Thursday, June 30, 2005

Video of a forming tornado

KARE out of the Twin Cities has a great video of a tornado forming on Wednesday in Minnesota.

Tigers are 1 for 2005

Well, the Tigers played their last two little league games tonight in the league round robin championship game. With only three teams in the league, it turned out that the winner of tonight's early game would play for the championship. And sure enough, after a long season of disappointment, they pulled out a 6-4 victory. It was great to see the parents and the kids-it was as if they had just won the World Series. I let the head coach go out of the dugout and take the accolades from parents who were thrilled that their kid did not go 0 for 2005. I had it in the back of my head that we were about to take a serious spanking in the championship game, and we did. But it was wonderful for the kids-they won the most important game of the year, the one that allowed them to be the second place team in the league, despite laying an egg in the regular season. To quote Major League (roughly), I think there's 2 or 3 All Stars there. Congrats kids, and practice for next year.

Canadian might

Heh. The Canadians are assembling a Navy with one of the most awesome port forces in history.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Magic tonight in an Iowa cornfield?

Today is the 100th anniversary of Archibald "Moonlight" Graham's only appearance in a Major League game. If there is any magic in the world, there is a young guy walking out of an Iowa cornfield tonight to play a little ball with the big leaguers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hero is as Hero does?

I still don't know what stupid is as stupid does means, so I found the title above appropiate for this post. Appropriate because I don't exactly know what I did during tonight's softball game, but I ended up the hero. Here's the background.

I step up in the top of the 7th with the bases loaded and one out, game tied. In my previous at bat, I crushed a ball that the fleet footed left-center fielder ran down. On the first pitch, I get something I can handle, but I got under it too much. I cursed as I ran to first, knowing that it was a sac fly that would score the go ahead run. But in one of those beer league softball quirks, the right center fielder over runs the ball. The ball drops to the ground and rolls toward the fence. As I round second, I stop. The runner in front of me is trying to score, and the throw goes to the plate, so I advance to third. The catcher tries to get me at third, but over throws the ball. I score. In baseball, if I'm lucky, it's a double, and I advance to third on the throw, and I score on an E2. In beer league softball, it was a grand slam. After a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, I find myself a hero.

The moral of the story? Sometimes you have to reach up and earn hero status; other times, fate is looking for a hero and you luck your way into it.

Supreme Court decides murder, theft legal

AP-In a decision that outraged the Facist Christian Right, the Supreme Court today struck down laws outlawing murder and theft, stating the influence of Judeo-Christianity's sixth and eighth commandments in the crafting of those laws was an unconstitutional violation of the seperation of church and state.

In a 6-3 decision, Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsburg, O'Connor, Stevens and Souter found that laws outlawing theft and murder violated the establishment clause. In the majority opinion, Ginsburg stated that the majority had consulted laws of foreign nations for enlightenment, and decided that the freedom to murder and steal in such luminary United Nations' countries as the Sudan, Cuba, and Libya led to greater freedoms amongst the people.

In a very brief and terse dissenting opinion, Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas stated that "The majority in this case can go to hell."

(Yep, satire. Don't get your undies bunched.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bush v. Clinton in '08?

I've said it once. Now MSNBC teases at it. If Hillary looks like the presumptive nominee going into the '08 primary season, then the Republicans have to look at a Jeb Bush run. And if that happens, if you thought '04 was bitter, you ain't seen nothing yet.

The Jib Curse

Beware if I announce that I'm visiting your state. Since the beginning of the year, trouble has followed me on my travels, but preyed on the the natives. I go to California, they get mudslides. I go to New York, floods. New Jersey, floods. I go to Florida and Jaws attacks kids.

There are two exceptions. I go to Minnesota and Illinois and the fates decide you've already got it tough enough, what with being Minnesotans and Illini and all.

Supreme silver lining

Many of us have been decrying the latest proclamations of the Supreme Court. Indeed, it sometimes seems as though our freedoms are in full retreat in the face of court decisions. It looks as though the storm clouds have passed over the horizon and sit on our doorstep, but remember, the sun is always shining if one can just see past the clouds. After all, if the American public ever comes to that day when it finds the weight of government, including the Court, too heavy to bear, and it is forced to face Jefferson's words, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," at least at the end of those ugly and unfortunate events, they will have a ready document for governance: The Constitution of the United States of America, a constitution stripped of hundreds of years of court decisions which have found meaning where there was none.

Jeremy Roenick snaps a bit

Hockey has been gone for a long time now. I enjoy hockey, particularly at play off time, but I was surprised at how little I missed it. Also, like the 1994 baseball strike, I found myself in the owners' corner because the players' did not have the game's best interests at heart, only their own. Still, I'm ready ready to see hockey again. Well, I was ready...
"If people are going to sit and chastise professional athletes for being spoiled and being cocky, they need to look at one thing and that's the deal that we are probably going to end up signing here in the next three weeks," Roenick said at the Mellon Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational. "They'd better understand that pro athletes are not cocky. Pro athletes care about the game.

"Everybody out there who calls us spoiled because we play 'a game,' they can all kiss my (butt). They can all kiss my (butt) because we have tried so hard to get this game back on the ice."
Umm, yeah. Those were the words of Flyers center Jeremy Roenick. I tried in my head to give Roenick the benefit of the doubt, but I can't. That quote right there is why hard working fans who are shelling out huge ching to see NHL games loathe professional athletes. First, the players aren't going to be signing on this deal because they love the game. They are going to sign on this deal because the league and the owners shut the league down for a year. If the players want a paycheck next year, they need to sign the deal. If the players loved the game, they'd have worked out a deal a long, long time ago. Roenick apparently forgot to add a couple of adjectives that fans use to refer to professional athletes-pompous and ignorant.

But Roenick didn't stop there. Nope, Roenick decided that the fans deserved an f-you for the road:
"I will say personally, personally, to everybody who calls us spoiled, you guys are just jealous, and screw you guys because we have tried so hard to get this game back on the ice to make it better for the fans," he said. "And if you don't realize that, don't come. We don't want you in the rink, we don't want you to watch hockey. Period."
I say take him up on it. He apparently thinks that the players make the pro game. He forgets that it is the fans who make the pro game.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

HuffPo & Cheney

The Huffington Post is breathlessly following a story this weekend about a supposed visit by Vice President Cheney to a cardiac specialist in Colorado. The HuffPo's coverage of this story is indicative of why I'm loathe to write about them here, let alone link back there. Their coverage is all about the "cover up" and scarcely short on "we hope the Vice President gets well soon." I will give the HuffPo this, they did yank down the moonbat comments that wished for Cheney's demise. Still, every little thing, including the VeePee's health, is a cause for conspiracy over at HuffPo.

5 year old smoker who started at 20 months

A 5 year old is an avid smoker. He starts smoking at 20 months. If it happened today, the headlines would be of parental neglect. Instead it was a quirky story from 1933 in a now defunct paper. Read Jim Stingl's column on it in today's Journal Sentinel. Spoiler: the 5 year old smoker is still alive.

One profitable pimpstress

From the AP:
A Columbus judge made sure a woman accused of running two brothels won't be bailed out of jail. He set bond at $1 billion.
The Eighth Amendment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
They may keep her from fleeing, but I suspect she'd have solid grounds to make a Federal case of this. Of course, before last week I thought the Fifth Amendment was pretty clear, too, so perhaps not. After all, SCOTUS is much smarter than we are and see all those wonderful nuances in the Constitution that simple folk such as myself cannot.

Term limits. What's a good conservative to do?

Captain Ed touches on a topic that I've struggled with for years now: Term limits. Whether it be term limits for Congress, term limits for the President, or even term limits for local office, I find myself terribly torn on this issue. I may tell you today that I am con, but next week sometime I may be pro.

On the one hand, I don't believe government should be protecting us from ourselves, and that is essentially what term limits are trying to do. The logic behind term limits is that incumbents, whether it be because of their entrenched power, their high profile ability to raise funds, or gerrymandering, are incredibly difficult to defeat. But so what? It doesn't matter that an incumbent has built in advantages. As long as that man or woman wants to continue to run, and A majority of people want to vote for him/her, the people should be allowed to do so. Think of it this way. A lot of us are peeved because of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform. That bill essentially said, well, the people are too easily fooled, so we the government must step in and fix this so people can't fool them. Term limits do the same thing. Additionally, they create lame duck terms of office, where the politician is pretty unaccountable but also less powerful. After all, they have no fear of an upcoming election.

On the flip side, office holders who are firmly entrenched in their position do tend to bypass the convictions and ideas which got them elected in the first place. Instead, their life becomes a game of attaining plush committee appointments. Once a politician attains some status in office, primary challenges from their own party become nearly impossible, and most people won't break ranks to elect a member of the opposite party. To some extent, the otherwise irritating Joe Scarborough makes this point nicely in his recent book. He shows how the Repbulican Revolution and the Contract with America slowly started to unwind as that class of Republican Congressmen began to play the game they had rallied against. It would seem that the key to keeping ideals first and power politics buried is to routinely pump fresh blood through.

So I'm curious, can anyone out their give me a definitive Conservative opinion on term limits on way or the other? Right now I am solidly con-term limits, but as I said above, this winter I was solidly pro-term limits. I feel like I'm John F. Kerry.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Wifi deprived

I was completely deprived of an internet connection the last few days. The few I found (Milwaukee airport, hotel) I couldn't get to work. I twitched a little, but I made it through okay.

The business side of the trip was good. Interestingly, though, I think it was cooler in central Florida than it was here in Wisconsin. And while I was looking forward to a lightning display in the lightning capital of the world, I did not see one bolt. I got back to Wisconsin, and it was bolts a plenty as I drove from Milwaukee to home. Morale of the story-there isn't one.

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow from the Left Coast while I was in Florida. He was of the opinion, from viewing satellite pictures at night, that everyone in the center of the country should be removed to the coasts (apparently living on a coast makes you more enlightened). The center of the country should then be made into a nature preserve and a giant corporate farm. That idea is somewhere to the left of Stalin.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Vietnam War stats

I'm a history geek, and I think I've admitted that before. Tonight I was going through my bookmarks and I found this web page: Vietnam War deaths by month. I apparently needed this information at some point, but I can't remember when. Anyway, as I looked through the numbers, I was little surprised to learn that the deadliest month in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971 was April 1969. In that month, 543 U.S. soldiers. In comparison to World War II, where we could easily lose 543 in a single battle, that number is surprisingly low. The Vietnam War's death toll of 55,000 plus U.S. soldiers was truly a product of the length of that conflict.

Jiblog to be free Wifi dependent

I am going to be out of town Friday and Saturday on business. I wish I could say I was going someplace cooler than Wisconsin is right now, but I'm not, I'm going someplace even more wiltingly hot-Florida. I will have a few opportunities to hop on and blog, but it will completely depend on my access to free wifi. If I get button hooked on free wifi access, I'll be back on Saturday night or Sunday.

Private property rights on life support

Welcome to a brave new world. Today the Supreme Court ruled that eminent domain can be used for private projects. That means that the little piece of soil you call your own actually only belongs to you at the leisure of your government. When they want someone else to have it, they'll just take it away from you. Government has been chipping away at private property rights for some time now. Today they took out a big chunk. The Supreme Court is slowly turning the Consitition into a socialist document through its rulings.

The time of the year for dire New Madrid warnings

I attribute this to the slow summer news cycle, but I can remember reading dire warnings about the New Madrid fault each of the past several summers.

The making of a Teflon coat

Hillary must be loving this right now. Ed Klein's book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll go to Become President, is here and it smears her all over the map. This is actually quite advantageous for Hillary, regardless if most of the allegations are true (which I doubt) or wild eyed fibs (which I suspect).

Here's why the smears will ultimately work to Hillary's advantage. In true Clinton style, she and her publicists are going to automatically claim that this is just another example of the "right Wing Attack Machine" out in full force, smearing her with more lies, even though Klein is not really your typical Right Winger. If so much as one of Klein's claims are untrue, doubt is cast on the validity of the rest of them. If there is anything legitimate in that book, it is off limits for good.

If multiple portions of the book are untrue, then it creates something of a protective force field around Hillary into which any future, legitimate claims against her absorbed in a veil of doubt. All she needs to do is hold up her Right Wing Hit Machine card, using the claims from this book as an example.

Now, in the off chance that the claims in this were true, Hillary has plenty of time to get out in front of them and perhaps even work them to her advantage, creating a general sympathy amongst the populace.

Personally, I think this book is a boatload of bunk. Hillary (more so Chelsea) can legitimately be pitied. But make no mistake, you are watching the creation of Hillary's Teflon coat. It is cut from the same fabric of false and true allegations that her husband's coat was cut from.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

SCOTUS retirement to be O'Connor?

I'm sure everyone is writing about this already, but Bill Kristol speculates at the Weekly Standard that Justice O'Connor, not Rehnquist, will be retiring soon (HT Right Wing News).

Danica Patrick=Dish Washing Machine?

Heh. As if F1 doesn't have enough of an image problem in the United States after this weekend's attempt at a race in Indianapolis, now we learn that the F1 President Bernie Ecclestone has equated media darling Danica Patrick to a refrigerator:
Asked about Patrick's success, Ecclestone acknowledged her strong finish, but then made an assessment about women racing with men that caused a stir, saying, "You know I've got one of those wonderful ideas ... women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."
And to top it off, when he called Patrick to supposedly apologize, he said it again. It would seem that NASCAR and IRL won't need to worry about a rise in the popularity of Formula 1 racing anytime soon.

It's Jib! It's Carnac! Stop, you're both right!

I'd just like to take a moment to display my predictive powers. On May 2oth, I said the following:
In a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if, down the road, a website were to launch which was dedicated to finding out the identities of annonymous bloggers.
I was close. As Instapundit points out, outing annonymous bloggers is a growing practice.

And for the record, if anyone out there figures out my real name, it won't be that impressive of a feat. I've been openly connected to both Jiblog and the Badger Blog Alliance at two different, high traffic websites. That, along with the fact that I reply to emails with my own name. In defense of annonymous bloggers, some people want a wall between their professional lives and their blogging lives. That should be respected as long as they don't abuse their annonymity.

Enjoy the moon this evening

Due to an optical illusion, the moon is going to appear its largest since 1987 tonight. Get out and enjoy it.

Apparently my eyes are too good for an optical illusion. I was less than impressed with the big moon.

The next Loose Lips Sink Ships award soon TBD

The first person or media outlet which reports the country in which today's spy plane crash occured will be receiving Jiblog's Loose Lips Sink Ships award. It is clear that the military does not want to name this country, either for that country's sake or because they are trying to recover the wreckage before unfriendly citizen's in that country can get to it. I'm actually wuite surprised that word hasn't leaked out yet, but once it does, that person or organization will be bestowed this blog's dubious honor.

Support the Susan Torres family

Many you have heard the story of Susan Torres and her family. On Mother's Day, the 17 week pregnant Torres collapsed. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her condition quickly deteroriated to brain death. Her husband has decided to keep Torres on life support in order to give their child a chance at life, and he moved into her hospital room to be there for her and the baby. Husband Jason Torres is facing escalating medical costs in order to bring their child into this world. What Jason Torres is doing is admirable, so I am asking that everyone who can spare a little bit help support the Susan Torres family. You can make a donation via PayPal at the Susan Torres Fund. Many of us on the right blow a lot of hot air about life issues. This would be a good time to put our money where our mouths are.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The morning after pill flap

I read this letter at the Capital Times today and I felt I had to clarify a couple things on this morning after pill bill. At least clarify as I see things.

Why is it so crucial that the morning after pill be offered by the UW System? Are these young college aged women incapable of going to Planned Parenthood or, gasp, an off campus doctor if there truly is an emergency? Nobody is trying to ban these women from using the morning after pill. They're just saying that the UW system cannot disperse.

This wouldn't have been a problem if the UW Health system hadn't been so flippant and irresponsible about the prescriptions. First, the ad they ran prior to Spring Break effectively encouraged unsafe activity-unprotected sex-by female students. That is hardly the message a University should be sending. Must the UW be prudes? No, but their ad was not about emergency protection, it was about partial protection from one's irresponsible behavior, i.e. unprotected sex.

Second, they were offering the morning after pill prescriptions over the phone to women who did not need it at that moment. That has to be borderline illegal. This medication contains high levels of hormones that do have an affect on womens' bodies, and thus should not be handed out flippantly. To draw an analogy, this would be like letting players on the mens' football team call in for prescriptions to Vicodin a week before they play the Rose Bowl.

Look, ladies, no one is trying to take your options away from you here. As noted above, there are other ways of getting the morning after pill that aren't all that difficult. And I don't want to hear the poor college student excuse-if you want to have sex, you can find a way to afford the ramifications. Had the University accepted its role in disbursing this medication responsibly, this wouldn't be an issue. But they didn't, so it is being taken away from them. Maybe you should direct your anger at the UW System instead.

Silly Arianna

Arianna Huffington asks today, "why the hell aren’t we seeing more administration insiders tendering their resignations? With the White House listing and keeling over Iraq, you’d think more of them would be scrambling for the lifeboats."

Maybe, just maybe, Arianna, it isn't as bad as you and your cocktail party cronies want it to be.

The childish, selfish Michael Schiavo

What other adjectives are necessary? You want evidence, you say. Okay, take Terri's grave marker:
Michael Schiavo angered his late wife's family Monday by not notifying them about the burial beforehand and by inscribing on her bronze grave marker the words "I kept my promise."
That's only the half of it. He listed the date of the accident as the day she "Departed this Earth" and her actual date of death as the day she "found peace." Additionally, he never told her family about the burial in advance.

Terri Schiavo's grave marker will be lasting reminder of the type of person her husband was.

Godspeed, Eleanor Mondale

I'd like to offer many get well soons and best wishes to Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale. Eleanor Mondale has been diagnosed with brain cancer. I've watched people suffer through brain cancer, and she has a bumpy road ahead of her. I hope all conservatives will join me in offering Mondale our best wishes and hope for victory in her battle.

Creationism v. Darwinism

I've been vaguely following the creative design/Darwinism debate of late. One thing that has really bothered me has been that secularists seem to want to exclude any kind of creationism from discussion, period. Anytime anyone has creationist thoughts, the Darwinists try to exclude it from the realm of debate.

That stoked my fire in the debate. I'm personally of the mind that it is possible for creationism and evolution to follow intertwining paths. Yes, the Bible says the world was created in 7 days. But time is a constraint of man. Who is to say that a day for God is constrained to an earthly day? And why is it not possible that God worked through His own laws of the universe to create what we have here on Earth today? So up until recently, I've been a bit opposed to the Darwinists mostly because of their stubborn refusal to allow the possibility that Darwinism and creationism are one and the same.

Until recently. Unfortunately, some Creationists are just as bad when it comes to trying to eliminate ideas from the arena of debate:
Pressure from ultraconservative religious groups has prompted some theaters equipped with the high quality panoramic IMAX screens to cancel showings of several movies which refer to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Look, if you believe that strongly that your version of events is correct, defend it with ideas, don't suppress it. And that goes for both sides in this debate. Defeating the opposing theory with superior ideas and facts is noble and honorable. Suppressing the opposing theory is cowardly and repressive.

Threat: Bird Flu. Location: China

You should worry about an easily spreadable bird flu coming out of Vietnam or even Korea, but maybe China should be more worrisome:
The World Health Organization gave tacit confirmation on Tuesday that Chinese farmers had used controversial anti-viral drugs on poultry to curb the spread of bird flu, a practice China denied approving.
This irresponsible activity on the part of China is dangerous. It's one thing if the bird flu becomes resistant to anti-virals after it has already saved lives and given researchers time to battle and constrain it. It's quite another thing if the virus is already resistant because China decided to allow it to be given to chickens.


Parents out there, I have to give ya snaps. I don't know how you do it. Here was my day.

I got early this morning. I get up early every Monday and Wednesday because I start early and end early those days in order to coach a Little League team with a college friend who has a son on the team. After a long, stressful day, hair graying day, I leave work a little later than normal. I pick up the lovely Mrs. Jib and her sister, and we drive 40 minutes to the field. I proceed to get the equipment and get the kids started. Two and a half brutal hours later, the game is over and it is time to rake the field and drag all of the equipment back to the equipment room. Then I head over to the local movie theater to take Mrs. Jib and her sister to Batman Begins (I highly recommend it, btw). I got home at 11:40, and I am beat. Now, keep in mine, I don't have any kids. That means I didn't have to wake them up, get them ready, and get them fed. I didn't have to get them ready for a game. I didn't have any rascals in the car (unless you count the college aged sister-in-law). No whining, crying, or arguing.

So, to those of you who are parents out there, my hat is off to you.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Firefly guilt mechanism

Damn you, fireflies, aka lightning bugs. I enjoy fireflies. They are a nice visual attraction on a dark night. They are still insects, though, which means they live at my leisure. I recently came home at dusk and saw that there was a rather sizeable bug on the door. Not wanting to let it in the house, I flicked it with my my finger and it fell to the ground. It was then the firefly murder guilt mechanism kicked in.

The firefly hit the ground and immediately glowed a very bright green. So I felt bad immediately. But then I watched as the bright green glow got dimmer and dimmer and dimmer until it was just a faint glow. It was like watching the life seep out of an insect I otherwise like. And I felt guilty for killing a bug. A bug!


That's about all I can say about this story.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Happy Father's Day weekend

Happy Father's Day weekend, everyone. I'm heading up to the land of milk and Honey Weiss here shortly. Blogging will be blog as blog can all weekend. My parents' setup is not conducive for me to get on line, but if I come across anything interesting, I'l be here.

eBay oddities, Vol I

Alright. The news cycle has been a little slow lately, and on occasion I've really had to dredge for material. So tonight I'm introducing eBay oddities, a feature that may or may not be regular, and which will certainly not be long lasting. So without further ado, here are your eBay oddities.

Craddocksattic is trying to sell his mother-in-law's vehicle. No bids thus far, opening price is $6.66.

Stinky Jake dolls. 'Nuff said.

Proving that there is nothing too bizarre for the human mind to conceive, this seller has stuffed frogs for sale. They are posed in a position seemingly straight out of the Kama Sutra.

This guy doesn't just stop at his mother-in-law's vehicle. He's selling her and all of her crap. Keep it quiet, though. He didn't tell his wife.

Want to get a good price for your 9 point whitetail rack? Photograph it with a model who has a nice rack of her own.

And I conclude this volume of eBay oddities with an auction that made the 6 year old little boy in me laugh. This guy's wife held true to the common female claim that women don't fart. So after she let one go in her sleep, he "bottled" it. For some reason, he thinks you want to pay $49.99 for it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Right blogs v. Left Blogs

MyDD's Chris Bowers (HT Galley Slaves) looks at the conservative blogosphere vs. the liberal blogosphere, and he decides that the liberal blogs have ascended beyond the conservative blogs because, basically, the liberal blogs are inclusionary mini-communities, while the conservative blogs are exclusionary of any voices other than the author's. That's a pretty broad brush to paint with. For example, I could say that the tendency towards individual blogs for conservatives/libertarians is due to the fact that those bloggers have much deeper ingrained sense of self reliance and a highly developed entreneurial spirit, which leads them to stake out their own piece of turf, whereas the the liberal bloggers tend more to need a safety network of people around them who will not contradict their beliefs, but rather reinforce them in a chamber of nearly infinite echoes. Or I could say that liberal bloggers have a need for instant gratification, hence community blogs where they get instant traffic off of the work of others, whereas conservatives/libertarian blogs are willing to put in the work to create their own legion of readers. You see, I could say that, but I won't, mostly because I don't have any more facts for that hypothesis than Bowers does for his. Anyone can put a meaning to numbers, and what Bowers attaches to his numbers is mostly conjecture and stereotypes.

There is one obvious reason Bowers doesn't even consider for why liberal blog traffic has exploded. Liberals are the 'loyal opposition' right now, if you will. Since being the opposition is to be in a generally roused state, they have a natural, environmental traffic advantage.

Those crazy Norwegians

This story is a little odd:
Norwegian Princess Leah's name was inspired by a character in a "Star Wars" movie, the mother of the infant princess was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"I must admit that I have always been a big 'Star Wars' fan, and Princess Leia has always been the most beautiful in the whole world," Princess Martha Louise said in an interview with the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.
I guess if you want your son to marry into Norwegian Royalty one day, you may want to up the odds by naming him Han Solo.

Random 10

I'm not much of a list/meme guy, unless I'm really bored. The Random 10 list that Owen has over at Boots & Sabers is interesting though. That and I'm bored (and a little tired-the Little Leaguers took 2 steps back and lost 12-0 tonight). So, not to be confused with the blog Random 10, here are the 10 songs that randomly played on my music player.

1. Friends--Tenatious D
2. Margaritaville--Jimmy Buffet
3. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)--Rupert Holmes
4. Independence Day--Martina McBride
5. Didn't I--Montgomery Gentry
6. Toxic--Britney Spears
7. Puttin' on the Ritz--Stray Cats
8. American Pie--Don McLean
9. Eleanor Rigby--The Beatles
10. The Gambler--Kenny Rogers

I was slightly mortified when Toxic came on, and briefly flirted with the idea of just ignoring that song. But I openly admit that I have an, ahem, eclectic taste in music, so instead, I'm going to follow up with the 10 songs that I am the most embarrased to have in my music player.

1. Toxic--Britney Spears
2. Dancing Queen--ABBA
3. Fighter--Christina Aguilera
4. Rhinestone Cowboy--Glen Campbell
5. Don't Wanna Lose You Now--Gloria Estefan
6. Your Nobody Called Today--Sylvia
7. Delta Dawn--Tonya Tucker
8. All This Time--Tiffany
9. A Reason To Believe--Wilson Phillips
10. It's Raining Men--The Weather Girls

There is plenty of actually good music on my music player, honest. And there is plenty more odd stuff. These are then ten that I'm embarrassed about, though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

1st Blogiversary

Today is officially Jiblog's 1st Blogiversary. I thought about doing a great big retrospective on the last year, but then I decided "ah, screw it." Thank you to all of my readers for making this an enjoyable year of blogging. And if you want to give Jiblog a gift in recognition of this day, I understand that pixels are the traditional 1st blogiversary gift.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Don't look!

This is one of the most disturbing photos I've ever seen.

Gloria Steinem who?

Okay, I had previously written that there would be no more Danica Patrick here unless she got interesting again. She's interesting again. From a Newsweek interview:
Are you the Gloria Steinem of racing?
The what? I don't even know who that is. Is that bad?
Heh. Nothing I love more than when a person goes out and breaks ground in some way, and does it completely ignorant of the politics people want them to be caught up in. Bravo, and keep it up, Ms. Patrick.

The ills of social security systems

Most people in the United States are more or less empathetic towards their fellow man and support some sort if social safety net. We've also learned over the years that if you make that safety net too strong, it becomes a crutch that leads to an atrophy of the entire system. Still, as often as not, you'll hear politicians, usually those on the left side of the aisle, spew rhetoric about hurting the poor and children whenever someone tries to make the safety net better for society. Well, for an example of how a social security system can begin to eat away at the strength of a society, read this article from Tech Central Station. An Iranian immigrant to Sweden talks about his experiences in the European social security system, and how he sees it damaging those nations.

More trouble for Kofi

It appears, in a vague, somewhat uninformative type of way, that a memo has been found that indicates that Kofi Annan may have known more about the Oil for Food corruption than he let on. The story here is so vague as to make it difficult to comment on with any authority as of yet, but I will say this. I'm not sure if I welcome the sight of Kofi Annan packing his bags and leaving the UN in disgrace. It would only encourage this man, and I can't take any more of him in the limelight.

U.S. families ask Islamic clerics for apology


A collection of family and friends of Westerners killed by Islamic militants asked Islamic clerics to apologize for the beheadings of their loved ones on Tuesday.

Since 2002, numerous Westerners have been taken hostage and murdered in the name of Allah.

"The clerics have been saying that they do not condone these actions. We want them to prove this to us by apologizing for allowing the beheadings to occur and to hold the murderers accountable for their actions," said John Smith, a spokesman for the families.

When asked by reporters how this compared to the abuse of Korans by Americans at Guantanamo, Smith said that it is common knowledge that the only reason Americans abuse the Koran is in response to the oppresive ways of Islamic militants.

"Americans sometimes kick Korans, accidentally splatter them with urine, and touch the books without gloved hands because they are acting out towards the oppressive and murderous ways of militant Islam. They cannot be held responsible for this. If these militants were more conciliatory towards and understanding of Americans and less murderous, things like this wouldn't happen. In fact, there wouldn't be war or prisons like Guantanamo."

U.S. families tend to hold loved ones in high regard and resent it when they are brutally murdered, especially when done on videotape.

(The above was satire, but more in the irony sense and less in the witty sense)

One from the "duh" files

Bob Geldof is upset that Live 8 tickets are being sold on eBay:
"I am sick with this," Geldof said in a statement. "What eBay are doing is profiteering on the backs of the impoverished.

"The people who are selling it are wretches. But far worse is the corporate culture which capitalizes on people's misery."

Um, you didn't see this coming, Bob? You are throwing huge concerts with huge stars, something people would pay huge amounts of money to go to, and you gave away the tickets. If it weren't eBay, it would be ticket brokers. If it wasn't ticket brokers, it would be classified ads. If it weren't classified ads, it would be a guy holding a sign outside the venue. Geldof needs to get over this and concentrate on the more important things he's trying to accomplish. After all, it is bound to happen, even in a command economy.


Okay, I know that the majority of you are wondering right now what the bejeebers a FATFAR is. Well, FATFAR has nothing to do with a politically incorrect term for a place overweight people go to lose weight. Instead, FATFAR (which is an acronym for Frenchtown Annual Tube Float and Regalia) is a yearly party on the Chippewa river in Chippewa Falls, WI. Don't have anything to do this weekend and enjoy Wisconsin's waterways and a good party? Think about checking out this event.

FATFAR had humble beginnings. It started over 25 years ago as a yearly get together amongst some friends who were residents or former residents of Chippewa Falls. The event grew each year as more and more people invited their friends. The event, which is not sponsored by the city, has grown to the point where several thousand people gather each year on Father's Day to float down the river. The float has two unofficial end points. For those who prefer a short float, the end point is Loopy's Bar and Grill, which is about an hour and a half from the starting point in downtown Chippewa Falls. For the real die hards, the float ends at Two Waters bar, which 3 hours from the end point.

The lovely Mrs. Jib and I have floated FATFAR on several occasions now. We enjoy it because it is an opportunity for us to tie our innertubes up with some friends and enjoy a relaxed float down the river, the mid-June sun, and a few of our favorite beverages. It is also fun if you enjoy the sport of people watching. The event has Mardi Gras elements to it, with interesting designs for floating devices, beverages, and, well, I'll let you imagine the rest. Mrs. Jib and I are not participating this year, but if you are looking for something to do this weekend, FATFAR comes recommended from us. It is definitely a PG-13 type event though, so it is not recommended for small children.

FEC regulation of the internet: Keeping big money out of politics?

Tech Central Station has an interview with Brad Smith today, and an interesting point comes out of it:
We are starting to turn the purpose of regulation on its head. Elihu Root argued that we had to prevent the great accumulations of wealth from taking over politics. That's the direction we are heading now. When we think about who is going to be exempt under the press exemption, I think almost everybody would agree that the big corporations are going to be exempt under press exemption. That is to say that the Washington Post website, well, that's probably exempt. What about Slate, which at one time was owned by Microsoft? Well that's going to be exempt. Why? Because Slate kind of looks and it feels like a newspaper. It comes off the web rather than delivered by paper to my door, but it just has that look and feel and has that kind of sense to it. And then people are going to say, what about maybe a blog such as that run by Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit or something like that? Well maybe that gets the exemption. But after that it's less clear.
So, if we are to believe that the purpose of McCain and Feingold's campaign finance reform is to keep big money from controlling politics, how do we square this with McCain's statement that
"Â…there is no reason to believe that moneyed interests will not attempt to use the Internet to influence politics and policies as they attempt to do with other modes of communication. Indeed there is every reason to expect that they will."
The answer is you can't. As campaign finance reform becomes more and more pervasive, it becomes clearer and clearer what it is going to accomplish. It is going to become an incumbent preservation initiative. Incumbents have ample opportunity to cozy up to the "legitimate" big money sources out their like the Washington Post or the New York Times. But let's say the Badger Blog Alliance decides to take advertising, much like the Post or the Times does, and the BBA comes out editorially against Russ Feingold's re-election in 6 years. The BBA, which is populated with decidedly un-monied individuals, stands to have it's voice clamped down on, while the Post, the Times, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel can stump away for him.

Campaign finance reform was a bad idea to begin with, but too many voters never came to realize this because "exempt" media favored it all the way. As the courts allow this bill to reach further and further into American life, the "exempt" media is oddly silent on this, leaving those of us who find our voices on the internet to sound the bell to the relatively small number of people who regularly read blogs. Because blogs still don't reach the large percentage of the population that the "exempt" media does, much of the population still remains ignorant to the threat. And since the regulation of blogs is good for the "exempt" media after alll, why wouldn't they want to strangle their competition for eyes and ad dollars?), don't expect them to take a stance against this anytime soon.

If you are concerned about politics being controlled by a relative few number of people, you really should be opposed to anything and everything about campaign finance reform, and you should be not only writing your representatives, you should be telling anyone and everyone who will listen about what it is accomplishing: The restriction of otherwise free speech.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A must read

Call me sheltered, but this weekend while I was at a retirement party, I read the Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion for the first time. I think everyone should be familiar with this, so I'm reproducing it here:
For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community,state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and goodwill on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

Full acquittal

Well, it was not guilty on all charges in the case of which we shall not speak. I know that a lot of bloggers have avoided this story, but really, how many of us were listening to or watching the verdict anyway?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Why the Libertarian Party will never be a major party

I must say, I usually enjoying the musings of a good Libertarian, even if I disagree with them as much as I agree with them. But their is a reason many Libertarians align behind small government conservatives and not the occasional candidate their party comes up with, and that is because the Libertarians are a bit over the top on many things. And that is what is preventing their party from become a major party. Take this story out of New England, for instance:
A Keene man who planned to try to board a flight carrying nothing but a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence was arrested Saturday at Manchester Airport.
Russell Kanning, 35, was arrested after refusing to comply with security screening procedures and refusing to leave the screening area, according to the Rockingham County sheriff's department. He was charged with criminal trespassing and was being held at the Rockingham County jail.
After that vague account from the Boston Herald, I knew there had to be more to the story than just this guy carrying a Bible and the Declaration of Independence on board a plane. And there is:
On Saturday, Russell Kanning will try to board a flight from Manchester to Philadelphia, carrying nothing but a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence. In what he calls an act of civil disobedience, Kanning, a 35-year-old accountant from Keene and a staunch libertarian, will refuse to show identification to airline officials or submit to a security search.
That more detailed "preview" came from Foster's Online out of Dover, NH. His arrest had nothing to do with the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. It had everything to do with his planned refusal to show ID to security and his subsequent obstruction of security officials.

Now, it is easy to see the Libertarian argument here-government overstretching it's reach into our lives, blah, blah, blah. The problem for Libertarians in this case is that part of government's purpose is to protect citizen's from foreign powers, and one could easily make the case that terrorists fall into that foreign powers class. Because of that, most all of us, even though we complain about it, are willing to trade the liberty of not showing an ID to board a plane for the assurance that security, in this case run by the government, will ensure that a terrorist will not murder us while we are on that flight. We do this because we realize that airliners are incredibly vulnerable to being blown out of the skies or hijacked. In otherwords, most people put reality before ideals. Hardcore Libertarians put ideals before reality.

Chai Vang on the deer hunter slaying, in his own words

The Chicago Tribune has letters from Chai Vang discussing the deer hunter murders in Sawyer County. It is amazing how much Vang has discussed this story with both officials and the media. In addition to these letters, the Tribune has an article today, and another full length piece which does not yet have a publication date.

Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager picked a good case to prosecute, mostly because it is looking like this will be an extremely difficult case to lose. Vang's attorney, Steve Krohn, who in interviews outside the courthouse last week wore a techinicolor sports coat that looked befitting a used car salesman, will need to use a defense of either a mental illness or self defense, but even then it doesn't look good for Vang. He may be better off just seeing if he can get something of plea deal for Vang.

PSA: What your friendly police dispatcher is not for

I was flipping through the headlines when I noticed one that caught my interest: Web resources a handy tool for dispatchers. It was a fairly pedestrian piece which didn't teach me anything, but it ended with a paragraph that surely made dispatchers everywhere cringe:
For instance, when the Saturday fireworks were canceled at Dairyfest, citizens called dispatchers, Korkstrom said. People also often call dispatchers in the winter asking for road conditions.
Word to the wise-do not do any of these things. People do it, but dispatchers don't really like it that much, and you could be making the lives of dispatchers and police more difficult if they are in the middle of a real emergency. Do not call the police dispatch center for cancellations. Chances are they do not know any more than you do. If the event has a website, check there, or check the websites of local TV or radio stations. Do not call for road conditions. First of all, if you look out your window, you can tell for yourself. But secondly, if the roads are bad, chances are dispatchers are busy coordinating EMTs and officers to injury accidents, and your call is slowing them down, which in turn slows the response of the EMTs and officers. And that leads into the next thing-stormy weather. Do not call to ask if there is a watch or a warning. If there is, THEY ARE VERY BUSY!! You can find this information out on the web, radio, or TV. Do not bother them! If your power goes out, don't tell them! Call your utility-the number is on your bill. The dispatcher can't help you much, and they aren't going to tell you why the power is out. And, as with bad roads and storms, they get busy when the power is out. If you are safe but in the dark, leave them alone so they can better help people who are in the dark and not safe.

To sum it up, dispatchers are an emergency resource for the public, not the information line. If you don't have a complaint or an emergency, don't call them. Let them help those who do.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bravo, Representative Sensenbrenner

I'm not always on the same page as Jim Sensenbrenner, but I have absolutely no problems with this:
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), chairman of the panel, abruptly gaveled the meeting to an end and walked out, followed by other Republicans. Sensenbrenner said that much of the testimony, which veered into debate over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was irrelevant.
The hearing was on renewing parts of the Patriot Act which will expire in a few months. I have no problem with Democrats debating renewal. In fact I welcome it even though I'm a supporter of the Patriot Act. The problem is that the Democrats have been reduced to obstructing anything and everything they can in Congress because they are nearly intellectually bankrupt right now and they do not have alternatives to anything Republicans propose. They cannot acquiesce, because doing so ensures an electoral albatross. So they do the only other thing they can; they obstruct anything and everything. That's what this looks like. Instead of staying within the frame work of the issue, the Patriot Act, they extend the debate to issues that are at best tangentially related to the matter at hand in an effort to tar Republicans. Sensenbrenner was right to gavel the meeting to an end.

Thunderblogging, Vol I, No. I

Friday night I was driving west to help a friend with a little landscape work, and I had the opportunity to watch some of that evening's severe thunderstorms develop. This one was taken near the I-94/Highway 59 interchange near Edgerton, looking west. This storm went through eastern Dane county, just west of Evansville. Given Wisconsin's landscape, it can be tough to get good views of distant thunderstorms, but that evening I had a good view of a couple. Since I had the camera handy, I thought I'd share in this first edition of "thunderblogging".

Thunderblogging, Vol I, No. II

This is an image of a storm that that became severe in South Central Wisconsin. I was away from wi-fi access to radar, but I believe it was this storm.

Thunderblogging, Vol I, No. III

This storm would become severe near Portage, WI

Massachusetts looks at banning spanking

The Massachusetts legislature is going to be debating a bill that would outlaw spanking children. Speaking as a pro-corporal punishment individual, I hope that they do outlaw it. I hope they outlaw it because I believe that responsible corporal punishment works, and I'm happy a state other than Wisconsin will be the test lab to prove me right.

I've heard all the arguments now of the anti-corporal punishment people. I've heard them for quite a while (Mrs. Jib falls into that group). And through it all, I just have this to say-disciplining children is not a one size fits all endeavor. Some children just do not need to be spanked. Mrs. Jib falls into that category. Others do. I would fall into that category.

Looking back on my childhood, had my father "spared the rod" I would probably would have run rough shod over them. For me, a spanking had two main effects. First, it focused my brain on the fact that what I was doing was wrong, and second, it trained my brain to understand that their are clear lines of right and wrong. Had I received time outs, I'm pretty sure I would have continued the behavior I was punished for. I also would not have learned as pointed a lesson on the consequences of one's actions as I did.

So, having said all of that, I look forward to the Massachusetts experiment. Its failure may not be easily quantifiable, but I suspect that we would see a slow rise in juvenile deliquency and more serious crimes. And as long as this inane idea stays in Massachusetts, I have zero problem with it.

Post Script
My father spanked using his hand. I think that is fairly common these days amongst spankers. I'm not sure that the hand is necessarily better than an inanimate object like a switch, belt, ruler, or paddle, though. I look back on people I know who received their spankings with an inanimate object, and it seems that the punishment was depersonalized. Think of it this way. When you are disciplining a pet at a young age, if you swat them with a newspaper, they come to fear a rolled up newspaper, but they trust your hand still. When you swat them with a bare hand, it takes much more effort to get them to understand that the hand will only sting them when they behave badly. Yes, the usage of an object in spanking can do more harm if the punishment crosses into abuse. But for a calm spanking, I think an object like a belt may actually be the better option. Having said that, though, I probably will never employ an object because it is so scorned by society today.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Deep Throat not Mark Felt?

The revelation that Mark Felt was Deep Throat did not interest me at all. That should be evident by the fact that I dedicated precious few pixels to the the story here at Jiblog. Now, the possibility that Mark Felt wasn't Deep Throat, now that is interesting. And that is exactly the story Ann Coulter pushed forward this week (HT GOP Bloggers):
As most people had generally assumed, the shadowy figure who made his first appearance in a late draft of "All The President's Men" was a composite of several sources — among them, apparently, Mark Felt. But in telling the glorious story of "How The Washington Post Saved America," it was more thrilling to portray Deep Throat as a single mysterious individual, spilling his guts to Bob Woodward.
Among some of the inconsistencies in Woodward & Bernstein's Deep Throat/Watergate story:
-Deep Throat supposedly drank and smoked heavily. That ain't Felt.
-The Deep Throat/Woodward signaling system was not possible. The balcony at the rear of Woodward's apartment was not visible from the ground, making his red flag signal of DT impossible. Newspapers were piled in the lobby, making DT's signal of Woodward impossible.
-The movie Bernstein slipped into and which gave DT his name was not playing in DC at that time.
-Felt's daughter has an ulterior motive for her dad being DT. She needs the money.
-Woodward has an ulterior motive for DT being Felt-his reputation.
Here's why I find this story interesting now. Woodward's reputation is on the line. He has confirmed that Felt was DT, but it doesn't completely fit. The Deep Throat story gets a whole lot more interesting if we find out for sure that its authors, Woodward & Bernstein, were not actually these intrepid hero journalists, but actually a couple of guys who played fast and loose with the facts in order to make the story sexier and to fit their vision. In fact, that would make them the fathers of modern journalism.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mamas. do let your baby grow up to play catcher

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel takes a look at the shortage of quality catchers in Major League baseball right now, and they set it at the feet of parents:
"I have a reason for it: mothers," said Brewers coach Rich Donnelly, a former catcher.

"That might sound crazy but mothers don't want their kids to play football or catch in baseball because they're afraid they'll get hurt. You go to a Little League game and nobody wants to catch. They put the big kid behind the plate."

Ash has another theory for the shortage: laziness.

"Most kids think it's too demanding of a position," he said. "They don't want to put the time and energy into it that it requires to be good. They'd rather swing the bat."

I agree. Looking back to my younger days, parents did not want their kids catching, especially if they played another sport. It opened up the opportunity for other, less talented kids to play longer than they maybe normally would have. Still, it is a very demanding position to play, and many kids would rather play the glory positions up the middle-pitcher, shortstop, and center field.

With the advent on pads that sit behind kids' knees, there is a shot that young catchers today will get to the upper levels with les wear and tear on their knees. Even if you are concerned about the demands of the position on your kids bodies, you may still want them to gain experience at the position. It just may be their ticket to a dream one day.

The perils of being a nature lover

Nature lovers out there, I sympathize with your need to help animals, but you can't take foolish risks doing so:
An Illinois woman who stopped to help a family of ducks cross Interstate 90/39 on Wednesday morning ended up in the hospital after she was hit by a car and thrown 60 feet.
In the last few weeks, I've seen several people pull over on busy roads to either help animals or to let their dogs relieve themselves at the side of the road. This is just dumb. The majority of people are going to avoid hitting animals in or near the road, anyway, because it costs so much to do body repair these days. And when they do swerve, chances are they haven't seen you because their focus was the animals. This woman was lucky; all she received was a leg injury.

African debt relief

I don't fancy myself an expert on Africa, but I am curious as to why everyone is treating aid to Africa plus debt relief as the magic bullet to rampant poverty. These two initiatives, while certainly worthy, won't make a dent in African poverty. The economies of many African nations will still be a mess, and there will still be an over abundance of government corruption. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that those two factors are the root of the problem. Debt relief and aid will only sooth the symptoms for a short time.

The only way to truly help Africa in the long term is not to give the continent a fish, but rather to teach them how to fish. This is a much more difficult and time consuming task than giving away money, though, and in the short term the rewards are much more difficult to see. But in the long run, it is the only way to pull Africa out of the abyss. Do I have a plan for training Africans to be more innovative, more entrepreneurial, and more avid risk takers? Can't say that I do-as I say, I'm no expert on the continent. But unless individuals, cities, regions, and states in Africa can find their own niches in the global economy where they can successfully have strategic advantages over other parts of the world, the entire continent is going to remain under corrupt governments and mired in poverty.

This Scripps Howard editorial gets it right.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Catching up

I plan on returning to blogging on Thursday. As I indicated in a previous post, I'm just plain beat right now. My office building has been sweltering hot this week (mid to upper 80's), and then I've been going right back out in the heat at night to either coach or play ball. Rather than writing posts that may or may not make sense, I'm going to bed early tonight so I can regroup.

And for those interested, our little leaguers are still 0 for 2005, but tonight was a very positive move in the right direction. They lost 8-6 to the best team in the league. It was their closest game of the year, their highest run out put of the year, and their best pitching performance.

Monday, June 06, 2005


My apologies for the slow posting today. I'm exhausted today, and I'm self conscious about writing when I'm this tired. I did jot out several posts on paper today, but I'm probably not going to actually post them. Paper and ink is where potential posts go to die for me. I can blather on for my 7 or 8 readers on the internet, but once I have something on paper, I must compulsively edit it to death. In college, I wouldn't print a research paper off until it was the final copy. If I did have to print a draft, I wouldn't read the damn thing. Welcome to Jib quirk number 787.

Anyway, I will give you the topics of my hand written posts. If any sound interesting, shout and maybe I'll post it.

1. Why militarizing space is necessary to protect our economy and our way of life.
2. How Watergate killed bad sports coats, fedora hats, chain smoking, and the note pad.
3. Is it possible medical advances are stunting further human evolution?
4. The problem with unions that become too strong.
5. The myth of best friends with benefits (this one is a couple of weeks old, but it is a lost paper post as well).

Deer hunter murders bubbling back to the surface

Both this blog and Darn Floor covered the Wisconsin/Sawyer County deer hunter murders extensively in November/December of last year. Normally this would be a case that would have just kind of melted away for those of us not local to it, but State District Attorney Peg Lautneschlager has decided to personally prosecute it. So Wisconsin bloggers, expect this case to be a topic du jour in the very near future.


Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.

~General Dwight D. Eisenhower's message to the troops, June 6, 1944.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ronald Wilson Reagan

I don't really have the words today to honor President Reagan, so I offer his own words as a testimony to what the man was about.

We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."

We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.

Good Ebola news

The Ebola (and Marburg) have stayed largely confined to Africa, but they have rightly been a concern to health officials around the world because of the quick way they spread and high fatality rate. In a world under threat of bio-terrorism, the threat these hemorrhagic fevers was even greater. The New York Times reports good news on the front against these viruses, though. Scientists have made a vaccine break through by successfully inoculating 12 monkeys against the diseases.

Now, if we can just make some progress against the bird flu instead of just scaring people about it...

OUT: Spitting on returning soldiers IN: Passive hostility

Interesting story from Neal Boortz. A sixth grade class in Greensboro, GA, had been writing letters this past school year to Marine Zach Richardson, a college roommate of their teacher Matthew Lund. When Richardson returned home, he wanted to thank the class in person. Lund filled out the proper paperwork for a class visitor, but Principal Ulrica Corbett performed something of a pocket veto of the visit:
Lund says he never got the form back from Corbett. He says he asked the Principal about the form, and was told that she was not going to look at it.
Corbett was clearly savvy enough to not have it in writing that she was going to deny this visit. What she did not count on was Lund going ahead with the Richardson visit anyway.
When Sgt. Richardson showed up at the Carson Middle School Lund took him to the school's media center to prepare to meet the students. At that point, according to Lund, Principal Corbett called him into the hall and told him that the Marine was not approved to be at the school. Lund told Corbett that the proper form had been submitted and had been ignored. Corbett's response was "that's your problem, not mine." Lund's version of the discussion with Corbett in the hallway suggests that Corbett harbored a great deal of hostility toward Sgt. Richardson and Matthew Lund. She told Lund that the students had not earned the visit from the Marine, and closed the discussion with Lund with the phrase "what part of what we just discussed do you not understand?" She then ordered Matthew Lund to escort Sgt. Richardson off the school campus.
In fairness, Boortz does keep the possibility open that the problem is with the teacher and not the principal, but it doesn't really seem to be the case. Either this principal has displayed a passive hostility towards the armed services, or there is some sort of petty disagreement between the teacher and principal which has spun out of control. Regardless, the principal's treatment of Sergeant Richardson was at best immature.

The moral of the story? Our troops may not be getting spat upon this time around, but not everyone is exactly treating them kindly, either. Even if there was another disagreement between Lund and Corbett which precipitated this, it doesn't excuse Corbett's behavior toward a veteran who had taken the time to exchange letters with students in her school.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Flower power photo blogging, vol 2, part I

Here's what you've all been waiting for: The post 'tornado' edition of Jiblog's flower power blogging.

Flower power photo blogging, vol 2, part II

These are the lovely Mrs. Jibs peonies, with rain droplets provided by mother nature.

Flower power photo blogging, vol 2, part III

Last (post 'tornado') flower power blog photo.

Tornado blogging

Well, well. We here in southwest Jefferson County just had something of a surprise tornado warning. Mrs. Jib noted that the sky was getting dark, so I looked to see if there were any warnings. Sure enough, a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect, and they were saying the storm was capable of 70 mph winds. And it was about 5 minutes from town here. So we ran out and secured some things. The lovely Mrs. Jib dilly dallied a touch, and I started to get nervous when I some low scud type clouds blow by. They looked like smoke they blew by so low and quickly. I started to get antsy and started to say something to Mrs. Jib when the tornado siren a block from our house went off. After we crawled back into our skin, we quickly headed to the basement, Delilah the unhappy cat in tow.

So far I've heard no reports of a tornado or tornado damage in the Jefferson-Fort Atkinson area, although there are reports of trees down. Those of you east and northeast of Jefferson county may want to keep an eye on the sky this afternoon.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The U.N. wants control of the internet

Occasionally I browse through the tech geek websites. Today, I found this interesting piece. Apparently, the U.N. wants to take controls over the interenet currently held by non-profit corporation I-CANN. Here's the lede:
With little fanfare, there is a battle going on for the soul of the Internet. The United Nations and the ITU (International Communications Union) are trying to wrest control of domain names, the DNS and IP addresses from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This battle manifests itself through the U.N.-created World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and the ITU-lead Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG).
So, you may ask, what does that have to do with any of us?
If the U.N. controlled domain names and IP addresses, the ability of countries to censor the Internet would be greatly enhanced, as well as the ability to tax or impose other regulatory burdens on these resources in order to fund unrelated projects of any kind.

In fact, if the U.N. and the ITU were successful, it is not difficult to envision a Balkanization of the Internet as whole portions of the Internet decide they did not want to rely on the U.N. and the ITU for their single authoritative root. If that Balkanization were to take place, the damage to the global economy would be incalculable.

This is a threat to the internet that really deserves more play than what it is getting.

Only 78,000 new jobs created in May...

...but if you read about 8 paragraphs down, you learn that we are at our lowest unemployment rate since September 2001. Anyone else see the significance of that?

So there is no left leaning media bias, eh? I'm sure when we reach pre-9/11 unemployment levels the headline will be "Unemployment rates take nearly four years to reach pre-9/11 levels under Bush."

Why all bloggers should be wary of the FEC, Gov't

Note: This is the post which yesterday disappeared on me. Oddly enough, it showed up in my RSS feed. Below is the text as copied and pasted from an RSS reader.

I'm going to give you all a quote. After you read it, I'd like you to guess who said it. This may or may not be easy.
"We learned that the mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"
Okay, guess.

Do you know who said this?

Do you?

If your answer was John F. Kerry, you are correct. Sounds like the blatherings of a poor loser, right? Perhaps, but this poor loser is still a Senator, and as a Senator, he still has influence. If the 2004 Democratic nominee for the Presidency is asking what can be done to shut up what are essentially electronic pamphleteers (bloggers), then other Democrats are talking about it, too. And given that the Republican party is home to several "mavericks", one of whom lent his name to the campaign finance reform bill (read anti-free speech bill), there are probably Republicans talking like this, too.

There is nothing wrong with vigilance in protecting your basic rights as defined by the Bill of Rights. In fact, that vigilance may be the greatest social activism a citizen can display. The blogosphere should take a hard, firm line on this, and not give an inch. Even if it puts us at odds one day with our own political parties, left or right. Even if it puts us at odds with the law as defined by the FEC.

Leaving Blogger

Well, not me, but it looks better and better all the time as I just saw another post disappear into that electronic equivilant of a sock in a drier. Rather, Kevin and Kurt at Lakeshore Laments have left blogger for their very own site, Make sure you update your links, and check out their new digs. The site looks great.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hit Me Baby One More Time, again

Boo hiss, boo hiss! The lovely Mrs. Jib and I both think Tiffany got jobbed.

Thank you

Sometime tonight Jiblog will see it's 20,000 visitor. As this little blog approaches its first anniversary on June 15, I'd like to just quickly thank everyone who has stopped by. I must say, without traffic and regular readers, I'd have probably given up on this long ago.

Whoever visited from Patrick Ruffini's sitemeter was #20,000. The prize? A six pack of Leinie's. Must claim in person.

Interesting new blog/news aggregators

There area couple of new blog/news aggregators that I'd like to point out tonight and to offer quick reviews on.

The first is Conservative Grapevine, which is run by Right Wing News blogger John Hawkins. Conservative Grapevine is very easy to use. Hawkins reads 90 plus blogs a day, and in a very easy to use format, he lists some of the most interesting posts he finds. Simplicity of use is the upside for Conservative Grapevine. The one concern that I have is whether or not we will end up just seeing posts from the same 90 blogs over and over. Even if we do, it is a good service that Hawkins has set up, but it will lack a little when it comes to variety in the political blogosphere.

The second is Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire. Ruffini's aggregator lists stories about the 22 most likely Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates from both the MSM and blogs. The interesting thing about Rufini's Wire is that it allows readers to not only find the daily stories on these 22, it also keeps track of who's being written about, and how much, as well as who it is we are reading about. The downside is that his stats will not necessarily predict which candidates readers are leaning towards, but rather who has the most buzz.

Both are interesting aggregators, and I recommend that everyone at least check out both.

A night of Tombstone, 80's, and vegemite sanniches

The Corner is discussing bad movies we love today, and Tombstone came up in the conversation. I'm going to have to take Warren Bell's side in the Bell-Goldberg (sounds like a disease) Tombstone debate. That movie is genius, at least from a guy's stand point. It has snappy, easy to remember lines that are cool, not corny (my sister in law and brother in law can nearly quote every line perfectly, right down to Virgil's "Ya git" as they leave town with Morgan). It sticks roughly to the historical record without being a slave to it, making the story Holiday, the Earps, and the shoot out at the O.K. Corral as entertaining as is possible in an hour and a half. This movie did such a good job of myth making that it sunk the technically superior Wyatt Earp by Kevin Costner, which it beat to the theaters. Costner's movie stuck to the historical record and is actually an excellent movie, but the genius of Tombstone relegated it to the ash heap of Kevin Costner flops.

Now that I've done my good Tombstone deed for the day, I'm going to see if I can't dig me up some vegemite and sit back to watch Hit Me Baby One More Time. I'm mostly curious to see what my childhood crush Tiffany looks like.

An unhealthy Europe and war

Glenn Reynolds takes a look at the current mess that is Europe. Part way through the article is this little paragraph:
Green doesn't think we're headed for another war, and I hope he's right. But Europe has been the world's primary troublespot for centuries, so when things go badly in Europe, it's a bad sign for the rest of us.
I've been thinking a lot about the dry rot in the European economic and political sectors lately, and while it is disturbing, does anyone actually think this could lead to war without plenty of advance warning to reign in any warring desires? I mean, what would they fight each other with, pea shooters? Some may say that I am being flippant, but outside of Britain, who has the manpower and machinery to fight a war on the old continent? It is going to take a refashioning of economies and military build up before anyone would be seriously war capable in Europe. Communism may be a rising threat in Europe, particularly in France, but I doubt war is anywhere near the horizon.

Bonus thought
If we label Europe as "the world's primary trouble spot for centuries, what makes us think that uniting the Europeans is going to fix that? It seems to me it would make them even more dangerous to world peace and stability.

Feminists, your Saudi sisters need you

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Feminists should be ashamed of themselves for their silence on the treatment of many Muslim women. This is just another example, only not as life threatening as honor killings:

Saudis Outraged Over Women-Drive Proposal

In a world where women are held under the thumb of a real religous theocracy, the silence of feminists is deafening.

Here's why all bloggers should fear the FEC

I'm going to give you all a quote. After you read it, I'd like you to guess who said it. This may or may not be easy.
"We learned that the mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"
Okay, guess.

Do you know who said this?

Do you?

If your answer was John F. Kerry, you are correct. Sounds like the blatherings of a poor loser, right? Perhaps, but this poor loser is still a Senator, and as a Senator, he still has influence. If the 2004 Democratic nominee for the Presidency is asking what can be done to shut up what are essentially electronic pamphleteers (bloggers), then other Democrats are talking about it, too. And given that the Republican party is home to several "mavericks", one of whom lent his name to the campaign finance reform bill (read anti-free speech bill), there are probably Republicans talking like this, too.

There is nothing wrong with vigilance in protecting your basic rights as defined by the Bill of Rights. In fact, that vigilance may be the greatest social activism a citizen can display. The blogosphere should take a hard, firm line on this, and not give an inch. Even if it puts us at odds one day with our own political parties, left or right. Even if it puts us at odds with the law as defined by the FEC.

Deep Throat

I'm beginning to sense the Mark Felt-Deep Throat story is becoming much more than just a solved mystery story. It's becoming emblematic of the press's desire to take down George W. Bush. They want their own Deep Throat, and they want it bad.

At least George McGovern admits it.

The war against pharmaceuticals-target, Viagra

The San Fransisco Department of Health, via the American Journal of Medicine, is pushing the theory that Viagra is leading to greater instances of sexually transmitted disease in the gay community:
Five studies reported that gay men who used Viagra were 2 to 5.7 times more likely to have put themselves or their partners at risk by having unprotected sex with a person whose status they either didn't know or was the opposite of their own.

Studies in San Francisco suggested that Viagra users were 2.5 times more likely to test positive for HIV than other gay men, two times more likely to get diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease other than HIV, and 3.5 times more likely to have used methamphetamines within the past four weeks.

Viagra "is the only sexual health product that's associated with increased risk for STDs," said study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of STD prevention and control services at the San Francisco Department of Health. "Condoms, birth control, emergency contraception -- they've all been shown not to be associated with increased risk of STDs."

It's a little bit said to see health officials in a city with a high occurence of unsafe sexual activity try to push this off on a medicine that does not affect the decision making ability of its users. Villifying Viagra and adding another warning label is not going to lead these individuals to make smarter decisions. They know the risks they are taking, but the risk is part of what gets them off. Blaming Viagra isn't going to solve that problem, it's only going to obfuscate the real reason behind it. It's a little bit like saying 10W-30 is the reason drunk drivers get into accidents.

Tougher for teens to find jobs?

Maybe in LA, but I still suspect the entrepreurial teen can find a way to make a buck. For instance, I felt a little bad when I told a neighborhood kid no when he asked me if he could mow my lawn for the summer. Just the same, I'd be willing to bet that he's making better money than some kids who are working retail. Also, I can't substantiate this, but my general sense is that kids are getting snobbier and snobbier about where they work, and that is also affecting their ability to "find" a job. I've talked with a number of teenagers and college students who are literally taken a back when I tell them that I *gasp* worked at Burger King as a teen. For many kids, the place has to be cool (example-Starbucks) before they'll take a job. They won't lower themselves to work at a fast food joint or Walmart.

Congrats UW Whitewater men's baseball team

I'd like to offer my belated congratulations to the men's baseball team at my alma matter, UW Whitewater, on their Divison III National Championship. I can say that back in the day I wore the purple Warhawk ball cap for about a month before I washed out. I still have that hat somewhere, and I just may break it out in honor of their title.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ugh. I could fisk the H-bomb as a full time occupation, but what really would I accomplish by doing so? All I'll say is that the Democrats don't have any ideas, but neither does James Boyce, whoever the hell he is. What ideas he doesn't steal from Republicans are just plain dumb. If you must, here's a link, although it doesn't come recommended.

Heh. He was a senior campaign advisor to John Kerry. That explains a lot. Well, given that, I'm going to fisk him.

Here are his new ideas for Democrats:

Well, he doesn't really have any. He just pretty much whines about the war and how the American people are willing to be lied to. That's some original thought right there.

Osama bin Laden
His idea:
Their idea: wanted dead or alive.

Our idea: wanted: an update.

An update? That sounds more like sarcasm than an idea. How about substantive ideas?

The Deficit
His idea: Pay as you go. He may have a winner here, even though this isn't exactly a new idea, just another one dusted off the shelf. The problem is, it'll be a short lived idea. I think it is abundantly clear that any time a party is entrenched in power in congress, they spend like drunken sailors. Democrats can play the pay as you go card if they wish, and the fiscal conservative in me will probably actually relish watching some Republican congress members squirm, but one would have to be naive to think that the Democrats wouldn't go back to their big spending ways the shortly after regaining congress.

Making the first Tuesday in November a national holiday
Again, not really a new idea, and not really an idea that is going to win anyone any elections. I don't know how hard I'd fight this one, mostly because I'd kind of like to be able to sit back and say "I told you so." The reason I'd be so smug is because Americans are famous for enjoying their Holidays for doing just about anything but what the holiday is intended for. Memorial Day? The interstates aren't exactly jam packed because people are rushing out to Memorial Ceremonies and parades. The Fourth of July? A day to drink and dare fate with small explosives. Many states already allow you to be absent from work for a period of time on election days. If people aren't taking advantage of an opportunity to be out of work for a couple of hours, what makes him think that a day off would make any difference? Finally, a federal holiday does not automatically mean people get off of work. How many of us have Martin Luther King day off, or Veterans Day? Do you think that Joe Blow, working at McDonald's, the little guy that Democrats think Republicans are keeping down, is going to have the day off from his minimum wage job just because the Feds declared a holiday? Uh, no.

Eliminate the IRS and establish a flat tax
Umm, yeah, that's a new one. Just don't tell that to Republicans Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist, among others. Umm, wait a second-yeah that is a new idea, and I just hate it. Please don't run with that one, Democrats, please! ;-)

Ban Political Advertising except during the last 7 days of an election
I'm just stunned by the ignorance of this one. This guy supposedly helped make Kerry '04 ads, for God's sake! No wonder Kerry lost. Okay, now the issue at hand. Not only would this be a grievous violation of the first amendment, it would also likely creep into other areas. For instance, take a look at what the FEC is doing right now. It wouldn't be long before writing about politics before an election would be outlawed (except for the exempt media) because it would be an in kind contribution. That's fine if you are part of the establishment and you want to remain as part of the establishment, but stinks of holding down a little guy like, say, oh, ME.

Force their hand on North Korea
Thank God John Kerry did not win the Presidency and keep this nut job on as an advisor. Using foreign affairs with an mentally unstable, nuclear equipped dictatorship that could pave South Korea with artillery before we get a plane in the air as a political card to get the Republicans? That's just plain dangerous. If you want to stand up to North Korea, fine, do it responsibly, don't do it as a political game and risk the lives of millions of South Koreans. Oh, and given earlier rhetoric from the left, could we then say he stole this idea from those evil neo-cons?

Okay, I'm left with this-was this guy really a "Senior Advisor" to Kerry? I hope that means gopher in politi-speak, because this guy is vapid. I'm surprised Kerry got a couple dozen votes if this guy had any influence in the campaign what so ever.

Tuesday night ball

We have finally scored our first 'W' of the year. After jumping ahead 6-0 after a half inning, we quickly fell behind after an 11 run bottom of the first. Still, we scrapped back to win 15-14 in the 8th inning. I was 3-4 with a walk, single, double, triple, and four runs scored. That brings me up to 7-14 after a slow start.

And so ends another boring softball post.

Kiss your freedom of speech goodbye

It looks like the FEC has decided to regulate the internet, and that includes the pamphlets of the 21st century, blogs. Face it, folks, this is just another step towards silencing your voice so incumbents can entrench themselves in power. Those Americans who swallow the news uncritically were all in favor of McCain-Feingold. Unfortunately, that bill will be a curse to the freedom of speech of all Americans. If politicians can silence me here at my little corner of the internet, it won't be long before they try and silence you, too. John McCain and Russ Feingold's names are quickly becoming the scourge of this century. Ironic from a "maverick moderate" and the sole opponent of the Patriot Act.