Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, March 30, 2007

Do I need to register to do this?

Hugh Hewitt, on campaign finance reform:

...the spontaneous speech that has long characterized American politics begins to erupt only to be tamped down by worries about registration, incorporation, reporting and safe harbors.
Sound familiar?

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Re: Althouse Rage

After the first little bit the video was boring. It was what's her face apologizing for giving offense.

In the commentary that follows one guys claims Ms. Althouse admitted to patterning her career after, you guessed it, Ann Coulter & Michelle Malkin.

Good grief, you are not 100% with the left then they consider you against them. I feel for Ms. Althouse, she is a sharp person and is not what at the best I consider her a fair & reasoned middle of the roader.


Keep your eye on the prize

This bugs me:

To underscore how tough things are for the GOP, Bill Pascoe, a Chicago-based Republican consultant with Urquhart Media, said "there are Republican consultants scouting state legislators for 2014. That's how far the long-range planning is going."

Why 2014? Because that would be the second midterm of a Democratic president.

The Politico feels this shows the GOP is expecting to lose in 2008 and 2012. But we should be scouting long-range all the time, regardless of our success or lack thereof in any other elected position. We should always be on the lookout for, potentially, the next big thing: these are the folks that turn into our Speakers and Paul Ryans and Mark Greens, our governors and committee chairs and faces of the party. Sitting back and waiting will never accomplish anything. So kudos to those consultants already scouting state legislators. They're actually doing their jobs.

'I am Spartacus'

As some of you may know, some nitwit has filed a complaint with the state Elections Board against Boots & Sabers for having a Blogs For Ziegler button on the blog.

Here's the button:

In an "I am Spartacus" moment, some BBA members have added the button to their blogs and effectively dared her to file a complaint as well.
Anyone else? BBA or non-BBA. Post 'em in the comments and I'll add you!

This is silly, but also a sign of how the Left plans on taking on the blogs under "campaign finance reform." We saw the taxers and spenders in Washington state shut down talk radio under campaign finance laws for opposing a tax hike referendum on the air by labeling it an "in-kind" contribution to a political campaign in violation of campaign finance laws.

Where do you think they are headed? The (Un)Fairness Doctrine to shut down talk radio and campaign finance "reform" to shut down the blogs.

If they get their way, we'll be reduced to recipe-swapping.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Re: Mercury?

Nice work, Jib! I've cross-posted the following:

I've said once or twice that I have concerns about the actual environmental impact of compact fluorescent light bulbs. In particular, I've noted that the bulbs contain mercury, which is definitely not something to be taken lightly!

Now, it would appear that actual scientists (in lab coats and everything) have caught up with me. They're questioning whether a safe disposal method can be made practical.
One problem with recycling is that it isn't cheap.

Larry Chalfan, executive director of the Zero Waste Alliance environmental group, said the value of the metal, glass and mercury reclaimed from recycling fails to offset the cost of the process. "Someone has to pay," he said.

Costs can range from 20 cents to 50 cents per bulb -- not a paltry sum when some CFLs sell for less than $2 at Wal-Mart.

But, compared with the overall lifecycle cost of buying and using a bulb, recycling would be less than 1 percent, said Paul Abernathy, executive director of the Association of Lighting & Mercury Recyclers, "a small price to keep the mercury out of the environment."
Alternatively, another way to keep mercury from CFLs out of the environment is to not buy them!
Another obstacle lies in the fragility of the bulbs and their mercury content.

"People who are going to accumulate these things from the public are going to have to address the fact that breakage will happen," Abernathy said. "There's the potential for contamination, and I think right now people are a little hesitant to volunteer to take on this liability."

The U.S. government has no single recycling plan in mind, said Matt Hale, director of the EPA's Office of Solid Waste.

Among the alternatives are special curbside collections by municipalities, mail-back programs by manufacturers and drop-off programs at various places, including retail stores that sell CFLs, he said.
Cool! A mail back program! How do I get my four-foot fluorescent tube into a letter sized envelope? Will it blend?

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Leadership for Milwaukee

Alderman Bob Donovan, Sheriff David Clarke and MPD Captain Glenn Frankovis (ret.) have teamed up to form a real plan to curb the violence on Milwaukee's streets. Do we in Milwaukee have the leadership in place to enact this plan, I fear not, but with the next election, I expect these three men to be a big part of our future.

Please stop in and read the report and pass it along to your friends in Milwaukee. We need to bring pressure on the current administration, or we will be forced to live through another long bloody summer.

We Have A Plan! Do we have the leadership to enact it?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mercury? In environmentally friendly compact flourescents?

This is currently one of the top stories on Yahoo.
There's an old joke about the number of people it takes to change a light bulb. But because the newer energy-efficient kinds contain tiny amounts of mercury, the hard part is getting rid of them when they burn out.

Mercury is poisonous, but it's also a necessary part of most compact fluorescent bulbs, the kind that environmentalists and some governments are pushing as a way to cut energy use.

With an estimated 150 million CFLs sold in the United States in 2006 and with Wal-Mart alone hoping to sell 100 million this year, some scientists and environmentalists are worried that most are ending up in garbage dumps.
U.S. regulators, manufacturers and environmentalists note that, because CFLs require less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, they reduce overall mercury in the atmosphere by cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants.

But some of the mercury emitted from landfills is in the form of vaporous methyl-mercury, which can get into the food chain more readily than inorganic elemental mercury released directly from a broken bulb or even coal-fired power plants, according to government scientist Steve Lindberg.

"Disposal of any mercury-contaminated material in landfills is absolutely alarming to me," said Lindberg, emeritus fellow of the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Interesting. But I think Aaron at Subject to Change was on to this quite a while ago.
The picture above is of flourescent light bulbs, the kind you buy to save energy. One reason you're supposed to save energy is to reduce power plant emissions. Emissions from coal power plants are known to contain small amounts of mercury.

So, follow me on this circular logic. In order to reduce mercury emissions at point sources, we spread the deadly chemical out across the map by placing it directly in your home?

At the power plant, emission controls remove the mercury from the plant exhaust. These controls are regulated, monitored, tested, and continually improved. In your home, do you have a mercury abatement expert? No? Surprise, it's you.
Which just goes to prove that if you read Aaron more, you'll be smarter and healthier.

Althouse Rage

You wouldn't know it from her posts but Ann Althouse is a Wisconsin weblogger. Thus I think I can get away with a post on her. Catch this video where she goes off on a (rather cute) Lefty writer over an off-hand breast comment.


It's like Althouse just took some crystal meth and let loose.

Let's hope Ann never gets near any gamma radiation. "Hulk smash!" would be nothing compared to Ann gone green.

I can't forget Althouse's response or I might make her angry. And I don't want to see her when she's angry.

Wisconsin Supreme Court

I met Judge Ziegler last night.

I also met Attorney Clifford last night.

I listened to them both speak...

Judge Ziegler kept things positive speaking of her philosophy, her vision and her experience.

Attorney Clifford spent a long time trying to convince me (and others) why her lack of time on the bench made her more qualified to be on the bench than someone who had been there, and then tried to make Judge Ziegler seem like the most unethical shrew on the face of the earth.

Judge Ziegler was clear, concise and upbeat.

Attorney Clifford was confusing, negative and depressing.

Attorney Clifford refused to answer questions regarding her being the first person to hire an investigator to slime their opponent, Judge Ziegler refused to answer allegations brought forth from that sliming.

I'll be voting Ziegler on April 3rd.

Join me?

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6 shootings last night in Milwaukee....

Crisis yet?

It scares me to think of what this summer will bring.

WEACy's Double Standard.

Was reading Fox Politics and came across the following:
As some of you may know, WEAC is among the state’s most powerful special interest groups. Earlier this year, the Madison-based teacher’s union came out against our proposal requiring voters to present a federal or state-issued photo ID card at the polls before being allowed to cast a ballot. Their rationale was that this requirement places an undue burden on the right of citizens to vote. One would assume their opposition to the Photo ID requirement would extend to their own union elections. Well, not necessarily.

According to WEAC’s own website: “Delegates to the 2007 WEAC Representative Assembly will be asked, for the first time, to bring photo identification. The photo ID will be required to register as a delegate, and again to vote in the WEAC elections.” [all empasis added] I guess what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. This bit of irony will definitely spice up the debate on the Photo ID bill when the proposal comes up for a vote on the Assembly floor on April 17.
(Source: Fox Politics Opinion piece by Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem)).

Those WEACy teachers!

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HR "Secret"

This man is doing my surname a horrible, horrible disservice:
In one of the more unusual proposals to emerge in the Senate debate on Iraq withdrawal, Sen. Mark Pryor wants to keep any plans for bringing troops home a secret.

The Arkansas Democrat is a key holdout on his party's proposal to approve $122 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while setting a goal of March 31, 2008, for winding up military operations in Iraq. Unlike the plan's Republican opponents, Pryor wants a withdrawal deadline of some kind. He just doesn't want anyone outside the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government to know what it is.

"My strong preference would be to have a classified plan and a classified timetable that should be shared with Congress," Pryor said yesterday. A public deadline would tip off the enemy, "who might just bide their time and wait for us to leave," he said. "Then you'd have chaos and mayhem and instability."

Pryor said a classified plan would be provided by the president, shepherded by Senate committees and ultimately shared with Congress and Iraqi leaders. He is confident that the plan would remain secret, because Congress is entrusted with secrets "all the time."
Everyone who believes Senator Pryor that Congress is good at keeping secrets, raise your hands.

That's what I thought.

Other than that fallacy, this seems suspiciously like a ploy for Democrats to pass one of their precious timetables without any flack from the public or press. I really don't like my elected representatives, in Washington to do work for me, keeping legislative secrets from me. It's a horrible precedent to set.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Special Poll

I'm taking a poll about this photo. Come see what it's about.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Re: It Seems a Bit Counter-Productive

And those going after these guys then wonder why we have Wal Marts and mega stores popping up all over the place? Sheesh.

It Seems a Bit Counter-Productive

The state is going after a couple of guys who are making biodiesel fuel, because they haven't paid taxes (and fees) on the fuel.

I had some thoughts on this one. I figured I'd bring it to the BBA, because everyone's going to want to chime in on this gem.

Idiotic doesn't even begin to describe it.

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Re: Nail in Milwaukee's coffin?

There are many of us out here in Southern Wisconsin that will choose to spend a weekend in downtown Chicago over anywhere in Milwaukee. There are many of us outside of southern Wisconsin that will gladly choose to spend a weekend in Minneapolis over Milwaukee. In many ways, Milwaukee's problems are closing in on the city, and nobody within the city's leadership seems willing or courageous enough to reverse it.

I have to say I myself would rather spend my big-city time in Chicago as well. In addition, my experiences visiting the Twin Cities are more favorable than my visits to Milwaukee.

I go to Milwaukee on occasion for work and to ball games but that is about it.

Re: Wisconsin Blog Summit 2007--Are you going?


Seems I have barely enough time for a weekly blog post on Blogger Beer. As summer gets closer and closer I will be even more pinched for time.

Nail in Milwaukee's coffin?

Patrick discusses a Mike Nichols column on the effect of the Huggins murder on Milwaukee. The question that hovers is an interesting one. Was the Huggins murder a nail in Milwaukee's coffin? I hate to say it, but once you move outside of Milwaukee's suburbs, that coffin was nailed shut long ago for many Wisconsinites. There are many of us out here in the 'ex-urbs' of both Madison and Milwaukee that routinely chose to visit Madison over Milwaukee. There are many of us out here in Southern Wisconsin that will choose to spend a weekend in downtown Chicago over anywhere in Milwaukee. There are many of us outside of southern Wisconsin that will gladly choose to spend a weekend in Minneapolis over Milwaukee. In many ways, Milwaukee's problems are closing in on the city, and nobody within the city's leadership seems willing or courageous enough to reverse it.


Wisconsin Blog Summit 2007--Are you going?

The Blog Summit 2007 is coming up on April 28, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure how excited I am about attending. Originally, I had a built in excuse-I was going to be on an international flight at that time and I wasn't overly disappointed about it. Plans change, though, and now I have the 28th open. So I'd like to ask a favor of everyone, be you a BBA member, a Wisconsin blogger across the poltical spectrum, a Wisconsin blog reader, or a member of the Wisconsin media: In the comments to this post, let me know if you plan on going to the summit or not, and why. I'll tell you my tentative plans right here. I think I'll probably go, but I'll be going for the opportunity to mingle. I don't think I expect much out of the summit itself.

Re: Crappy Coverage

Could it be that many people in the MSM don't want to dig too deep in the areas of experience and judicial philosophy? Or is it just the MSM being lazy again by regurgitating what Clifford's PI hands them and using the race to push for their favorite causes?

Owen, I have to agree with your last comment. Points 2 & 3 are often held up as reasons to muzzle freedom of speech and if ordinary (and even not so ordinary) groups are muzzled then the MSM becomes even more powerful. So, why not in this race?

Point 1 is just their natural political convictions.

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Crappy Coverage

I've noticed something about the MSM coverage of the Supreme Court race. They are really only running three stories:

1) Ziegler is corrupt.

2) There's too much independent money in the race.

3) The race is nasty.

What I see missing is any real coverage of the two candidates, their histories, their judicial philosophies, and their comments that may indicate how they will behave on the court. There have been a few mentions, but they are usually buried in some other stories.

Could it be that many people in the MSM don't want to dig too deep in the areas of experience and judicial philosophy? Or is it just the MSM being lazy again by regurgitating what Clifford's PI hands them and using the race to push for their favorite causes?

Speaking of the Verdict

On Steven Avery.

My take is the verdict is it is the correct one. Yeah the not-guilty on the mutilation charge seems nonsensical but who knows. Remember we are dealing with the legal system here with its extreme attention to niggling detail. Also, as is rampantly speculated there could have been some jury nullification. Most experts have speculated about "charge trading", but the important charge was the first degree intentional homicide.

The defense utilized a very prosecutorial approach. They tried to prosecute the investigators. IIRC the defenses opening statement included a comment along the lines of Steven Avery and the investigators had one thing in common and that was neither killed Ms. Halbach. That is, they investigators found the body, car, etc and then planted it all. I think that was lame-lame-lame. The only real fact supporting the defense's case was motive.

Steven had no real motive to kill Ms. Halbach and the county did have motive to go after Mr. Avery. I heard some talk about if there was a frame-up, it was done by his family because he was hurting the business, but even that seems outlandish.

Of course, many people try to wonder why would he do such a thing or did not do a better job of hiding it. After all, he was in jail, or he should have known he would be a chief suspect, if he did it he would have done a better job of hiding the evidence etc. Too clever by half. Remember, Steven Avery even prior to the false imprisonment was one of the usual suspects. Is it considered recidivism even if you were in jail for something you didn't do?

One last note. Do not vent on the Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP). Steven did not commit the rape he was accused of. In fact, comparing the recidivism of those sprung by the WIP to the general prison population supports the work of the WIP.


Most People

Are satisfied with the Steven Avery verdict. However, here is one blogger who is not.

For the most part it seems to be so much straw grasping.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Noble Savagery

Michelle Malkin picks up on a Manhattan couple trying to minimize their environmental impact.

Michelle passes on the following from the Q&A section of the couple's website:
Have you considered the climate/waste/energy input associated with eating diary?

Please don’t try to make us give up our milk and cheese and homemade yogurt. I’m begging you. Since we’re eating only unpackaged local and seasonal food, that would pretty much leave us with nothing but apples a la cabbage and cabbage a la apples. Besides, we buy our milk from the local Ronnybrook Farms, where the cows are fed grass and homegrown corn.

I think I have found a mission! Apparently the motive is to write a book on the experience. Of course, those who worship the Goracle will buy it. Could we possibly bully this couple into giving up dairy? Don't worry they don't consume WI dairy products. However, come to think of it, it is mass production dairying that allows them their "pure" dairy.

This is real interesting. My mother has been sending me notes from our ancestors who took up residence in Door County. These notes relate writings for some historical society. The privation was real back then:
One winter there was no sugar, tea, or coffee to be had. But up to a couple of hundred years ago those articles were totally unknown, at least in Europe. Charred bread was used as a substitute for coffee (at least it was black) and hemlock leaves for tea. If you think those were palatable drinks just try them. In spring when maple sap began to run everyone made maple syrup and sugar, and a too generous indulgence in those sweets, after so long an abstinence, caused many to become ill.

Organic food and experiments like the above are nothing but romanticized noble savagery. Read Michelle's blog, there is even a highlighted Q&A about environmentally friendly feminine hygiene.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

GPL Podcast #43

Unfortunately, Jenna couldn't make it for this week's podcast. I talked with Kevin of Lakeshore Laments about the Steven Avery trial. Then, we talked about Kevin's future in Washington DC.

Listen Here. (55 minutes)

Thanks, Jib, for letting me cross post!

Good luck, Kevin!


RE: War bill hikes special spending

Not to promote myself but to promote myself I have a post with some of the outrageous pork in the Iraq emergency funding bill with links to the page in the legislation.

Well my brackets just went straight to...

...oh, never mind. Can't say that on a family blog.

Texas A&M lost to Memphis by one point, despite my having chosen them to make the championship game. Feh. And seven of my elite eight were still alive this morning.

I blame Owen and Jed.

Related thought: is it too much to ask that some of these games not come down to the last second? My blood pressure can't take many more of these.

A bumper sticker I saw today:

It was just one of those "A Fair Wisconsin Votes No" stickers, opposing the Marriage Amendment from last November. If you're ever in Madison, you've seen them plenty of times.

But this one was placed over one of those square "Tammy Baldwin for Congress" stickers. Thought that was odd.

I really want to draw some meaningful observation from that. I just wish I could think what it might be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stick it to 'em!

Anybody else see this on WisPolitics' Budget Blog?

Decker: If Tax Dies, Hospitals Should Suffer Consequences

Committee co-chair Sen. Decker said he can't understand why anyone would be opposed to the governor's plan to capture more federal medical assistance dollars through the assessment of a 1 percent tax on gross hospital revenues.

If the tax doesn't make it into the final bill, Decker said hospitals should suffer the consequences.

"If hospitals muster enough votes to kill it, I don't think we should give them any increase (in MA reimbursements) because they brought it on themselves," said the Weston Democrat.
Those eeeeeeeeeevil hospitals!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

War bill hikes special spending

This disgusts me:

House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for lawmakers' pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.

So far, the projects -- which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia -- have had little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.

But at least a few Republicans and conservative Democrats who otherwise would vote "no" remain undecided, as they ponder whether they can leave on the table millions of dollars for constituents by opposing the $124 billion war funding bill due for a vote on Thursday.
The Democrats are using elected officials' ravenous appetite for pork to coerce them into voting for a politically-motivated war funding bill, which apparently can't pass on the timeline's own merits. Disgusting.

ADDED: One candidate has put together a short list here.

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Help Me Be Carbon Neutral

I’ve been bad, very very bad. I haven’t been able to sleep at night. You see I drive a huge Cadillac with a 8 Cylinder Northstar engine. I also at times exceed the speed limit. I’m lucky to get 10-12 miles per gallon of gas, premium no less. My contribution of CO2 into the atmosphere equates to around 31 metric tons. I need your help in becoming Carbon neutral. I need to become a part of the $22 Billion dollar global carbon trading market. I know there are skeptics who say carbon neutrality is a scientific farce. I know there are those who say it is simply a way for the limousine liberals and Hollywood elites to live guilt free for flying their Lear Jets all over the world. I know that European economists are saying that the European Trading Scheme will collapse and is unsustainable. I know that dozens and dozens of countries have been buying billions of dollars worth of carbon credits costing families their hard earned cash. But I want to feel good. I want to sleep at night. And you can help me.

I am going to replace my Cadillac with a more fuel efficient vehicle. I was thinking maybe a Volkswagen or some similar small vehicle. Since my hard earned money is tied up in other endeavors, mortgage, family, retirement investment, etc… I need to raise some money for the purchase of a new and efficient vehicle. After the purchase I will be selling the Cadillac one E-Bay and donating the money to some environmental cause. So I am offering for sale, some Personal Carbon Credits! Each PCC "Carbon Credit" represent one metric ton (2207 pounds) of CO2 removed, or reduced from CO2 producing processes. For most of us, daily activities that create personal CO2 emissions include driving a gasoline or diesel car, consuming electricity from fossil-fueled utilities, burning natural gas to heat our homes, and flying in jet aircraft. Small businesses create CO2 by cooking, heating, or cooling processes.

Every gallon of gasoline, diesel or jet fuel consumed in a car, truck or airplane creates about 20 pounds of CO2, which is all released into the atmosphere - 110 gallons, equivalent to 1-2 months worth of (typical) auto driving, adds one metric ton of CO2 to earth's atmosphere. Calculated at a price of $9.90 per metric ton of CO2, that adds a mere cost of 9 cents per gallon to make your car a Net-Zero Carbon Source. This cost is less than 10% of the taxes that you already pay as part of your gasoline purchase for Federal and State Highway programs, and EPA enforcement. Eight PCC credits is a good start towards making your car a Net-Zero Carbon Source for an entire year.

I know you are all feeling guilty, but for a mere $9.90 for each PPC credit, you can sleep at night, help the environment, and most importantly, help me feel good about myself. You may as well get used to it as in the not too distant future it will become law. So click the Paypal Button and I will send you a PPC credit good for 1 metric ton of carbon.

Chris @ OnTheBorderLine

Pigging Out

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

More pigs feeding at the public trough.

The Milwaukee Journal’s new investigative bureau has committed what The Blogfather commonly refers to as a flagrant act of journalism.

Public employees from street sweepers to school superintendents in the Milwaukee area receive a retirement perk not commonly seen: the ability to cash out unused sick days as straight cash, in one case to the tune of nearly $70,000.

A Journal Sentinel review of 67 Milwaukee area municipalities and school districts found that 36 of them allow employees to take cash payouts for unused sick days, subject to a cap.

Nine more allow employees to convert unused sick days toward retirement health insurance coverage, a perk many state employees, including lawmakers, also get. The remaining 22 districts and municipalities reviewed do not allow a payout.

A Journal Sentinel investigation starting in late 2006 found that state elected officials rarely claim sick days, then parlay the unused days into generous insurance benefits in retirement. A team of reporters checked with local officials from Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee and Racine counties to see if the same kind of benefits occur locally. They generally don’t. But reporters found that workers are able to take advantage of unused sick leave by receiving cash payouts at the end of their careers.

Nice work if you can get it. In the real world, namely the private sector, the few times I’ve had sick days available, I had to use them within a specified period of time or they couldn’t be claimed, let alone converted to cash.

Get a load of this guy:

[O]ne official - Menomonee Falls Village Manager Richard Farrenkopf - was able to cash out at nearly $70,000.

Farrenkopf was owed $69,060 cash for unused sick days when he retired earlier this year. His payout was negotiated in a contract he had struck with the village, which capped his maximum sick days at 250. For other Menomonee Falls employees, the benefit is capped at 110 days.

$70,000. Seventy thousand dollars. I am sick and tired of hearing about how underpaid and under-compensated our public officials and other leeches on the public payroll are.

This guy gets a job which no doubt doesn’t require him to even work a regular work week — wanna bet you couldn’t find him in his office on a Friday afternoon? — plus all the other perks, like “conferences” in convenient vacation places with warm weather, lots of golf, fishing, etc. All paid for by you.

Then, when he’s done, in addition to the generous pension and retirement benefits, he backs up the Brink’s truck and rips off the taxpayers for $70,000 more off the gravy train.

Here’s more:

  • Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent William Andrekopoulos, who now qualifies for a sick leave cash payout of $26,365. That’s his cash severance for 40 days of unused sick time. He actually has accumulated 150 days of sick leave, but MPS policy caps his benefit at 40 days.
  • West Bend Administrator Dennis Melvin, who has accumulated $21,400 for 60 days of unused sick time. He actually has saved 120 sick days, but he can collect for no more than 60. If he retires from the city, the money can be used to buy city health insurance, but he can also just take the cash.
  • Chenequa Police Chief/Administrator Robert Douglas, who has accumulated a cash benefit of $41,299, which equals 120 days of his pay. Although Douglas has accumulated more than 120 unused sick days, Chenequa, a tiny but wealthy lake community in Waukesha County, limits the payout to no more than 120 days.
  • Brown Deer Village Manager Russell Van Gompel, who has accumulated a benefit of $24,738. The community has a cap of 75 days, and an employee must have worked for the village for 15 years for the benefit to kick in.

Of course, a thug from the public employees union — speaking of bloodsucking leeches — defends the practice.

“It fosters careful use of sick leave,” said Robert Chybowski, executive director of AFSCME Wisconsin Council 40. “Managers have judged it as a good way to foster the use of sick leave, because employees knew that somewhere down the line they would be able to get something out of it if they didn’t use sick leave during their careers.”

No it doesn’t. It just gives a bunch of lazy, underworked, overpaid goldbricks another generous apportionment of our money.

Ever wonder why taxes are so high in this state? It’s because of the perceived need to take care of the public sector at all levels. They can live high off the hog while the rest of us are stuck with the tab.

The public gravy train just keeps rolling on. But we can’t cut one iota of spending. No sir. Not for taking care of those feeding at the public trough.

Heeeere piggy piggy…. sooooeeeeee!

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the light

We all complain about Milwaukee, Madison, state government/taxes, and the state business environment, but at least we aren't Michigan. Things have gotten so bad in Detroit that housing is selling at auction for less than the price of a car.

Steve Izairi, 32, who re-financed his own house in suburban Dearborn and sold his restaurant to begin buying rental properties in Detroit two years, was concerned that houses he thought were bargains at $70,000 two years ago were now selling for just $35,000.

At least 16 Detroit houses up for sale on Sunday sold for $30,000 or less.

A boarded-up bungalow on the city's west side brought $1,300. A four-bedroom house near the original Motown recording studio sold for $7,000.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

PC Three Little Pigs

The surrender of Europistan to Islam just continues unabated.

Lowell Ponte reports that in England, The Three Little Pigs has been changed to The Three Little Puppies to avoid being offensive to Muslims.

In England, the London Daily Mail on Thursday reported that one school is teaching 10-year-olds a new version of "The Three Little Pigs," a tale its politically correct, culturally stupid educrats have re-written as "The Three Little Puppies" to avoid giving offense to Muslims.

This is odd for several reasons. No Muslim complained or sought changes in such classroom references to pigs.

This on the heels of British banks banning piggy banks for fear Muslims might be offended.

In his book "America Alone," Mark Steyn calls this "creeping Sharia," or the imposition of Islamic law on Western civilization and culture.

Ponte concludes:
Chances are that the school's academics are liberals who feel guilty for centuries of British cultural, as well as economic, imperialism. For reasons of inclusiveness, ideology, and guilt, they probably want to correct England's historic wrong by dismantling Western culture, even in petty ways. But, ironically, these English educrats may have caused more offense than they prevented ...

Given that these educrats were trying to be politically correct, it's safe to assume that they are ignorant of history and culture — other people's and their own. By definition, to be a modern liberal is to be either a knave or a fool.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Battle Over Green's Campaign Cash Over

Mark Green settled with the State Elections board over his disputed $467,844:
The state Elections Board reached an agreement today with former U.S. Rep. Mark Green, settling a long-running dispute over $467,844 he wanted to use in his failed run for governor.

Under the agreement, the Republican from Green Bay cannot use the money to fund a future run for office, but can give it to other campaigns and charities and use it to pay off his legal bills.

Green must dispose of all the money by the end of 2009.
By the looks of it Green isn't considering another run for governor. If he did he'd try to keep the money to have an advantage over front-runner Scott Walker.

But with that load of cash Green can be a power player should he spread it around to other candidates. Walker maybe?

Green could set up a public policy organization or help fund the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute or the local branch of Americans for Prosperity.

What is Green up to? What's Green's future? Did he get the best deal he could?

Feingold calls Somalia a model for Iraq

Via Townhall's Matt Lewis (emphasis in original):

Senator Feingold said this yesterday:

“Now, for those who won’t believe that [cutting off funding] has ever been done or that it can't -- or they'd say – it can't be done, let me cite an example from not that long ago. On October 1993, Congress enacted an amendment sponsored by the senior senator from West Virginia cutting off funding – cutting of funding – for military operations in Somalia effective march 31, 1994.”

-- SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI) 03/15/07, Congressional Record
But does he remember this?

BIN LADEN: “We believe that the defeat of America is possible, with the help of God, and is even easier for us, God permitting, than the defeat of the Soviet Union was before.”

Q: “How can you explain that?”

BIN LADEN: We experienced the Americans through our brothers who went into combat against them in Somalia, for example. We found they had no power worthy of mention. There was a huge aura over America -- the United States -- that terrified people even before they entered combat. Our brothers who were here in Afghanistan tested them, and together with some of the mujahedeen in Somalia, God granted them victory. America exited dragging its tails in failure, defeat, and ruin, caring for nothing. America left faster than anyone expected. It forgot all that tremendous media fanfare about the new world order, that it is the master of that order, and that it does whatever it wants. It forgot all of these propositions, gathered up its army, and withdrew in defeat, thanks be to God.”


Dreyfus on the smoking tax

Former Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, making some sense on Governor Doyle's cigarette tax:

I see a much larger issue involved here; namely, the use of the power of taxation by the government to control a personal behavior and to attempt to put a business out of existence.
Read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fun Facts about Wisconsin

Found this over at IMAO today.

My favorites:

Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells is America's largest waterpark, and is also Wisconsin's only non-alcoholic fluid-related attraction.

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin. It was started as an attempt to replace the Whig party, which self-destructed after candidate Millard Fillmore completely discredited himself by making a bizarre screaming sound at the end of a campaign speech in 1852.

The town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, was established in 1874 in an effort to allow people from Wisconsin the opportunity to win back the bar bets they lost against people from New Mexico who challenged them to spell Albuquerque.
Writen by Harvey, who has his own blog at Bad Example, which is an accurate description, so be careful if you click over there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kevin goes to Washington

Congratulations, Kevin!

Who knew I had such ‘mad phone-interviewing skillz?”

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that we are in the final days, if not weeks, of Lakeshore Laments. (At least this incarnation…)

I have accepted a position out in Washington, DC and as part of the terms of that employment, I will have to end posting on the blog here.

Good luck to you, and we'll miss Lakeshore Laments in the Cheese-o-sphere. You'll have to remind me of what Section 3, Clause 32, Subsection AA of the BBA Charter reads, though. I think I was taking a brewery tour when it was written.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Re: Rach

All I know about Rachmaninov I learned watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The original, with Gene Wilder.

Re: Rach On!

In response to my Rach On blog Music Fan notes:
I myself like Rachmaninoff, but I find interesting your comment about composition in the last 100 years. I mean, you're pigeonholing Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Bartok, Britten, Ravel, Bernstein, Copland, Prokofiev, not to mention Berg, Schoenberg, Glass, Cage, Elliot Carter, and numerous others into one category of generally writing slow and heavy and ponderous music.
(from: Music Fan's comment)

Yeah I know I am lumping together a lot of music and am just of late getting to delve into more recently composed music. I have obtained some works composed in this century. Even the peppy ones are not a snack but a full twelve course dinner. The overall (general) trend in music from the baroque through today is fewer but grander and heavier compositions. Bach & Vivaldi (BTW I do agree with your comment on Vivaldi, but a person new to classical music is not going to know that) composed numerous pieces. The BWV catalog of JS Bach's work contains 1,127 entries. Mozart's K catalog contains 626 entries. Beethoven only published 135 works in his lifetime. However, as time marches on the composers create grander and longer works.

Many a Vivaldi concerto start & finish in five minutes. A Mozart piano concerto is about 24 minutes, and the #3 which I discuss previously goes about 45 minutes.

20th Century music, in my opinion, is rarely slow or ponderous. That sort of went out of style with Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Wagner, Bruckner, and the rest of the late Romantics.
(source: Ibid)

Ahhhh, pin the tail on the villain! I agree with your attributing what I refer to as being associated with Tchaikovsky. I also have some works by Bruch to add in there. I would guess its fair to say Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky (PIT) started the trend. He negated the typical tempos of symphonys from fast-fast-slow-fast to slow-slow-fast-slow (e.g. PIT's sixth, admittedly this is the only symphony from PIT I have listened to but it is his most famous). My Bruch CD consists of mostly slow music and the one movement that is fast (I have not spent much time listening to his 1st violin concerto just the Scottish Fantasy).

Perhaps that is the problem. When I hear a slow ponderous piece I mix up the composer's time frame, because as you note many of them come from the border of the late romantic period and the 20th century.

I don't know much about your music collection or your background, but given your blanket statement about the 20th Century, perhaps I might offer a few suggestions for you to take or leave? They should all be available at a public library or through interlibrary loan. You might like some and hate others but I assure you that none are slow or ponderous. All would be well worth your time.
(source: Ibid)

Thank you.

My collection is primarily from the classical (time) period, yes WA Mozart (some Beethoven whom I consider to be the transition between classical & romantic music). Then I would guess its even between baroque (Handel, Vivaldi, and JS Bach) & romantic music (Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaichovsky, Bruch, Mendelsohn, Berlioz). With some 20th century music. Holst's The Planets, Ravel's Bolero, Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Kronos Quartet's Winter Was Hard (with Samuel Barber's famous string adagio). I have some Gershwin and Bernstein as well (Ives too).

I first started collecting classical music in response to an advertisement for the International Preview Society (IPS) in Discover Magazine. The IPS was a standard record/book club get a bunch for next to nothing and buy so many in the next 1-2-or-3 years.



Ok, admit it, everyone here has CCAP'd their boss at some point or another.

Free and open access to circuit court access records is one thing this state does right.

Not any more.

Check this out from the Guv's proposed budget... This bill authorizes the Director of State Courts to establish and collect fees for use of the circuit court automated information systems.

Yep, a dreaded user fee just to search the public data base.

Is there anything this man will not tax?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

He lost the race five years ago

Stuart Rothenberg seems amazed that conservatives and Republicans aren't rallying around Senator John McCain's campaign for president.

I've got four letters for him: BCRA.

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Rach On!

I am a fan of classical music. In fact, I listen to little pop music whether modern or old. I have listened to classical music since I was young and the introduction was – The Star Wars soundtrack and the soundtrack to Rocky bordered on the classical.

While working at home (at my computer whether its monkey business or serious) I listen to WCPE via internet stream. Of course, during mid-day I listen to Rush via KFI (a LA radio station) again by internet stream.

Well, when Rush is over I switch back to WCPE (while I have no problem with Dr. Laura it gets old clueless people calling her and Dr. Laura giving sensible if frankly given advice, remember these people need the brutal truth and they are not hoping for the truth anyway...). Well just about five minutes ago Rachmoninoff's third piano concerto in D minor started up. Its a long one, three movements (as are most concertos) spanning about 45 minutes or so. I have recordings of his #s 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, it was the #3 that motivated me to purchase the set and it is the #3 I find myself listening to most of the time.

A problem with modern classical music (anything written in the last 100 years) is it is often slow and ponderous. Massive string sections that quite frankly makes one feel like they are in an elevator (however, elevator music is often pop tunes arranged for strings). While the #3 contains such sections there is much fire to this piece. The first movement is not a bore and the third is speaker & amp wrecker. The middle movement fits the stereotype but in this case we expect that. (the middle movement of concertos can be expected to be slow) and so I have little problem.

The third movement is the main fire of this work. As I said above it is very capable of doing serious damage to stereo equipment. In fact, the third movement seems like it is a concerto in itself. The first 1/3 of the piece is up-tempo, the middle 1/3 slow, and the last third up-tempo again.

I was listening to the third the other weekend at Indianhead and the third movement inspired myself to ski tighter to the fall line despite the fact the run was powder, crud, and bumps.

Still, Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto is something I would probably hesitate to start first time classical music listeners off with. I would start off with some good old Vivaldi concertos many of which move very quickly, are short, and light. Of course, as I mentioned earlier the Star Wars soundtracks are classical and most people I know respond very positively to that music.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hillary: I'm the new JFK


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked the campaign of the nation's lone Catholic president, John Kennedy, last night as she talked about her challenge in becoming the first female commander-in-chief.

"He was smart, he was dynamic, he was inspiring and he was Catholic. A lot of people back then [1960] said, 'America will never elect a Catholic as president,' " the White House hopeful told the New Hampshire Democrats' 100 Club fund-raiser here.

"But those who gathered here almost a half century ago knew better," she said. "They believed America was bigger than that and Americans would give Sen. John F. Kennedy a fair shake, and the rest, as they say, is history."

The only possible response is: Click for audio.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

RE: $630 per individual & $1260 per family

That's great work Kathy, but let's put these numbers in things the average Wisconsin Democrat can understand.

That would be 2520 glasses of milk at Herb Kohl's milk stand at State Fair for the average individual in Wisconsin, and 5040 glasses of milk per family.

Because it's just not in DPW's head until you're knee deep in Herb Kohl's milk...

$630 per individual & $1260 per family

$630 is the average amount of tax and fee increases that Governor Doyle and the Democrats are proposing, for each and every taxpayer in the state of Wisconsin. Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This got me to thinking about the affect on a average family of four with two working parents. Since there are two taxpaying citizens in most average families, the total cost per year now doubles to $1260 per year.

Here is a list of reastic items that a family of 4 spends $1260 a year on.

$1260= 2880 glasses (16 oz.) of milk

$1260= 540 gallons of gas (today’s price of $2.50 per gallon)

540 gallons of gas = 15120 miles (30mpg)

$1260= about 3 months worth of family medical insurance payments

$1260= 1482 loaves of wheat bread (.85ea)

$1260= 560 jars of peanut butter

$1260= 42 pairs of shoes ($30 per pair)

$1260= 84 Packer T-shirts ($15 per shirt)

$1260= about 4 vacation days for a family @ Wisconsin Dells


The average family of 4 will have to decide what they plan on sacrificing in order to cover for the Democrat's tax and fee increases.

Crossposted @ Stepping Right Up!

BuySeasons avoids the "Toxic" business climate of Milwaukee

I want to pass along the reaction of a Wisconsin businessman, to the decision of BuySeasons to expand in Waukesha County, instead of in Milwaukee's Menomonee Vally as they had hoped to do. This plan would have brought the companies headquarters and several hundred jobs to within easy reach of the people in Milwaukee that most need the jobs in our inner city neighborhoods. But some of Milwaukee's political leadership, like Congresswomen Gwen Moore, and Aldermen Bauman and Donovan stood in the way, saying that these $9 to $16 an hour jobs weren't good enough.

Here is the reaction of Bruce J Redenz of AMEA Accredited Machinery & Equipment Appraiser. Madison Tool, Incorporated:
I have some news for Alders Bauman and Donovan: The way a city recoups its development dollars after putting together a commerce park is by collecting property tax revenues from the companies that develop the improved properties.

Well, here’s 360,000 square feet of tax revenue that the City of Milwaukee won’t be getting its dirty hands on…

Tell me precisely how many “non-fad” or “real” businesses Alders Bauman and Donovan have started from nothing. How many people do their companies employ again?

Oh let’s see here: The only reference to business ownership on either of their bios, according to the City of Milwaukee website is a claim that Bauman was once “President of the Milwaukee Rail Car Corporation”, a company that, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions was “administratively dissolved” in 1993. (Ummm, that’s 14 years ago, right?)

Bauman’s comments in particular were nothing less than libelous, and as a business owner for over 11 years, of a company that hasn’t ever been “administratively dissolved” I hope Mr. Jalem Getz considers bringing suit against Bauman in civil court for defamation. It’s very difficult in court to prove defamation per say. A published story in the Journal/Sentinel ought to help his case substantially.

Bruce also included a copy of the press release from BuySeasons announcing it's decision to expand in New Berlin. They also expressed their opinion of Milwaukee's political environment, calling it toxic.
While a toxic political environment in Milwaukee prevented us from relocating to the Menomonee Valley, it was the outpouring of support from the public and surrounding areas which reminded us the vast majority of Wisconsin is a great place for a business like ours.

As a reminder, Alderman Bob Bauman said:
Ald. Robert Bauman, who opposed the land sale, said Milwaukee is running short of land available for industrial use and should better protect that “scarce resource.” He questioned the long-term sustainability of BuySeasons, calling it “a fad business.”

This "fad business" has received several awards from the likes of the MMAC, The Business Journal, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and others. They have 175 full time employees earning an average of $11.55 an hour and are expecting to grow that by 30-40% over the next three years. They also hire several hundred seasonal employees in the $9 to $16 range.
Ald. Willie Wade, said BuySeasons will bring hundreds of jobs to the valley site. Those include entry-level seasonal jobs, which Wade said are badly needed for central city residents who lack basic job skills.

One last thing
One last thing here, I would like to ask Bob Bauman, Gwen Moore and the others that opposed this expansion in the wasteland of the Menomonee Vally, where are those "better jobs" you wanted? When will they begin employing Milwaukee's inner city residents that desperately need jobs?

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Could somebody get me a beer?

How did this not happen in Wisconsin?

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle.
Sounds like a loser. But wait!

It took the 22-year-old Cornwell about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge common to many college dorm rooms into the beer-tossing contraption, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its magazine before needing a reload.

With a click of the remote, fashioned from a car's keyless entry device, a small elevator inside the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it into the fridge's catapult arm. A second click fires the device, tossing the beer up to 20 feet - "far enough to get to the couch," he said.
Genius. Next step, he'll give it a girl's voice. 'Cause this is gonna be the best robot ever.

I love this next part:

Is there a foam explosion when the can is opened? Not if the recipient uses "soft hands" to cradle the can when caught, Cornwell said.

In developing his beer catapult, Cornwell said he dented a few walls and came close to accidentally throwing a can through his television. He's since fine-tuned the machine to land a beer where he usually sits at home, on what he called "a right-angle couch system."
No pain no gain. Unless the "pain" means getting out of the easy chair.

Fathers count

Maggie Gallagher, writing yesterday:

Back when he was mayor, Rudy Giuliani made a very good point: "75 percent of adolescents charged with murder grew up without fathers. ... "(I)f you wanted a social program that would really save these kids ... I guess the social program would be called fatherhood."
That column was more about blended families and Giuliani’s family situation than about fatherhood in general, but it went right along with this study I saw today: “Reciprocal Longitudinal Relations Between Nonresident Father Involvement and Adolescent Delinquency.”

An excerpt of the abstract (emphasis added)

Autoregressive and fixed effects models found that higher nonresident father involvement predicted subsequent decreases in adolescent delinquency, particularly for youth with initial engagement in delinquent activities.
And I thought, well, duh. And then I saw this part:

As adolescent delinquency increased, so too did father involvement, suggesting that nonresident fathers may increase their involvement in the face of adolescent problem behavior, with this pattern driven primarily by African American families.
That sounds like good news, and at odds with the usual wisdom. I wonder how true it is? And under what circumstances?

Sorry, I didn’t read the whole study. I know. Bad blogger. Bad. But come on, that was the abstract, and it was barely comprehensible.

Hold On Busalacchi Hearing?

Looks like Republicans in the state Senate may be finding a backbone.

Madison - State Senate Republicans are pressing Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit) to not hold a vote Tuesday on Frank Busalacchi's reconfirmation as secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) sent the letter to Robson this afternoon, asking her to return the nomination back to a legislative committee so a public hearing could be held.
Here's the letter from Fitzgerald to Robson.

Sen. Mike Ellis earlier in the day sent Busalacchi a letter containing a list of questions about Busalacchi's personal involvement in the efforts to resolve a tax problem for Dennis Troha's trucking firm.

Troha is under federal indictment for money laundering for Gov. Jim Milhous Doyleone's re-election campaign.

The public deserves a full airing of this in a hearing before any vote is taken to reconfirm Busalacchi.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Congratulations Aaron, Kelly and Blogger Jr.

Welcome to the world kid!

Subject To Change: He's Out

Good Eatin'

Sure, it's a cheap shot ... but it's funny.

Another cogg in the Troha machine?

And this cogg tied to the Doyle administration?

Nah, couldn't be....

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Thank Goodness for the Media in France

(cross posted at The Confidentials)

...because who would film all the violent acts in their society? Forget calling 911 (or neuf un un), if you happen to witness a violent act. And don't dare film it on your cell phone - nope you must call the media to film a violent act in France now.

Zut alors....

From MacWorldonline...
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.

If Holliday were to film a similar scene of violence in France today, he could end up in prison as a result of the new law, said Pascal Cohet, a spokesman for French online civil liberties group Odebi. And anyone publishing such images could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (US$98,537), potentially a harsher sentence than that for committing the violent act.

How long before our own media wants a monopoly on [fill in the blank].

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

All I Need To Know

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Comedian and commentator Evan Sayet doesn’t think the American Left is right about anything. Literally. Not only that, he argues liberals have the mentality of kindergarteners.

Liberals are wrong about everything and have the mentality of kindergarteners, in the view of conservative comedian and commentator Evan Sayet.

“The Democrats are wrong on quite literally every issue,” Sayet said at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Monday. “They are not just wrong. They are as wrong as wrong can be.

“It’s not just domestic policy. It’s foreign policy. It’s every policy,” he said, adding that liberals are “diametrically opposed to that which is good, right and successful.”

“The modern liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success,” Sayet said.

“How could you possibly live in the freest nation in the history of the world and only see oppression? How could you live in the least imperialist power in human history and see us as the ultimate in imperialism? How can you live in the least bigoted nation in human history … and see racism lurking in every dark shadow?” he asked …

Sayet also argued that liberals “have the mentality of five-year-olds.”

He said the 1986 Robert Fulghum book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” “reads like the bible of modern liberalism and the playbook of Democratic Party policy.”

“‘Don’t hit’ has just become ‘War is not the answer,’” Sayet said.

And wouldn’t you know — I found Fulghum’s book and points cited on a peacenik website. And labeled … “A Guide to Global Leadership.”

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:

* Share everything.
* Play fair.
* Don’t hit people.
* Put things back where you found them.
* Clean up your own mess.
* Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
* Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
* Wash your hands before you eat.
* Flush.
* Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
* Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
* Take a nap every afternoon.
* When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
* Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
* Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
* And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Nothing but socialism, pacifism and collectivism.

A primer on the intellectual width and depth of the Left. Milk and cookies with the terrorists and then let’s all take an afternoon nap.

This is naivete at its height.

Those of us who are more sophisticated know that, like it or not, for better or worse, the world is governed by the aggressive use of force. And that promoting competition and achievement leads to improvements and more achievement.

But you can’t convince a bunch of idealists they are wrong.

In some cases — particularly in dealing with evil — dead wrong.

Doyle tells a lie... again

So much for Doyle's promise to provide two-thirds of school funding.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Defending Hillary

No way am I going to vote for her or let her off the hook when a legitimate gripe comes up.

Anyway big headline on Drudge this morning proclaiming Hillary took on a Southern drawl while addressing an audience in a Church Service in the South (I take it by the headlines it is in Kentucky but what Drudge links to does not make it clear & I am unable to obtain a compatible version of FlashPlayer to view it).

My take on this. So what? It is called "mirroring" and many people do this unconsciously. When I was in the Middle East and talking with my Indian friends my gestures would become Indian (head bob included). Not a conscious thing.

In fact, mirroring is often considered good communications. You try to talk in a manner natural to your target audience.

I do this not to boost Hillary but to sharpen the arguments against her.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Two Different Marches

This happened today:

Jubilant crowd recreates Selma march

SELMA, Ala. - More than a thousand people gathered Sunday to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" voting rights march — and remarked how the original protest paved the way for modern-day candidates to break political barriers.

With a marching band leading the way, participants retraced the steps to the bridge where marchers were beaten back by state troopers as they marched from Selma to Montgomery in support of opening polls to blacks across the South.
I wonder if these women knew that:

Iranian women rights activists arrested

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian security forces on Sunday arrested around 30 women's rights activists rallying outside a Tehran court where a group of their fellow campaigners were on trial over a demonstration last year.

Well here's a political-correctness conundrum

US Cherokees vote to expel descendants of slaves

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Native American Cherokees voted to expel descendants of black slaves from their tribe nation in a special election that has prompted charges of racism, according to returns made public early Sunday.

But a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma adopted Saturday an amendment to their constitution that strips membership from so-called "Freedmen," those descended from slaves once owned by Cherokees, blacks who were married to Cherokees and children of mixed-race families.
I suppose, if one is descended from a former slave, but has no Cherokee ancestry. But they also included "children of mixed-race families."

Now, let's follow the money:

...opponents of the amendment say it was a racist project designed to deny the distribution of US government funds and tribal revenue to those with African-American heritage, US media reported.
Of course, that's not what the Cherokee say:

"The Cherokee people exercised the most basic democratic right, the right to vote," Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement. "Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. No one else has the right to make that determination."
You trying to disenfranchise us?

The enlightened liberal must, I think, side with the descendants of slaves. But surely the tribe is simply acting out its frustration over 150 years of oppression!

At least I learned something new:

Cherokees, along with several other tribes, held black slaves and allied themselves with the Confederacy during the US civil war. After the war, the federal government in an 1866 treaty ordered the slaves freed.

RE: Troha Indicted


Some of us have been thinking if there is enough evidence to link Doyle in wrong-doing, that he would have to resign, since convicted felons cannot be Governor's of Wisconsin.

The reign of a Governor Barb Lawton will probably be the liberal equivalent to McCallum's reign. She'll get blamed for everything Doyle did behind the scenes (I've like the analogy "handed the bill after arriving to the party late" myself.) and then tossed out in 2010.

RE: Troha Indicted

I smell a conspiracy. I run off to D.C. and the feds release the indictment.

Who's figuring out the impeachment process for Wisconsin governors?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Martian Melting Explained

Some of you have recently discovered that there is evidence of the polar ice caps on Mars melting. You've predicted that this spells doom for the human-caused global warming theory.

Unfortunately, it just isn't so. Using high tech imaging from the Hubble telescope, I've pieced together a theory that explains how WE are causing the polar ice on Mars to disappear. That's right, it's OUR FAULT. Observe:

The above image is a recreation of how the suns rays reached Mars before the industrial revolution, when mankind started spewing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Actual cave drawings found in remote sites in England make a vague reference to the correctness of this model, if you lick a toxic toad before observing them.

Now, here is what the solar model looks like today:

Can you see that? Man made greenhouse gasses have a higher index of refraction than greenhouse gasses from nature (because they are evil). The artificial greenhouse gas content in the atmosphere is turning the Earth into a giant magnifying glass. The sun's rays are striking Mars like a laser beam, soon it will be the hottest planet in the solar system. We will have destroyed it without ever even setting foot on the surface.

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Ex-Con, Ex-Gang Member Talks

Richard Harris, an ex-convict and a former member of the Gangster Disciples took his anti-gang message to Knapp Elementary School in Racine.

His message is one that needs to be heard by kids before they hear the siren's call of the street gangs:
Harris, 38, knows of what he speaks. Growing up in a Chicago housing project, Harris joined the Gangster Disciples at 14.

Harris knows how important it is to connect with young people. If the right people don’t, there are gangs that are more than willing to fill the void. It happened to him and he is reaching out to children before they make the same mistake.

Now, Harris, an ex-convict who started his own non-profit, travels to schools talking with students about where bad decisions can lead them.

It takes a lot to keep a classroom of fifth-graders in rapt attention. But Harris did, for 45 minutes. He had no tricks up his sleeve. No bling. None of the fancy stuff children see on TV.
He knows the lure of gangster rap and the misguided glamour of the thug life, but he’ll have none of that. So he isn’t afraid to take young students to task for the way they dress and act.

No baggy pants.

No symbols cut into their hair.

“Life is real. You need to prepare every day that you walk through these doors, especially if you’re black and poor,” Harris said. “Education is your way out.”

Wisconsin snow removal unique

I never knew this:

Minnesota and Western Wisconsin may be dealing with the same storm but they are dealing with it in very different ways.

Wisconsin is the only state in the union that handles snow removal at the county level. The St. Croix County Highway department, like other Wisconsin county highway departments, is very busy.

St. Croix County is responsible for all state, federal and county roads in there county which includes interstate 94.

The article/story is pretty much a fluff piece, but it goes on to talk about individuals in both states thinking their method is best. I prefer ours for one reason-if I'm unhappy with how the county is handling snow removal, I can pick up the phone and talk with someone a lot easier than if the state were involved. Likewise, if I'm really unhappy, it is easier enact change at the county level than at the state level.

I will say this, it is sometimes funny to cross county lines during a snowstorm in this state especially if you go from a county that is very good at snow removal to one that isn't, or vice versa. The county line as estimated by the plows can be very distinct.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Troha Indicted

By John Diedrich and Cary Spivak
Ex-casino partner charged with fraud

Millionaire Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha, who until recently was a partner in a proposed $808 million tribal casino project, was charged in federal court today with fraud and lying to the FBI.

The 8-page indictment, returned in Milwaukee, accuses Troha of breaking campaign finance laws for donations he and his family made to Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign in 2006, and possibly other campaigns. U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic is speaking about the indictment at a news conference.

The indictment says the charges are in "connection with activities involving campaign contributions and a potential Indian casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin." Troha, 60, funneled more than $100,000 through an entity called Johnson Houston Partners to family members for them to make the political contributions, according to the indictment.

Troha concealed the true nature of the financial transactions, and during a Jan. 12 interview with FBI agents falsely stated that there was no link between Johnson Houston and the family campaign contributions, the indictment charges.

The casino deal could have earned Troha $88 million over seven years, according to records filed with the federal government as part of the Menominee tribe's application for the casino. Federal law gives Doyle veto power over any off-reservation casino in the state. Troha and 12 family members have donated $200,000 to Doyle since he first ran for governor five years ago, sometimes writing checks on the same day, campaign records show. Troha also played a role in sponsoring both of Doyle's inauguration celebrations. It is the second person with ties to the Doyle administration to be charged in federal court.

Last year, former state purchasing employee Georgia Thompson. She was convicted of steering a travel contract to a company whose executives had given the Doyle campaign large contributions.

Late Friday, Troha abruptly announced he was pulling out of the casino deal. A spokesman cited "long-term business considerations" and a family medical problem as the reasons. On Saturday, the Journal Sentinel revealed a federal investigation was launched earlier this year into Troha's contributions.Troha reported to the state in 2005 that he was worth $33.7 million.

Re: Fun With Al Gore

The idea of actually doing a film "An Awfully Convenient Loophole" is tumbling around in my head. I think I've got an idea for a great video.

Could use some help, though. Anyone who's interested in helping out should contact me. I'm going to need more video cameras (and bodies to operate them), props, and probably some "actors."

Fun with Al Gore

I need to highlight our fellow BBA member's creativity here. This is the best line I've heard in a while:
Well, that’s “An Awfully Convenient Loophole” (I call movie rights on that one).
And doesn't that just so eloquently describe the holes in Al Gore's environmental outrage?

Wow... Aaron and eloquent...who would have thunk it.

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