine Draft cans
- 560 eight-packs of MGD 12-ounce bottles
- 980 eight-packs of MGD 12-ounce cans
- 40 24-packs of Miller Light 16-ounce plastic bottles

See Stolen truck found


Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

They say that the best satire must have a seed of truth... Well, Belling's satire ad certainly has that seed and then some.

If you haven't heard it, here is the audio.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

On the one hand, I'd like things to play out cleanly in politics, the ideal that Jenna espouses.

The problem?

It's just that - an ideal. Politics is, was and always will be that - politics.

We came out of the British Parliamentary system with all its bluster and debate. We're far more civilized.

That said, I don't think anyone on the left thinks for a minute that conservatives won't do as Sean will, and back the conservative who ultimately faces off with Doyle.

They should be so lucky to have some on the right hold out in a snit and let Doyle have four more years. It's not going to happen.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

Since Belling isn't a Republican but a conservative it's no skin of his back.

I'm a conservative first then a Republican. As such I want a GOP candidate that can beat Doyle and advance the most conservative issues. Since Walker and Green are very similar on most issues any differences become glaring. It also helps when either candidate has a great shot at knocking off Gov. Doyle.

Green is wrong on mandated ethanol, while Walker is right. So I'm leaning toward Walker and criticizing Green. If it happens Green wins the primary I'll be 100% behind him. I don't expect purity, but I call people out when I think they're wrong.

Re: Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

"Good for him."

I must disagree. Like I've said countless time, the gubernatorial race is the Republican's to lose. The easiest way we could do that is to go negative early, either between the candidates or in the mainstream media, like with Belling's spoof.

If moderates and/or independents see a party full of infighting, division, and candidates taking immature jabs at each other, we will lose their votes. It is incredibly important that we run a clean race. This spoof ad is taking us in the wrong direction.

Radio "Ad" Rips Green on Ethanol

Just a few minutes ago on Mark Belling's show I heard an ad mocking Rep. Mark Green's ethanol stance. At the end it was "sponsored" by him and Archer Daniels Midland. Has anyone else heard it? Is this a Belling joke or is it a shot coming from the Walker camp (though probably very, very indirectly)?

UPDATE: From Belling's ranting and raving it sounds like the "ad" is a Belling spoof. Good for him. It's accurate, and it's something Green is wrong about.

Internets Timekiller of the Week


Brokeback and Top Gun? "You can be my wingman anytime!"

If you're going to go there, you might as well check out Brokeback Empire. For the droids.

"CrackBerry" Death Watch

Any one want to get predictions going on this action today?

UPDATE - Nevermind.

Re: RDW, McBride, and the future

Kevin, everyone knows the future is malleable and can be changed by the free will of man. So it's too bad they pushed him off to next week because Friday night's show was Fred's first step to becoming the greatest President this nation has ever known.

And on the topic of people being able to change the future, perhaps that coin that I put down on the Texans to win the Super Bowl wasn't such a good idea...

Re: RDW on McBride

So...what did you use that Wayback Machine for Jib?


RDW on McBride.

My guest shot has been pushed off into next week sometime. I'll let you know when I know more.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

That Wasn't Beer!

Urine Samples Taken From Probation Office

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Whoever broke into a state probation and parole office left with items that can be key evidence - urine samples of those under court orders not to use alcohol or illegal drugs.


Police Capt. Mike Babe said someone broke into the Waukesha office Monday night or early Tuesday and took all the urine samples that had been stored in the office.

Babe said police were called at 7:19 a.m. Tuesday when someone discovered a door was broken and the samples were gone.

Police and probation and parole personnel would not comment on how many samples were stolen or if anything else was missing.

Re Re Re Solar Energy


I too once took that stand on energy. I said let the markets sort it out, but it is pretty apparent there are pressing externalities and national security considerations at work here.

We didn't let private industry run the Manhattan Project.

There are definite national security considerations. Right now, what happens if Iran decides to blockade traffic going in and out of the Persian Gulf? Sure, the USN would fix things up but you can be quite sure we will probably look back on $2.29/gallon gas as the good ole days when gas was cheap. Also, I am not quite certain it would be easy to put an end to a blockade, especially since we no longer are researching small yield nuclear bunker buster bombs. Iranian anti-ship missile sites are built into the mountains on the coast and I suppose ships would not be safe until they are into the Arabian Sea.

Only three nations have access to ports not on the Persian Gulf or in the Gulf of Oman. Oman, Yemen, and Saudia Arabia all the rest have to go through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Saudi is the big oil producer so the impact is not complete shutdown but (plus Nigeria and Venezuela both becoming more and more unreliable) it would be painful.

If all these oil reserves were sitting up in Canada or Europe then the need wouldn't be so pressing and I would most likely be in full agreement with you.

Re: The Kohlbot Gets Rolled Out

I am in favor of letting the ports deal go through.

Full Disclosure: I lived in the UAE for six years.

Now, the UAE has territorial disputes with Iran and Iran is becoming more and more assertive. No one else in this world is in any position to help the UAE out against Iran than we are and they know it.

The UAE is a frequent stop for our Navy. I toured the USS Nimitz once when it was docked in Jebel Ali (next to Dubai), and have many other stories about running into USN people in Dubai. We have strategic pre-positions in the area and access to their airstrips. Those facts are not widely known throughout their populations.

James Robbins over at NRO underlines how the UAE has cooperated with us in the WOT. Increasing their port security, tightening banking reg.s and other actions.

Now, to be quite fair there are some negatives. The biggest negative I can think of has to do with the spotting of a UAE jet in close proximity to an Afghani Al-Qaeda camp and the fallout from Richard Clarke's leak about it. And of course, we have Marwan Al Shehi son of Ras Al-Khaimah (one of the seven emirates that forms the UAE) who flew a jet into one of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11, as well as much of the logistics for the 9/11 attacks flowing through the UAE. None of those negatives were a result of UAE government policy; in fact, a buddy still in the UAE said UAE nationals were much more sympathetic in the aftermath of 9/11 than were Canadians and Europeans (who it sounded like were gleeful).

The UAE Government knows (especially the rulers of Dubai) the oil is not going to last forever and is trying to diversify its income base. Can you imagine the harm if it was found out Dubai was not honest about its intentions in the Port deal?

Now, if you went out of your way to do good by a buddy and that "buddy" treated you badly what would your reaction be? If the port deal gets canceled then friendly Arab nations will see it as "damned if you do, damned if you don't" and stop their cooperation.

I leave you with a quote from Mansoor Ijaz's latest NRO article:

Washington's bout with Islamophobia also ignores the reality of Dubai's future direction. A metropolis already, it is rapidly becoming the prototype city-state that could serve as an important example for the future in Muslim societies bedeviled by high unemployment, low literacy rates, bad trade policies, and authoritarian political structures. It is managed and led by a cadre of young, highly educated Arab and Muslim professionals who seek to transform the world's stereotype of Islam by developing and running businesses transparently, with integrity and with an increasingly democratic and accountable corporate culture.

The Kohlbot Gets Rolled Out

Nothing tells you an issue has gone political like sending out "Nobody's Senator." That's exactly what the Dems have done on this port issue.

As probably one of the few people (and really this is starting to scare me that I'm being called "an expert" by some blogs on this subject.) in the Blogosphere with some knowledge of U.S. Ports and Customs Law, I'll lay into The Senator from the Great State of the Milwaukee Bucks on my own blog later this evening.

I mean, the only reason we're supposed to see Herb today is because it's the NBA trading deadline, not for his "knowledge" of Homeland Security issues.

In the Interest of Self-Disclosure

Apparently I have a bit of a blue streak, so I figured I'd out myself before I am summarily drummed out of the Badger Corps.

Apparently Oliver Willis and I agree on something. Without, you know, all the "evil conservative" mudslinging. And tarring that damned conservative, Dr. Daniel Iracki, whose Rovian VRWC closet I didn't bother to delve into.

Mostly I think OW linked me because he and I are among the five people in the 'sphere blogging this.

So, like, if we can't hang out together anymore, I understand.

(::sniff, sniff::)


Looks like the impact of the atrocious Kelo decision on eminent domain may hit close to home here.

The village of Union Grove is offering "market value" for a farm house owned by a single mother on disability or implying it will just take the house and property for "economic development."

UNION GROVE — The fear of losing her home under eminent domain is almost too much to take for Angela Thomas.

She’s received letters from the state and the Village of Union Grove during the past two months regarding the village’s redevelopment effort and tax incremental district.

“It sounds like they can offer me fair market value, which is never going to replace what I have, or they can just take my house,” said Thomas, who bought a century-old farmhouse four years ago along Main Street. “… It was a really crappy way to be notified.”

Thomas, a single mother on disability, said she has poured her life savings into restoring the three-bedroom house.

“I have basically run out of money with the siding and gutters left to do,” said Thomas, who, along with dozens of other letter recipients, attended a recent public meeting regarding the ensuing revitalization project that brought about the letters.

“Now I feel like if I don’t finish my house I am definitely going to be one that they are targeting,” she said.
Thank the "living, breathing Constitution" advocates who think it's OK for the government to seize your property to put up condos or a strip mall or a big box outlet simply because it can produce more tax revenue. Shame on the USSC justices who thought this was good public policy and constitutional.

More from the JT article:

The revitalization plan is expected to address underutilized and blighted buildings, encourage consistent development and to establish building and zoning standards throughout the village. The plan has been coordinated with the state’s expected reconstruction of Highway 45 through Union Grove beginning in 2007.

“We need to keep the business district healthy downtown,” said Carol Knight, director of the Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. “We got Highway 45 going right through our town, we need to make a good impression when folks come through and have businesses and service there that they need.”
What this translates to is this: greedy politicians who see the ability to confiscate more tax dollars from a developer, a condo association, businesses in a strip mall, etc., than they can from a private homeowner.

More greed from the PUBLIC sector. How much is enough in tax dollars?

Cross posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Re Re Solar Energy

If we could only tap into all the hot air emanating from Stanley Johnson...

My take on alternative energy is that government should not be involved in anything that the free market is not investing in; be it bio-diesel, wind turbines, solar panels, what have you, otherwise it ends up just being another artificial industry that the government will end up subsidizing.


Re Solar Energy

Who knew the BBA would be THE place for solar energy talk?

Have a "sun shiney day" everyone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Same old from Stanley

Charlie Sykes was great in providing us with the PodCasts of todays INSIGHT 2006. I listened to one today on Education with the controversy surrounding school choice in Milwaukee. I still contend that untill there is unlimited choice regardless of income with no caps in every district in the state, there is no such thing as choice. (See Is there choice in Education?) I have never been a fan of Stan Johnson, the President of WEAC (aka Education Mafia), (see WEAC Diatribe from Stan Johnson) and todays offering from him only contributes to that belief. When asked about the voucher controversy in Milwaukee, Stanley was asked if he supports the voucher schools and if he is in favor of expanding or keeping them. Here is the transcript of what he said.
I believe and I have to say, Howard and I are alike in that we both agree on one thing, that we are both about student achievement. Now we disagree on how that is attained. School choice basically to me and to our organization, has not proven, we have said it time and time again about how great the school choice schools are. We have absolutely no proof that they are doing that. Ya know and one of the things is that constantly Milwaukee Public Schools are doing a good job. But every time something is good with MPS, it is because of the voucher schools. Now if something goes wrong in MPS, you don't hear choice or voucher people taking the claim for that also, only the good things that happen. Amm. We have proven with the SAGE program that smaller class sizes which is the major reason why our parents want their kids in that type of environment because they know that one on one attention. Ya know you have it, in the private schools or maybe even in the voucher schools. The argument to me all the time is maybe, Howard , Jason, ourselves, can get together and push for that same program because we know it works. And there are items that we can agree on and move forward. But ya know the one thing I wanna make clear is that, ya know, vouchers are here. The supreme court has said they are here. What were trying to say is don't use the word competition with us. Because competition means that we have a level playing field. Currently there is not a level playing field. You end up comparing apples to oranges instead of apples to apples.
If I had my way, OK and our organization had our way, I believe in public education, I believe in anything you do that detracts from public education, resources being per kid so am I in favor of lifting the cap? No. Am I in favor of the voucher program itself? No. But it's here so we have to live with it. And what I would like to see are certain things that are not necessarily in this new agreement happen so we can get on. And you know, we talk a lot about competition. And what the cap would have produced I believe, in that choice and voucher system, is competition between the voucher students, having their strong schools survive and those sort of things.
I believe there is something I agree on. However, I don't think it is what he had in mind. He said, “Because competition means that we have a level playing field.” He didn't think he had and I agree 100%. WEAC has a monopoly. They like other monopolies hate the word competition. What could we do with competition? We could start with competition between teachers. Why is it that, at least in my neck of the woods, that an opening for a single teacher attracts upwards of 300 submissions of resumes? What if we could bid out teachers services? Why can't districts bid out their insurance benifits for their teahcers? Why do many districts pay over 1/2 million more per year using WEAC's insurance. (See The Truth About Teachers Health Care Costs,...) Why does the local competitor parochial school provide education at half the price? (I forgot, the price really is 1.5 times or they will take your house away). Why are you so blasted afraid of competition Stanley? If Wisconsin schools are so great and it's teachers so wonderful and competent, there would be nothing to worry about, right Stanley?

This line that Stanley spewed once agian, was extremely hard to follow but finds him saying the same old same old.



Hell of generous guy, that Rove. I'll be making a bundle on the Super Bowl next year. By the way, Fred does extremely well on Friday night. (Hey, I ain't slept much lately-cut me some slack.)


Jib's been using that experimental "Wayback Machine" Karl Rove gave us as a nice Christmas present at the Christmas Party again to look into the future.

Apparently he was able to go to Friday and hear Fred on the radio before the rest of us.

Think of how Fred must feel? Jib knows how he did before Fred's even done the show.

School Referendums

The DPI has a pretty useful website, which lets you search for info about school referendums in Wisconsin.

Here's the link.

You can enter dates (as in: on or after this date), look solely for referendums that passed or failed, and then search by the first letter of the school district.

Pretty cool.

Anyway, I'd thought there were only a couple referenda on yesterday's ballot. Turns out there were 17, with over 40 more coming up in April.

The info wasn't completely updated as of today. According to the site, two of yesterday's referenda failed, and one (in Portage) passed. The other 14 - those haven't been reported/updated yet.

By the way, about that Portage referendum:

By a margin of more than two to one, voters supported Tuesday's referendum allowing the Portage School District to spend up to $1.5 million each year in additional property taxes, if it needs to, over the next five years.

Exactly the same as what the Baraboo School District has proposed - $1.5 million in each of the next five years. We Barabooians vote on April 4.

From the same story:

The measure carried by a wider margin this year than in 2003, when 58 percent of residents supported a similar referendum.

I looked it up - that 2003 referendum gave them $1.5 million a year for three years. The one they passed yesterday just picks up where it leaves off.

Which is odd: it means they're operating under the same annual spending increases that they would be even without the referendum - one would think they'd ask for a bigger number.

One more thing: this may be a typo, but according to the website, the Galesville-Ettrick School District (Trempeleau County, far west side of the state) has a referendum scheduled two days after the Spring election, on April 6. What's up with that?

Re Solar Energy

Tee Bee,

Yeah, that was not the material I was looking at. I was looking material that was roof mountable but looked like it was quite heavy and easily breakable.

PSA: RDW on WTMJ Friday night

Fred will be on Jessica McBride's show on WTMJ Friday night. Listen in to 620 am or tune it in over the internet.

(Corrected to read Friday night. ~Jib)

A note on solar

Tee Bee and Marcus are making my head spin with their multiple syllable words, so I'm not going to get in over my head here. I did want to point out this Slate article on solar power, particularly these little tidbits:
In the last two years, the price of polysilicon, the basic material for most panels that turn photons from the sun into electricity, has more than tripled because of voracious overseas demand. Polysilicon is made from silica, a mineral that's cheap but that must be refined and processed. If the new subsidies were delayed by a couple of years, there would be time for new polysilicon factories to come online, and the government and solar-eager homeowners would save a big chunk of money.
Solar panels will probably be at least 20 percent cheaper in two years, according to Scott Sklar, president of the Stella Group, a solar consulting firm.
Another reason to wait out the polysilicon price bubble is that the high prices are doing wonders for alternative solar-power technologies that use less polysilicon—or none at all. Several recent scientific advances have brought other materials to the efficiency levels of polysilicon. The competitor that's closest to market—some production has already started—is the thin-film photovoltaic cell. It uses an alloy of copper, indium, gallium, and diselenide instead of polysilicon, and it can be made on flexible rolls, which means that it's cheaper to produce than a polysilicon cell. Shell Solar, one of the biggest producers of photovoltaic cells, recently sold its polysilicon-cell business and bet its entire future on this new technology.
There ya go, that's my contribution to the discussion. Read the whole thing.

Re Solar Energy

The Emporer commands, I obey.

I have put in an inquiry to Stan and Iris Ovshinsky's company, ECD Ovonics, which produces Uni-Solar, the thin-film photovoltaic material that generates solar electricity - not simply though your roof, because it is your roof.

Iris and Stan Ovshinsky, second and third from left, holding a length of Uni- Solar.

I have asked for general pricing information and pricing for the more specific specs Marcus gave. I'll report back when I hear from ECD's sales division. I have also recommended to them that they participate in the Midwest Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, which will be in Custer, Wisc. from June 23 - 25.

I hold out hope that it will be significantly less expensive than the standard solar cells Marcus researched. From the company's description of the product:
Using our proprietary thin-film, vapor-deposited a-Si alloy materials, we have developed proprietary technology to reduce the materials cost in a solar cell. Because a-Si absorbs light more efficiently than its crystalline counterpart, the a-Si solar cell thickness can be 100 times less, thereby significantly reducing materials cost. By utilizing a flexible, stainless steel substrate and polymer-based encapsulants, PV products utilizing our technology can be very lightweight, flexible and abuse-tolerant. They do not break during shipping, are particularly easy to transport to remote rural areas, thus saving shipping costs, and can be installed without breakage.
The product will be longer lasting and cheaper to ship, both of which are considerable savings on any sort of system. ECD says the product is made with the "roll-to-roll manufacturing process" instead of the "-and-repeat batch process," which makes the product cheaper and more energy efficient to make. And Uni-Solar doesn't include cadmium like most products do, which isn't earth-friendly.


Solar Energy.

Yesterday Tee-Bee, a commentator, and myself were discussing emerging energy production technologies. This is the latest installment in that series. Tee-Bee in the last installment stated:
The thin-film photovoltaics material is exceptional. It looks like composite roofing material, doesn't quit working when it's punctured, and is being developed for mass-production. This would fulfill Bush's claim of turning homes into power generating stations.
This gets me excited.

Last summer I was looking into the costs and other considerations of rigging a house up so the net electric consumption from the power company was zero. Well, I performed some research and computations and discovered in our current digs we use about 3 units of electricity per month, and the cost of being able to generate 1 unit of soloar-electricity per month costs $8,000 to install. The subsequent units would undoubtedly cost less but not significantly less. So we are looking at about 24,000 to break even with our current consumption. In a new house we are likely to consume more electricity due to air-conditioning (which we currently do not have, and I will resist using. Big utility bills in the winter are enough). I can not reall the payback period but it was quite significant.

Now Tee-Bee, do you have any idea when the technology you are talking about will be available? Because, at $8,000/unit only the rich can afford solar-electricity.

I do believe rooftop solar panels will someday be feasible for domestic application but I am skeptical it will be enough to satisfy industrial demands.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

re Bush's visit to Milwaukee

tee bee's post might have been the smartest thing ever post on the BBA, but that would require me to understand what was written. ;-)

Election Night Results

The Northern District results are in.

live-blogged the Manitowoc County Executive race results. It will be Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc going up against Michael Thomas who is employed in the County Health office.

In Green Bay, the Howard-Suamico School District rejected a $17.8 M referendum...for the third time (No -2,159, Yes - 2065). So much for low turnout elections helping the educrats.

Others should be posting whatever election results they have from their neck of the woods throughout the night.

I hope.

Bucher for AG?

So what do we think of Paul Bucher's website,

Is this any way to launch a campaign for AG?

Given the spate of horrendously inept sentencing across the US, you bet it is.

A word of advice, Paul: Just don't have your opponent creating the website in the next election cycle.

re Bush's visit to Milwaukee

In Marcus' post, commentor Paul Noonan points out that solar power conversion is advancing significantly, though he projects a ten-year window of actuation.

In the Scientific American Frontiers series, Hydrogen Hopes, Stan and Iris Ovshinsky demonstrate several crucial breakthroughs: relying on the properties of disordered materials, the Ovshinskys have developed thin-film photovoltaics, nickle metal hydride batteries - one-third the size of regular batteries, rechargeable, and lead-free - and a solid hydrogen storage system.

Hydrogen must still be produced in order to be stored and used in engines, but there are possibilities to extract it in ways other than petroleum-generated, electrically driven plants. Iceland takes advantage of their vast geothermal reserves to make hydrogen available to its people.

The thin-film photovoltaics material is exceptional. It looks like composite roofing material, doesn't quit working when it's punctured, and is being developed for mass-production. This would fulfill Bush's claim of turning homes into power generating stations.

Paul also mentions the drive to reduce the space and heat generated by computer servers, another topic I wrote about breakthroughs in, back in November. Multicore CPUs like Sun System's Niagara are hitting the market, promising less equipment purchased and significantly lower energy outputs - 70 watts in contrast to current CPUs running on twice that.

My point wasn't to say "there's nothing to these claims of Bush's," it was to say, "Say it, already!" People need to begin to grasp these technologies if they are going to catch on, and if research is going to be extended.

re Bush's visit to Milwaukee

I am with the skeptics on energy breakthroughs.

I am guessing the breakthroughs are actually going to very incremental and evolutionary in nature rather revolutionary.

My guess is we are waiting for a random lab accident to turn up something unexpected in either solar, fusion, or both.

In re Bush's visit to Milwaukee

I anxiously await the "startling" breakthroughs the President claimed are in the waiting during the speech at Johnson Controls in Milwaukee, but you can put me solidly in the skeptical column. It looks more like our plan is to shift around how we use our energy rather than actually make any breakthroughs that redefine our energy sources. I may be completely wrong, but the new energy policy looks like it will be little more than a shell game unless there is a major increase in nuclear, wind farm, and more efficient solar panel electricity sources. Anybody have any thoughts to share on this matter?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Fight for the GOP in 2006

10. While the leadership of the Republican Party has drifted, there are real conservatives in the Republican Party fighting for change. The proper response to a party that has drifted is to fight for reform, not abandon it.

9. Republicans believe in the rule of law. They believe judges should interpret laws based upon the text and original intent of the statute or constitution. Democrats want judges who fight for their social agenda.

8. Republicans have made real progress in defending the sanctity of human life, and will continue to do so while in office.

7. Republicans have cut taxes nationally, and are working to do that in Wisconsin through the Taxpayer Protection Amendment.

6. The only party that will protect marriage is the Republican Party, plain and simple. Democrats, though they don’t like to say it too loudly, don’t believe man/woman marriage is the ideal.

5. We’re close, very close to a complete Republican takeover of government. We have not been able to pass our agenda in part because we do not have enough power. The U.S. Supreme Court is 1 vote away from being a conservative dominated Court. The U.S. Senate is 5 votes away from a filibuster proof majority. And we are about 9 months away from electing a Republican Governor in Wisconsin, giving us the ability to bring sweeping change here.

4. Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, and Chuck Schumer. You really want them running our government?

3. What good ideas to Democrats bring to the table? They are a powerless and visionless Party with no constructive agenda.

2. The GOP is our best and only hope for bringing conservative principles to bear on our government. If you want to see conservative principles more a part of our government, then you want to see more Republicans in office.

1. We can win! We really can. Don’t buy the media argument that this will be a Democratic year. Democrats have given the country no reason to turn to them. We can have a Republican governor of Wisconsin. We can have a more conservative Senate. We can and we must revive and enshrine conservative principles in our government.

More Anti-War Referendums

The Town of Newport, near Wisconsin Dells, will have some anti-war referendums of their own.

Different questions this time, though:

The first of the two resolutions reads, "Would you be in favor of the United States handing full operational command over Iraqi national security to the Iraqi government before the end of 2006?"

The second resolution reads, "In regard to its treatment of detainees captured in the global war on terror, should the United States government unconditionally guarantee its full and absolute compliance with the Geneva Convention?"
I dunno. Kinda ridiculous questions - who wouldn't say yes, if asked those?

But...if they pass, the anti-war folks will spin it as public opposition to the war.

Another touch of news: Jenna noted this story on Saturday - the Dane County GOP passed an anti-anti-war-referendum resolution, just like Sauk County did.

I think we've got a better chance of stopping it in Baraboo than they have in Madison, but they're gonna give it a go. And they've got a real nice website.

PJ PIckup #2!

I just checked my traffic count for the day and noticed it was going crazy. Why? Pajamas Media picked up my blog entitled Running Around Proxy Servers where I give instructions on how one can evade proxy server blacklists.

When I lived in the UAE there was one (and still is) ISP and that was the government ran telco company. Eventually they forced all subscribers to access the WWW via proxy server and they must have had a room of low paid people going through the proxy logs and inspecting the websites accessed. One could visit a "naughty" ;-) site once, twice, maybe thrice and then Etisalat (the govt monopoly telco) would pick up on it and block access to the site.

Well, I used my ISP account back here in Northeast Wisconsin, telnet, and Lynx to visit the barred site. Now, this is only really a solution for sites that are text rich. For example, Michelle Malkin's website that just found its way on to Etisalat's blacklist.

'On the Threshold' of 'Startling Breakthroughs'

Two of my favorite topics came together in Milwaukee today - President Bush and renewable energy.

While visiting hybrid battery maker Johnson Controls, the President noted that America (as well as many other nations) relies on foreign sources for the majority of its energy needs.

Some of these foreign suppliers have "unstable" governments that have fundamental differences with America, he said.

"It creates a national security issue and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us," Bush said.


"Our nation is on the threshold of new energy technology that I think will startle the American people," Bush said. "We're on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs breakthroughs all aimed at enhancing our national security and our economic security and the quality of life of the folks who live here in the United States."

Later Monday, Bush was visiting the United Solar Ovonics Plant, which makes solar panels, in Auburn Hills, Mich., outside Detroit. The company also works on hydrogen fuel cells to power autos.

Startle away!

Bush is clearly pushing hybrids (which don't get us off oil when they rely on fossil-fuel created electricity), solar power and ethanol. Ethanol has the limitation that we simply can't produce enough to replace anything like the percent we rely on from abroad.

Aside from a renewed committment to nuclear energy - which powers much of Europe - we will need some startling technologies, such as fuel cell engines.

My only question is why hint at it, but keep it under your hat?

Waukesha County Executive committee stalls

Mike over at Spring City is reporting that the Executive committee voted to table any action on down sizing the board till they get a ______________ wait for it_____________ a study done.

Wow what a government answer to a problem punt and then study the punt. To your humble taxpayer this just screams stall tactic and come on does anyone want to make a bet with me that the study will come back and say downsizing the board is a good idea? I would be surprised if the study didn't come back and say we need to increase the size of the board.

They put up their trial balloon of cutting 1 or 2 seats that crashed like a Led Zepplin. They know that idea will lead to bar fight with the taxpayers of this county. Right now I believe the count is 8 of 35 board members in favor of cutting the size of the board. So I don't trust any study that same board sponsors.

If Mr Dwyer thinks that this delay will cause us to lose focus he should go ask Mr Vrakas how long I can hold a grudge.

Have your little study we will be waiting here for you. Sooner or later you will have to vote up or down on this and then live with the results.


RE: Just a Thought...

But Comrade Kevin, we must defend the Motherland. Do you prefer to be a part of Pitchfork Pat's brigades?

Just a Thought...

Am I the only one here who has problems with being called "Comrade?"

Sounds too Soviet for my tastes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

RE: Maybe Comrades...

If the GOP mess around with the TPA we'll make them regret inviting webloggers to the state convention.

Yes, that's a threat from me. And I just dare the party to not credential me.

Navel gazing a universal habit

Bloggers are frequently accused of navel gazing when they comment on who just so happens to read them. Given that, it is nice to see that profesional columnists are not above navel gazing themselves. This is not to criticize Eugene Kane for pointing out that he is read by William Safire, but rather a note that bloggers aren't the only ones who do this. Eugene, Spice Boys, etc.: You're a lot more like us than you think or would like to admit.

Maybe Comrades we will need to expand the purge.

Owen is reporting that Gutless Old Party of Wis leadership is about to go wobbly on the Taxpayer Protection Act(TPA).

If the party sells us out on this one I believe it will time for the Glorious Guards Shock Army to expand its reach beyond Waukesha County.

Read the rest of the rant at SpottedHorse 2

one very pissed off taxpayer who is ready for a brawl.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

RE: Re: RE: Coronation

Then screw 'em all.

Where's Cheney with my gun?

Take that Bryant Gumble.;)

TURIN, Italy (AP) - Shani Davis became the first black to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history Saturday, capturing the men's 1,000-meter speedskating race.

Read the story here.


RE to Scott on the Racism jokes

First let me say I guess I owe Scott an apology for calling him a liberal(no one ever gets mad when you call them a conservative). I made the assumption based on where I found his blog and what he was saying. Wont happen again. Also I never said your blog said John Gard was a racist I used the word Implied right in the post title.

I am not whining I am just tired of the left calling all of us on the right Racist/Nazi et al. When there have been no actions by us to deserve that part. Read through every poster on this blog personal blog and show me one bit of racism. For that matter show me one action by GOP politicians in Wisconsin that would qualify as open overt racism. Once again trying to get children into what we feel are better schools isn't racist.

I will speak for myself but when it comes to Mr Feingold I never imply anything I think he is a turncoat a coward and a traitor and I come right out and say it. I also usually have an action by Russ that leads me to believe my beliefs are true. Its not because he is a Democrat or a Liberal that I call him those things, its his actions. You know the Reason I have never called Senator Kohl a turncoat a coward or a traitor? Because his action have never lead me to believe he is one. Do I like the way Mr Kohl votes in DC no but I don't place him in the same boat with Russ just because he is in the same party.

I could care less about the name calling call me a stupid wing nut all day you wont hear a word out of me. But until you can point to something done by the Conservatives which proves us to be racist I think the jokes and comments should stop. Do I think that will happen no but we don't have to sit and take it anymore. I will continue to point it out every time I see it.

As for painting liberals as weak on defense once again it goes back to actions. I believe it would be much easier to prove the Left is weak on defense then to prove the Right is all Racist.

But I would also like to thank you for leaving a comment that wasn't filled with f--k Y-u your racist _________ that was refreshing I reread the comment you didn't use the word hate once Thanks.


re: Another Liberal implies a GOP member is a Racist.


My first reaction is Yawn, but you are correct.

Ramesh Ponnuru in National Review talked about this topic a couple of years ago. His point was to encourage conservatives to reach out and pitch the conservative message to minorities.

This forces the left has to respond to the conservative message instead of demonizing conservatives. When minorities see the real difference then minority voting for leftists falls off. I don't know what sort of outreach goes on in Milwaukee, but think of it.

Without any outreach, minorities hear only one message that boils down to "vote for a conservative and be put back into slavery". If the conservatives start to reach out then the left has to respond to message of school choice for example, and that is a fight they lose.


Was all pumped to go skiing today but by the time we determined the temp was close enough to somewhat comfortable it was pretty much too late to make it worthe the hassle. Am up north and we bottomed out at something like -24° F last night. Tomorrow sounds like it will be better.

Another Liberal implies a GOP member is a Racist.

Seems to be the trend lately in the left side of the Wisconsin Blogosphere. I usually don't ready Liberal blogs but I have been trying to widen my horizons "Know your Enemy".

So I headed over to Belles blog and used her lefty blog roll as my map into the land of the left. And what do I find on the first post I clicked I end up over at amtal rule and this post about the our so/so victory over Gov. Doyle. What struck me was his "caption" for the photo.

"John Gard looks like he's thinking, "There goes the neighborhood."

Of course that is what is John is thinking because he is a white male and a member of the GOP by definition he is a racist. So we can make funny jokes implying he is a racist. Just like Xoff and his KKK jokes.

Once again I am sticking up for a man I don't support I don't care for John Gard or his brand of Republicism.

But I doubt there is one shed of proof that he is a racist. But the left always thinks its ok to paint us as Racist even though our actions say different.

I mean John Gard and the evil White Conservatives proved they were racist by fighting to put Black children in to schools they believe are better than the MPS schools. How much more prove do you need that they are racist and worth of all the Racist Jokes.

They will say but you call Russ Feingold Quisling or call Call Gov. Doyle Diamond Jim. Yes I do but I believe there actions prove my point. Senator Feingold is doing everything in his power to aid our enemies and Gov. Doyle has a few ethical issues at the moment no matter how Xoff wants to spin it.

I doubt anyone on the left could point to one real piece of proof of racism by the Right in Wisconsin. I mean real proof trying to get children out of failing MPS schools isn't racism. Hell if John Gard was the Racist that they implying he is, why would he fight for school choice? The Racist thing to do would be to leave all of those children in MPS, I can't think of a better way to guarantee those children no future then to make them go to MPS.

Or even worse we want to make people show an Id and prove who they are to vote. You cannot get more racist than that.

I understand that discourse across the political spectrum is dead in Wisconsin and I am very ok with that. But we cannot keep letting them paint us with the Racist/Nazi/Fascist brush anymore without calling them out on it.

They will say its only a joke we don't really mean it problem is they do mean it and we don't find the jokes funny anymore.



It's Cold...Darnit

Today's early weather update from the shores of Lake Michigan.

Temp: -11 Degrees. Wind Chill : -33 Degrees.

Re: RE: Coronation


The commenter told you how she voted. I'll tell you something else.

Like Gard, she's a co-sponsor of the bill.

Friday, February 17, 2006

RE: A Coronation

Despite raising the voucher caps he's going to have to do a lot to convince me to give a damn about him. With the way he's gung-ho on an ethanol mandate I worry what he'd do in Washington.

Of course I'm no where near his district so he probably doesn't give a damn about me.

P.S. What's McCormick's stance on ethanol?

Minnesota Copycats

Typical Minnesota. Jumping on a trend:
Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi is still trying to determine whether Minnesota could do well by holding a hockey game against Minnesota-Duluth next February inside the Metrodome. The game would in part be a fundraiser for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

If they do schedule the game I'm going. I want to see my UMD Bulldogs beat up on the Gophers. Of course I said I was going to the Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic until CPAC got in the way.

...a self-replicating monolith, too big to understand, too powerful to stop.

Admit it, that phrase makes you think of this:

You bunch of nerds.

No, no, no. This is about taxes, government, and the dismal inevitability of it all.

Click here for the rest.

Ryan for Budget Committee Chair?

OpinionJournal's Political Diary is free today, and all I can say is: Ooooooo.

We're hearing that Rep. Bill Thomas of California, who now holds the lofty position of Ways and Means Committee chairman, will make a run for Budget Committee chairman next year. Rep. Thomas, the economic czar of the House, is one of the craftiest of all Republicans and a man who has an encyclopedic knowledge of budget and tax issues. But he also has earned a reputation for heavy-handedness. Ways and Means Committee members grouse that his management style is 'dictatorial' and 'iron-fisted.'

A Thomas power play for the Budget Committee chairmanship is guaranteed to ruffle feathers. Conservatives favor one of the younger, more reform-minded members of the Republican caucus to run the committee. Two names being pushed by Republican Study Committee members are Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Jeb Henserling of Texas. The two are cosponsors of the Family Protection Budget Act that would repeal the 1974 Budget Act, restoring the line-item veto and putting spending restraint back in the budget process.

Posted: No Fishing

Steveegg posts on an article by James Clausen, former Gov. Tommy Thompson's administration secretary, about the stupidity of the DNR's proposal to limit piers to a three-foot depth, for boat use only (that means no diving, no fishing, no gazing into the murky shallows).

I can't begin to understand what they're thinking. I believe at one point a pier tax was part of the proposal, which at least revealed their motive.


RE: RE: RE: This Too is Very Illegal


I'm not arguing if what the Indians are doing currently is legal or illegal. I just wish there would be sport betting along with the other games. You may be right that what the Indians are doing now is illegal. If that's the case then they should be stopped. Obeying the law is important.

I'm not much of a gambling man, but I wish the compacts would have allowed full-blown Las Vegas-style casinos. We're close enough the way it is; we might as well go all the way. The libertarian in me doesn't mind gambling's expansion. Now, on that subject I'd like to hear other's opinions.

P.S. Blogger hated me yesterday so only now did I get this posted.

The Waukesha County Board is forgetting who they work for.

One thing that struck me while reading this MJS article about the battle to cut the number of County Supervisors was. The Board members would actually consider doing a minimal cut ie 2 seats to block the "People" they work for from cutting the number to 9. The nerve of these people, they are elected officials they do not sit on the County Board by "Divine Right". If enough of the VOTERS chose to lower the number to 9 where do the board members think they get the right to ignore that. Do they think we will go "Damn fine use of procedures and rules to stick it to the people you work for."

"Supervisor Patricia Haukohl of Brookfield, a member of the Executive Committee, said she might support moving to defuse the conflict by trimming just one or two supervisor seats."

Defuse the issue how stupid are you Ms.Haukohl. I hope you realize how much gas you and your comrades will be pouring on the fire if you do that.

When did these petty local officials forget they work for the people? And if the people think there should only be 9 seat where do they get off stopping that movement.

Throw All the Bums out.



Update: I would like to announce the return of the Glorious Red Shock Army

A Coronation.

That is essentially what we have going on here in the 8th District.

As you may be aware we have a primary contest among two Republican candidates for the open (left by Mark Green's campaign for governor) 8th District Representative seat.

Two candidates are running Terri McCormick who is currently the representative in Madison for the 56th Assembly District and John Gard who we all know is the speaker of the Assembly and represents the Peshtigo area in the State Assembly.

Mr. Gard has Mr. Green's endorsement already and apparently he has the blessing of the big guy President Bush or at least Vice President Cheney. You may or may not have heard that the VP is coming to the area to fundraise for Mr. Gard.

In fact, Rick Wiley at the RPW was asked (heard it on WHBY this morning) if the Party has essentially chosen a candidate, and he was very open about it. His answer was an emphatic YES.

Generally I have a natural disposition to root for the home team. Since The Empress and I live in the 56th district the home team is Terri. We are on a first name basis and I run into Terri every now and then at the store. In addition she made an appearance at a fundraiser (see also here for the pictures) I was part of putting on.

Anyway this coronation has me a little worked up. Usually the party refrains from endorsing primary candidates. Understood is the fact that individual members of the party can endorse who they want and no official word has come from any Republican body, but this is more than a set of individual endorsements.

I suppose. The Dems seem to be pouring a lot of resources into winning this seat, I guess the RNC is going to be concerned since this is part of their "home turf". What say you?