Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Any kind of traditional defense lawyers could have made for Vang seems shot with the revelation that Vang initially lied about what happened, and with the appearance of several holes in his story. His lawyers are well known to pull out the stops in defense of their clients, so I suspect that this will indeed get ugly.
If it does get ugly, I recommend this article for all in Northern Wisconsin. Keep in mind, if anger begins to build, that just because they are not like you, Hmongs are not your enemies. In fact, they may be the most loyal allies the United States has ever had, and they still pay a price for that. Many of the older Hmong in your community may yearn for their homeland, a place they can never return to. Vang is an isolated person whose actions were an isolated incident. Much of the Hmong community has come out in the past week to stand with the victims, not with one of their own. If you feel anger during this case, direct it to its natural source-the defense lawyers (said firmly with tounge in cheek).
Europe has long been where "Progressives" decide that abortion is good, euthanisizing the terminally ill is good, but the death penalty is bad. Now they can say that euthanising fully born babies is good. Nevermind the contradictions. Europe "gets" it. The rest of us are just too damn simple. After all, any sensible person knows that those incapable of deciding to end their own lives need someone else to pull the plug for them, and that those who kill others deserve to live long lives.
Europe has become the Goth kid everyone knew in high school. You know the type, they walk around mightier than than thou, hating everyone, but really loathing the hell out of themselves. Misery loves company, and there is nothing Europe would love to see more than us going down the drain with them. Well, we played Europe's hero enough during the 20th century. It's on its own now. And it isn't going to be pretty to watch.
Okay. We have one smokin' hot young teacher. We add in one 14 year old boy who must have been thinking he's luckiest sumbitch on the face of the earth. Result: another student-teacher sex scandal. I don't know about anyone else, but my first thought and my last thought on this case is always "What the hell was she thinking". Because of that, I'm going to entertain the possibility she was loony at the time, which is the case it sounds like her lawyers will present. But even if it proves true that she was insane at the time she did this, don't feel sorry for her. There is only one person to feel sorry for, the unluckiest sumbitch on the face of the earth, her soon to be ex-husband.
(Image found at ABC Action News, Tampa-St. Petersburg)
Monday, November 29, 2004
Because my membership in the Packer fan club stretches back to 1979, I experienced my fair share of misery. By 1991, I had given up on Packer quarterbacks. I had always wanted a Packer jersey up to that point, but I had sworn off Packer quarterbacks as the name and number on it. When the Packers acquired Brett Favre, I remember blurting "who the hell is he, and why did they blow a first rounder on him," to my dad. Hell was still a no-no at that time. Dad, a Raider fan, just said, "don't let your mother hear you talk like that." I can remember cursing under my breath when Don Majkowski got hurt and Favre first broke into the line up, completing his first pass to himself on a batted pass. He seemed special, but I was very guarded. I'd been hurt by the likes of Don Majkowski, Randy Wright, and Lynn Dickey. Still, Favre was one of the most exciting quarterbacks I had ever seen. He fully won me over, though, in the last game at County Stadium against the Falcons. It was then I knew he was the real deal, which is why the picture linked above will be the picture on the wall when I'm a crusty old grandpa.
We Packer fans have beeen extremely fortunate. We've had two of the greatest quarterbacks in the game's history. I feel fortunate to have experienced Brett's entire career. On some game days I find myself gasping for breath when I think of the post-Favre era. The guy is a pleasure to watch play, and he is a good guy off the field. In fact, watching his maturation off the field has been almost as enjoyable as his maturation on the field. Tonight, on the occasion of his 200th consecutive start, I reflect on the fact that we have a very finite number of games left in which to enjoy the play of Brett Favre. And I would like to thank Ron Wolf for bringing him to Green Bay, and I'd like to thank Brett Favre for bringing us all along for a terrific ride on his back.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Meanwhile, Hmong leaders in Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul have begun talks on educating Hmong and longtime Wisconsin hunters on each other's cultures.
"This is something that we all should take a look at," said Joe Bee Xiong, of the friendship association in Eau Claire.
The topic it brought to my mind was Chippewa spear fishing. The Chippewa are a prominent if invisible minority in Northern Wisconsin. Beginning in the 1970's, the Chippewa bands in Northern Wisconsin began their fight for the right to spear fish in what is called the ceded territories, which is roughly the area north of Highway 29. By the 1980's they had won the right to spear fish in the courts, and when they began to practice their rights in the late 80's, all hell broke loose. A lot of walleye fishermen and resort owners were very, very upset that the Chippewa would be spearing walleye, period, but even more upset that it was being done during the spawn. For many years, the boat landings on lakes the Chippewa speared were very, very ugly places to be. This was mostly because the protestors understood neither why the Chippewa had this right, nor that they had a common interest with the Chippewa in conserving resources. For 6 years or so, the spring nights turned ugly, and Wisconsin was fortunate no one was killed. Then things seemed to calm down, almost inexplicably.
The protestors, in my opinion, never really came to understand why the Chippewa had these rights. What they did come to see was that they and the Chippewa had a common interest in ending the ugly protests and also in conserving resources. The court rulings ended up giving the Chippewa some influence in conserving the waterways of Northern Wisconsin, and their muscle proved invaluable in halting copper mines which could have harmed water quality as well as native fish species.
What does this have to do with the Hmong and white communities in Northern/Central Wisconsin? The Hmong community is a large and significant minority in the North, and also very visible. They have only begun to melt into the larger communities in which they live, however. Hmongs tend to live in very homogeneous neighborhoods. The larger communities as a whole do not really understand the Hmong communities yet, and the Hmong communities do not fully understand the white communities, either. Language barriers are part of the problem. Limited interaction is another. What occurred last week in Sawyer County is a terrible tragedy, and Vang should be held fully accountable for his actions, regardless of whether or not the hunters hurled racial taunts at him. If there is any silver lining to this cloud, it is that the white and Hmong communities now have a point of contact for communication and improved understanding: Hunting. With any luck, outdoors organizations in Wisconsin will develop programs which will further this communication. This interaction should be a good starting point for understanding between the two communities, and also mutual acceptance. It is a process that will have its hiccups, but which should create a stronger Northwoods as the talents of individual Hmong find a larger and larger role in the community.
Anyway, on to the thoughts. In my mind, any kind of network would really be seed for more refined networks/alliances/coalitions down the road. Because of that, I think a large, inclusive umbrella would be called for. Blogs could be of any political persuasion, and could have any mix of content, with one exception: Members would have to have an interest in and a proven record of talking about current events. Otherwise the door is wide open to anything from e-journals to sex blogs, and I would like to see there be some content theme in addition to the Wisconsin bond. I'd also propose that any potential members have a minimum of one month's worth of content. This is because the list will be much easier to maintain if it doesn't have to be culled regularly. By bringing Wisconsin bloggers together under a big umbrella, I think it will create the opportunity for smaller, tighter groups to form.
Now, to the issues I haven't yet come to a firm opinion on. First, should this just be a free standing set of links that everyone cut and copy code to include on their member sites, or should there be a new central blog for this? I'm not personally sure I can maintain two separate sites myself, at least not for the next 6 months or so. Next, this venture needs to have a nice collection of member sites before it even reaches its birth. If it starts with about 8 to 10 member sites, then it has a chance of growing a bit. If it starts with just 4 sites, this thing is going to be pretty flat. Finally, I need to bone up on some technical things before this goes anywhere, because I'm not exactly sure where to start, code wise.
Finally, here's where I would need help. I know of about 6 Wisconsin blogs, most of which are linked to on the left side of this page. Two of those sites are quite a bit bigger than the rest of us. I would need anyone who is familiar with other Wisconsin blogs to post them in the comment section, because we will need to do a little PR to bring members to the table, big and small. I'd also like to see a good brain storm list of names for this to be put in the comment section. I'd also like to see a little discussion on my thoughts in this post, because I am in no way committed to anything yet. Participation in the comment section will help determine whether I decide to put forth the effort to tie this whole thing together. I know 3 or 4 of you would be interested in joining a Wisconsin blog network, but I'm curious to see how much effort everyone really wants to put into this. I'll do the heavy lifting, but I want to make sure that there is going to be good, active participation from everyone.
Okay, that's where I am right now. I anxiously await the thoughts of others.
The holidays are upon us. We are in the midst of everything we look forward to and everything we dread all year long. I hope you and yours had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope Christmas brings you much love and many happy memories.
(Disclaimer: Jib fancies himself a budding photographer. He also fancied himself the next Joe DiMaggio.)
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Friday, November 26, 2004
Now Eau Claire is removed from Rice Lake by 45 or 50 minutes or so, and enjoys much more racial diversity, but that was a positive thing to see in a town that is still pretty dang white, and which has a large Hmong population.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
According to the Journal Sentinel's report, Jim Southworth was shot in the back twice during the 2001 hunting season, and his rifle was missing. Witnesses reported seeing a silver late model truck leaving the woods that day, with three Asian men inside. Those three men have never been identified or questioned.
The Journal Sentinel reports that Vang has owned a silver 1987 Nissan truck in the past. Early reports of the Sawyer County murders also reported that he had been seen hunting with two others earlier in the day.
The Clark County murder is apparently lacking in physical evidence. If there is a connection, police may have difficulty proving it.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Somewhere on the net this report is transcribed and much easier to download. I read it at that mystery location this afternoon, but I cannot find it back now. If I do find it, I'll also post that link here.
I found the link to the transcribed probable cause statement. This is much quicker to load and easier to read.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Just as a reminder, "assault weapon" is a loaded political term. It sounds nasty and scary, and therefore is used in an attempt to ban as many guns as possible. Most people are willing to accept limitations on automatic weaponry, which are exceptionally deadly. The gun used in the murders in Western Wisconsin was a relatively weak rifle. If it falls under an assault weapons ban, most rifles used for sport in this state will as well. If governments can figure out how to legislate away stupidity, I'm all for it. Banning the machines used stupidly hurts no one but law abiding citizens. A ban on the SKS would not have prevented the suspect from coming to Wisconsin with it and committing this crime. What is unfortunate is that the 8 victims only had one gun amongst themselves with which to try to defend their lives.
I can see this story spinning wildly away from the facts. Anti gun and anti hunting types are going to jump all over it. It seems CBC News and Joshua Freed at the AP have already started down that path. At work, I’ve already heard one liberal claim that the suspect’s rifle was an automatic assault rifle, which it was not. I’ve heard another liberal claim that if were shot at first, he’d have done the same thing as the suspect. How stupid the buzz around this story could become is yet to be determined, but early indications are that it’ll be very, very stupid if the story has legs.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
We will certainly learn more details of this case in the coming days. Right now, it is difficult to understand what could cause someone to try to kill 8 people after being told he couldn't hunt on private land in a tree stand that wasn't his. The Wausau Daily Herald has this eerie article today on the difficulty Hmong have understanding American hunting. Just one snippet:
The difference is that in Laos, regulations requiring hunters and anglers to buy licenses and adhere to bag limits didn't exist. And sometimes Hmong people don't realize how many rules exist.
One would thing "do not hunt on private land without permission" and "do not kill people" would be universal rules that everyone understands.
Go to the homepage for more information. Jiblog.
Those I know are not answering phones right now. WTMJ out of Milwaukee reports that this may be over a dispute over hunting on private land. Early info link here. WTMJ is reporting that their information is second hand, but much more likely than my first fear, thankfully.
5 dead, 3 injured, 1 man arrested.
If Jiblog were to become a finalist (big if), please vote for the site (voting won't begin until December).
I'm so embarrassed.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
I used to be an NBA junky as a kid. I knew everybody in the NBA and their stats. I'd go out on the playground and pretend I was Sidney Moncrief or Terry Cummings (I'm a Bucks fan, give me a break). For me, there was nothing better than a Lakers-Celtics game in the spring time. Then an interesting thing happened. The greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of shoes that graced his own name came along, Michael Jordan. At first, this was great for the NBA, because most successful teams still played fundamentally good basketball. Then some of the previous greats started to retire. The NBA was faced with a future that sat squarely on joyriding shoulders, and they rode Jordan for all it was worth. I'm surprised they didn't rename the league the NJA during this time. The NBA got very rich riding Jordan.
Stern's brilliant marketing started a cancer in basketball, though. To many young kids, basketball was no longer a team sport. They didn't care about assists. They didn't care about shooting percentages. All they cared about was 35 points again and slamming a basketball with flare. From this generation we were to expect the next round of superstars. We haven't really gotten one, though. Why?
Even though Jordan could carry his team, he was still a team player. The current generation of NBA players are not team players. In fact, they are the most selfish athletes any sport has ever seen (with the possible exception of the PGA). These guys do not care about their team. They do not care about winning. They do not care about the communities they play in. All they care about is being the lead highlight on Sports Center, making big ching, smoking weed, and getting laid. This can be directly tied back to Stern's marketing of the NBA as an individual sport back in the 1990's. The cancer has spread its way from the NBA to college basketball, where it is almost unheard of for talented ball players to stay in school past their sophomore year, when if they did, they could actually enter the league as polished, mature professionals. It has spread back to high school basketball, where the talented kids know that if they play selfish ball and average 50 points a game, they'll get their payday without ever having to grace a college basketball court, cutting the maturity of NBA players even further.
Stern sold out the NBA in the 1990's. In doing so, the sport developed a cancer that has spread through out all of its levels. I'm not even going to go into this summer's disgrace at the Olympics, because that speaks for itself. Stern is ultimately responsible for charting the path for the NBA that resulted in Ron Artest in the stands, punching fans last night. It's time Stern fixes the NBA, or it's time he goes. The sport has a choice. It can take a short term hit in its popularity, and make the fixes necessary to put the game back on track, or it can witness more of these ugly events and watch its popularity slowly atrophy, at which point it will be a much longer climb back to the top of the mountain.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Right now we are looking at a once in a generation opportunity. Half of the government payroll will be set to retire in the next five years. Now is the time to combine and or eliminate positions. It is a painless way to make government more streamlines and more efficient. For those of us who believe in small government, this has to be acted upon now. Government by its very nature only gets bigger and bigger. We are being served a demographic gift on a silver platter right now. This is a natural opportunity to shrink government before it demographic demands cause its inevitable swell again.
Now for those of you who are not conservative and say that decreasing the government payroll will only lead to poorer government services, I'll split the difference with you. Government jobs do not always attract the most talented of employees. Want to change that? Entice better workers with better pay. I'll bank half of the savings from reducing the work force, and I'll give you the other half in better pay in targeted jobs. That's not very conservative of me; in fact, every conservative bone in me screams to bank the whole thing. I recognize that government service does stink, though, and I'm willing to make the effort to improve a necessary evil.
Another perk of being Union is near absolute job safety. Do we really want to give that to 17 year old pot smoking boys? They are vile and disgusting creatures as it is. The last thing I'd want to do is take way any small amount of fear they had about losing their jobs.
I'm going to put this story in my "damn, we really do have it too good in the United States" file.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Vincent D'Onofrio, star of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," was back in a hospital Tuesday after fainting for the second time in a week.
D'Onofrio was hospitalized for two days last week when he fainted after rehearsing a strenuous scene that included climbing for the New York-based NBC drama. He had been expected to return to work Tuesday.
sBut he fainted again late Monday at his home and returned to the hospital for further observation and testing, series spokeswoman Pam Ruben Golum said.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I have another piece of advise for sure fired, honest to goodness, worthless traffic to your site. Today's lesson: Use infrequently used word combinations. My choice example here is killer duck billed platypus. People are weird, and they search for the weirdest things. Just today I was searching for killer duck billed platypuses, only to learn that Google has only found one instance of that exact search thread. Therefore, I am set to become THE AUTHORITY on killer duck billed paltypuses. I anticipate this driving an extra 1 to 3 really weird people to my site per year. Ya know what? Maybe its better to stick to misspells and porn names to drive traffic. (Special thanks to Think Quest for the pic)
First, guys, go visit the Virtual Bartender. Ask her anything, and if she understands you, she'll do it (fairly clean, but you still may want to watch your back if at work).
Second, if this story is true, I really chose the wrong college. Free beer? 'Dems student fees I can handle.
Monday, November 15, 2004
“Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I’m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.”
M Chirac's version of favors remind me of the mafia.
In other remarks that will sting the Bush Administration, he again outlined his vision of a “multipolar” world in which a united Europe would be equal with the US, and mocked Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, for his division of Europe into old and new.
Wanting to be equal and being equal are two very different things. If Europe ever unshackles its economy (ahem, ditch Socialism) and builds and army that wouldn't get its ass kicked in a Wisconsin country bar, then there will be this so called "equality" As long as we have to clean up Europe's own back yard, no equality.
“It is like that nice guy in America — what’s his name again? — who spoke about ‘old Europe’. It has no sense. It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States.”
I'm going to ignore the lack of culture thing-its way to easy to go after (bathe, Frenchmen!). Instead, I like the "absurdity" of the French and Brits not seeing eye to eye. Yeah, I forgot about the love that flows back and forth across the British Channel.
If you are so brave as to check out that link, try reading something with multiple usages of the word dork without giggling. The sophomoric humor value is priceless. I feel like I'm 14 years old all over again.
Am I the only who saw that European diplomacy has gotten Iran to agree to halt its nuclear program, and then wondered if Europe secretly agreed to supply Iran with all of the components it needs to complete its nuclear program in exchange for this “halt”?<>I guess it’s good that Carter and Clinton weren’t involved. We’d have gotten the halt of the program from their diplomacy, too. After we promised to build the damn thing for them.>
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Let's start with his words "civil contract". If Troxler wants to discuss the roots of today's marriage crisis, that might be a good place to start. Too many people do not take there vows seriously because they see marriage as little more than a public contract which can be made and broken at the will of one or both of the parties to the contract. Marriage at its roots is more than that, though. Marriage is rooted in religion, and within that religious context, marriage is the union of two souls before God. Not a civil union, but the actual joining of two souls before God. When people treat there marriages this way, it becomes a much more personal, serious institution. Anything you do to your spouse, you are also doing to yourself. People who view marriage as little more than a civil contract as Troxler does tend to have little regard for marriage, which leads me to my second point.
Early in the article, Troxler tosses adultery into the face of heterosexuals, as if to say that you heterosexuals are the bigger problem for marriage. He's so close to right on, but yet so far off. Adultery is a problem for people who see marriage rooted in God as well as people who see marriage as a civil contract. It is easier for those in the "civil contract" category to step over that line, though, because for them there are fewer consequences to their actions. Had Troxler, in this part of his column, stopped and said, fine, you want to ban gay marriage? Then clean up your own house and work on stemming the adultery problem, I'd have been on board with him. Instead, Troxler begins using scripture well out of context to say Sinner, though has no right to comment on anyone else's sin.
Troxler tells us he was raised Methodist. I suspect he never studied his faith in depth in his youth, and also that he no longer practices his faith, because he spews out a lot of half correct items of Christian doctrine. First, he tries to place sins in some sort of hierarchical pecking order, when the Bible says that all sins are equal before God. I particularly liked this paragraph:
Of course, Jesus said a lot of other stuff, too. Rich people almost certainly won't go to heaven. They should give away their money. We should turn the other cheek to those who seek to hurt us. We should clothe the naked and feed the poor and house the homeless.
We also should pray in private, without beating our breasts loudly and rending our garments in the streets like hypocrites.
Good stuff. Like rich people almost certainly won't go to heaven. Jesus actually was making the point that it is more difficult for the wealthy to get into heaven because of the trappings of wealth. When you are poor and have nothing, sometimes faith is the only thing you have that is your own, whereas the rich can very easily place themselves at the center of their universe and ignore their faith. I have no problem with his next two sentences, but I enjoy the fourth one about praying in private. I enjoy it because non-believers enjoy using that one to try to shut up believers all the time. To my understanding, that exchange in the Bible refers to those who feel the need to outrageously display their faith, those for whom the display of faith is more important than their actual faith. Used in the context that Troxler does in the column, it would render null and void any statements in the Bible about helping others find God. In fact, it would turn Jesus entire ministry into one great big sin.
As a general rule, I avoid discussing religion. I am not a biblical scholar, I'm just a little Lutheran who spent a lot of time in church as a youth, and who treated my biblical study as seriously as I did my school studies. When I see crap like this from Troxler, I always want to see someone smarter than myself dissect it and take it apart piece by piece. Sometimes my frustration gets to the level that I cannot help but do it myself, even though their are many much more versed than myself who could do it better.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
I love fall. Daytime temperatures cool, and the evenings are crisp. Evenings are wonderful for a fire, a hay ride, or a Friday evening high school football game. Smells of wood burning and pies baking waft in the air. The holidays are just around the corner, and no one has yet overdosed on their trappings. Despite all of this, I really f'n hate raking leaves.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
So, the whiny liberals of the blue states want to pull their states out of the
The first course of action for the U.S.B. would an all out war on poverty and homelessness. Bluetopia would show great compassion on the poor, this is without doubt. The first thing they would do is close all of the low cost housing and replace it with expensive new condos or fashionable housing. After all, urban renewal lifts property values, and that just has to help the poor. Next, Bluetopia would eliminate all public conduct laws. No more would the homeless be held down by the man. They could now urinate and defecate on public streets without fear of jail time, where they’d get a warm room and a warm meal for the night. And don’t forget about the masturbation. The homeless have it rough-where’s a guy to release a little pressure if he doesn’t have a home? Public masturbation would be a beautiful expression of personal sexuality, so not only would it be legalized, it would be encouraged in Bluetopia. Next, free needles for all the poor! This would be particularly important because Bluetopia would rush to decriminalize drugs, and with cheaper, legal drugs flooding the streets, they’d need the free needle program to head of a boom HIV cases. Oh, and don’t forget, free condoms for everyone. Since housing for the poor would be and issue with all of the new urban development, the homeless would be allowed to sleep in libraries, city halls, and the produce aisle at the Organic Food Mart (Piggly Wiggly would be outlawed in Bluetopia). The truly troublesome homeless-that small minority that isn’t alcoholic, drug addicted, or mentally-ya know, the ones who have just hit a bad stretch, they’d be deported to ‘Jesusland’. Those folk just don’t need the help the way the rest do.
Next, all medical care would be free. Some people just can’t afford insurance, so therefore everyone should have equivalent health care. In Bluetopia’s Blue Shield program (no Blue Cross, as the word “cross” will be banned in Bluetopia), if you get a cold, you simply need to fill out 144 pages of paperwork, and then make an appointment with your government health care representative. 6 weeks later, when you have your appointment with the rep, you’ll then set up an appointment with a doctor. The appointment will be another 10 weeks out. Once you actually get to your appointment, you’ll find out that your rep actually forgot to make the appointment, so you’ll have to go through the entire process again. After, that is, you spend three days on the phone getting the run around by government health reps. When you finally get to see the doctor, he’ll tell you that he is very concerned about a large growth he sees, so he’ll set you up for an MRI and then emergency surgery. In 16 months, when you get your MRI, they’ll cancel your emergency surgery which was scheduled for the following year, because your cancer is terminal. If only it had been found sooner.
Abortions would be exceedingly rare in Bluetopia. Sex Ed for children would begin in pre-school. Teachers would show them instructional videos by the top porn stars of the day. The children would then practice putting condoms on bananas, and each would leave class with their very own box of Spongebob Squarepants rubbers. If this didn’t bring down the teen pregnancy rate, it would be okay. After all, the waiting list for an abortion would be approximately 15 months. After the waiting list hit 8 months, though, the Supreme Court of Bluetopia will rule that a woman has the right to choose what’s right for her body or anything that’s ever been inside her body. This would clear the way for post birth abortion. It’s a simple procedure that is absolutely painless They simply shove a turkey baster up the nose of the woman’s post fetal tissue and suck the brain matter out. No pain for the woman whatsoever. In an interesting aside to the Court’s decision, women would also have the right to abort the genitalia of any man they ever had sexual relations with.
Oh yes, everything would be peachy keen in Bluetopia. Only electric cars would be allowed. Once the Bluetopians figure out that their air is no cleaner than it was because demand on coal electricity plants has risen, they’ll simply import their electricity from those dirty hounds in Jesusland. The tax rate for the richest of the rich is merely 98%. The poorest receive a $40,000 tax refund. Bluetopian corporations are allowed to do business with anyone in the world, as long as they themselves only buy from other Bluetopian companies. Made in Bluetopia stickers abound, as outsourcing is solved by requiring all companies selling their products in Bluetopia to make their products in Bluetopia-unless the work is dangerous or dirty, in which case it is okay for the work to be done in Jesusland. Unemployment would be solved, as the government will employ 95% of the work force. Saying mean things would be abolished as hate speech. Much of the new government employment will be through the Department of Social Consciousness, which determines what people can and cannot say after they say it. All prisoners will be sent to private prisons in Jesusland, because good Bluetopians just do not want that kind of riffraff in their back yards. The military will be abolished in Bluetopia, as will alcohol and smoking cigarettes, while the legalized prostitution, marijuana, and cocaine industries thrive. Yes, my Jesusland friends, we will truly be envious of the Bluetopians as we watch their private jets fly over our Neanderthal heads in Jesusland.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I'm going to try to avoid speaking ill of the dead, except for this: One less blight on the face of humanity.
All this has me now thinking of another blight on humanity-Fidel Castro. I ended up studying Castro's Cuba in great depth in college, and Arafat's passing brings to mind many discussions of what we can expect when Castro goes. There are a few rosy scenarios, but most scenarios are not rosy for U.S.-Cuban relations.
Having said that, don't expect a radical change with the Palestinians. The rosy picture will be the exception we are hoping for but probably won't get.
In a similar vein, I had the pleasure of seeing the communications of some lefties I know following Kerry's concession speech. I can only think of one word to describe what I saw. Vapid. And the left wonders why their political footing is as stable as quick sand right now.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
Many blogs seriously f'd up on Tuesday. As the exit polls began to leak out, they reacted. One of the advantages to blogs is that they are a free marketplace of ideas, one that is very self correcting-over time. Unfortunately, the blogosphere, in the short term, can also compound an error. That is what we saw on Tuesday. The exit polls numbers leaked, and people either got very excited, or they panicked, depending on which side of the issue they were on. They wrote of their panic. Then they read some of their peers, and they became more panicked. Meanwhile, the MSM, which has had experience with the exit polls in the past, and which learned their lessons from 2000, was a steady rock, reporting news without the extremes created by the poor exit poll numbers. It was a big day for the MSM-they did almost everything right (almost-more later). It was a bad day for the blogosphere. Its strong point, reactiveness, was it's biggest weakness.
Here's the big picture that Engberg misses though. Journalism is not the hallowed profession he tries to portray it as being. The entire article is his pride speaking. The fact is that journalism really is a very low profession. For much of it's existence it has been little more than what we now call tabloid journalism. Somewhere during the 20th century, the American media made strides towards becoming respected. By and large, it succeeded. The problem is, the news media also became very homogeneous as well. Most news rooms are liberal, and their news comes out with a severe liberal tilt now. The days where you could by two newspapers in order to get both sides of the issue came to an end in the name of this respectability. Unfortunately, that means almost all the news came from one particular viewpoint. It is my opinion that it is for this very reason that Vietnam became the mess that it did. Liberals bought into the anti-Vietnam mindset hook, line, and sinker. There were few places that a person sympathetic to what we were doing in Vietnam could go to get an alternate opinion. Once flooded with the anti-Vietnam line from the media, the public support for the war evaporated. Things began to change for the established media when Fox debuted and the blogosphere developed. They had an opposing view point to deal with now, and they are not happy.
The news marketplace is no different than any other marketplace. It is at its strongest when their is competition and diversity. We are moving back towards a time of diverse viewpoints in the news. Many people cringe when they look back at the days of very political newspapers, when each city had at least one Democratic paper and one Republican paper. I applaud it. Were the papers of the 1800's over the top? Without a doubt. That doesn't mean it will over even can be today, because the market is larger and more vibrant. It is better for people to be able to read, listen to, or watch multiple viewpoints and come to their own decisions than it is for them to be spoon fed the one viewpoint.
The blogosphere disdains the media because of its homogeneity. The MSM disdains the blogosphere because of its inroads into their hallowed profession. The fact is they both really need each other right now, and will be made better because of their competition. The Eric Engbergs of the world see their life's work diminished because others who have not put in the sweat are doing it as well, if not better. The blogosphere should probably recognize that it is not holier than thou, and susceptible to the same mistakes that MSM, only they don't have the experience the MSM does in catching those mistakes. In the end, though, the blogosphere is a piece of the news media pie now, and a very worthwhile piece for the public.
Bush does have political capital to spend right now, and he has to start spending it quickly. He has two years to accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish in his second term. Why two years? Two reasons. First, as he gets into year three, he starts to become more and more of a lame duck, and it is difficult for any lame duck President to get Congress to step out on a limb for him. Secondly, he is only guaranteed these leads in Congress through 2006. After that, the leads could grow, they could fall, or they could disappear completely. Bush has to be bold for the next two years and get as much of his legislation introduced as possible. This is all the more reason for him to not be the "uniter" that Donks howl that he should. Under their vision of a uniter, Bush policies would be gutted by compromises and held up until that third year. Better to try to convert a few Democrats to your side to accomplish something than to try to build some broad consensus that leads to ineffective legislation.
Bush's entire presidency will be summarized by these next two years. It is going to be interesting to see if he lives up to the greatness some of us see in him.
Women want control over decisions that affect their bodies. I have no issue with that. In fact, I say hurrah to that. My concern is for the bodies that they carry inside of themselves. Women have a responsibility to look after the welfare of those little bodies, and abortions of convenience are the ultimate abdication of responsibility to those small, helpless bodies.
"He'll be a lot more aggressive in
now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version of the war." Never mind that the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create. Iraq
Well, not if you keep killing 'em. Eventually you'll run out of insurgent wannabes.
That is one of the worst pieces of logic I've ever seen, the whole "the more we kill, the more we create." That's patently untrue. Eventually the other guys say, "hey, umm, life is kinda boring, but it's better than a bullet through the head. Maybe I'll do something else today besides insurging and stuff, like maybe take up chess."
There was so much I wanted to comment on over the past week, but events simply conspired against. I felt smug for no getting outwardly bent out of shape by the exit polls while a lot of blogs did. My prediction of 4 point victory was close to the actual margin. In the airport a anti-Bush British woman caution Kerry supporters against socialized medicine, telling them how this "free" health care gets paid for, and how her husband would have died if he had had to wait for his kidney transplant in Britain instead of here. Bush had some great quotes in the past week("political capital" and "reach across the aisle") that I wanted to expand on. On top of that, we were still basking in the glow of all the traffic that came along with Hugh Hewitt's generous link to this blog.
The business trip to Las Vegas was very successful, though, so I really shouldn't complain. It was my first trip to Vegas, and I was really not very impressed with the city. Give me a Cleveland and a Minneapolis, and you can keep Vegas.
This blog will remain political in the coming years, although the raw material won't be as plentiful to mine as it has been, so expect more humor, satire, and general commentary. And perhaps one of these days I'll finally develop the patience to actually proof these posts before they get. Thanks to everyone who has visited Jiblog over the past 4 1/2 months, and I hope we can continue to inform and entertain you.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
1. Misspell newsworthy words. The Bekaa Valley, for instance. I spelled it wrong (Bekka) on accident, and I became the number three search on Google for those mentally incapcitated such as myself. Many people are poor spellers. Get a good misspell on Google, and you have instant traffic.
2. Randomly name a hard core or soft core porn star. I was feisty one night a few weeks ago, and I wrote a blue humorous piece. I named a soft core porn star in the piece, and since then I've been getting hits from people searching for her. Here's the catch on that one: They probably don't care to read what you have to say; they visited hoping to find nudie pictures. This one will bring traffic, but probably not traffic you really are looking for.
Now, sit back, enjoy a drink or 7, and wait for election tallies to come in.
Now this is my plan because I have a 6 am flight, but I suspect it will work for many of you as well.
Relax, guys. I know your business is commenting on this stuff, and mid-day is a tough time to find things to discuss about an election less than half over, but you've got to let go of these early exit poll numbers. The is unbecoming of you.
Rather than excerpt it, I think it is better that you read it in its entirety.
I just want it to be over with. I don't really like politics...What is Holly studying at UW Madison?
...I'm a poli sci major.She must be on the football team.
Hey everyone! Here's your conclusion over here! Jump to it! It is tough filtering through the crap today, because there are way too many people jumping to conclusions they shouldn't yet. I'd start citing examples, but go to ten websites on your own, and you'll see plenty of examples.
It is a little sad and pathetic that the very people who claim Republicans try to suppress the vote turn around and slash the tires of vehicles which will be used to transport voters who otherwise may not be able to get to their polling places.
In other Wisconsin news, WTMJ radio is also reporting that the Madison headquarters of the GOP was vandalized last night.
"Who d'ya thinks going to win?"
"Tough to say."
"Yeah, it's really a crapshoot. Who'd ya vote for."
"Well, I would've voted for Bush, but someone told me that he'd get to appoint a bunch of judges in the next 4 years. I'm not letting Dubya do that."
"So you voted for Nader?"
"Well, no. Someone else told me a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, so I made sure my wife and I were in agreement, and I voted for Kerry."
I then began gnashing my teeth and pulling out my hair. Bush can make an appointment, but Congress has to approve it. We've all seen what the Dems in Congress do to hold up appointments of judges. That should not even be in the top ten list when it comes to making a decision for President. Congress has too much power over that decision.
If anyone is interested, this is a letter I wrote (top letter) following the 2000 election to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I've feared for some time now that many people just don't take voting seriously enough, and the easier we make this, the less serious people are going to take it. Pretty soon voting will be like ordering lunch at McDonald's, and that disturbs me-not because I think any certain people shouldn't vote, but because the more effort someone puts into to doing something, the more seriously they treat it.
As I left, WTMJ NBC-4 out of Milwaukee asked me to participate in their exit poll. I told them to bugger off. I kind of regret that a bit now. If NBC screws up their Wisconsin exit polls, I could be partly to blame.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Tomorrow we will impatiently wait as we see the red and the blue and the purple states pop up on our TV screens. One by one they'll be unwrapped, and we'll see their results. The pace of results will pick to an almost intoxicating pace, with the excitement of millions of voters reaching a crescendo. Then the anti-climax will set in as we get our first glimpses of who won this hard, long campaign. About half of the population will be disappointed with the lump of coal that they find in their political stocking, and a little more than half will be overjoyed, having gotten just what they wanted. With any luck, the season will be over as we go to bed on Tuesday night. The politicos are weary, and they could get ugly the day after Election Day otherwise.
Hmm, I must be really confusing for you then, considering I'm 1/4 Chippewa Indian, my father and his 11 brothers and sisters are 1/2 Chippewa, and my grandfather, who escaped from a Catholic boarding school and developed roots in Northern Wisconsin, was full blooded. I come from about as poor as it gets. I'm in the first generation of my family that didn't grow up in poverty, and for most of us (myself and my cousins), it wasn't by much. So you can take your "veiled racism" and stick it back from whence it came.
In addition, I have no idea where you get that analogy between my tag line, which is meant to be humorous (and also to rile uptight, humorless commentators such as yourself), and what is written in my site, and come up with the fact that I’m racist (or a “veiled” racist). Nowhere do I say anything about suppressing poor or minority votes. My point is that there need to be standards in order for any election to have legitimacy, and by standards, I mean proof of residency and properly filled out ballots. I don't care if you are rich, poor, red, white, green, blue or back, Democrat, Libertarian, or Republican, if you don't have proof of residency or if you don't fill out your ballot correctly, and your vote is still counted, then there is no credibility in the process because it becomes ripe for fraud.