Monday, January 31, 2005
Friday, January 28, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
As promised earlier today, in the spirit of tireblogging, oil change blogging, and cabbage blogging, I bring you the latest and the greatest blogging movement of them all, truck stop blogging. Yes folks, where else can you fill up your gas guzzling SUV, buy a slurpy, a hot dog, and a dirty magazine, even shower, and still blog at the same time.
That's right, truck stop blogging. I was going to rest area blog, but then I realized that there are no side benefits to rest area blogging to a straight married guy like myself. Instead, I find myself with a full tank of gas and a handful of corn nuts. Make no mistake abou...uh, I gotta go. My car is being assualted by lot lizards.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
* are in place because I don't necessarily want misguided hits to Jiblog now. Last thing I need is to wake up one morning tied to my ceiling fan with knots that haven't even been named yet. :-)
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
"The dominos are starting to fall, and I feel that I must come forward before some enterprising reporter begins to dig into my past. In the past, I have promoted Leinenkugel's as the greatest beer on God's green earth. I'm ashamed to admit that the Leinenkugel's Brewery has provided me with free beers at their hospitality center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin."
While Jib claimed that there was no direct association between these free beers and his support of the brewery, the AP has learned that a bartender at the old Leinenkugel's Brewery hospitality center once provided Jib with more than the publicly allotted 2 free beers. It has also been learned that Jib has frequently drank with Leinenkugel employees in the past, raising further suspicions of how deep his ties with the brewery really are. Rumblings out of the city of 13,000 are that Jib was even seen having a beer at the hospitality center with brewery President T.J. "Jake" Leinenkugel one afternoon in December 2003. More as this story develops.
The newspaper’s review, the most extensive analysis done so far of the election, revealed 1,242 votes coming from a total of 1,135 invalid addresses. That is, in some cases more than one person is listed as voting from the address. Of the 1,242 voters with invalid addresses, 75% registered on site on election day, according to city records.
This would be an example of the incompetence of Milwaukee's Election Commission, an incompetance that an earlier Journal Sentinel article shows may be occuring in other Wisconsin election commissions. Having said that, let's take a look at what the Mayor's Chief of Staff has to say on the matter:
Barrett Chief of Staff Patrick Curley said the newspaper’s findings underscore the need to improve the handling of elections, particularly large-turnout ones that strain the system.
Curley said he believes the problematic addresses - less than 1% of those who voted - are a sign of procedural problems in the Election Commission office, not widespread fraud.
“The process is what we’ve charged the election task force with,” Curley said. “Obviously, improvements are needed.”
Well, yes and no on that "not widespread fraud" part. There is a two part problem here, and I hope that individuals like Curley can follow the 'nuance', if you will. These 1200 votes are clearly signs of incompetence. So is the failure to verify 80,000 voter registrations immediately after the election. The fact that 75% of the 1200 bad addresses were same day registrants, that is an indicator of fraud. So are the bad addresses that were discovered prior to the election. So too may be the 8,300 (or 10,000, depending on the numbers your trust) same day registrations that were so illegible they couldn't even be mailed. For now, there is a clear line of demarcation: Election officials are guilty of incompetence, and possibly a large number of voters participated in fraud. Unless they have something to hide, government officials in Milwaukee need to stop dodging the fraud issue, because that isn't being leveled at them. Instead, they need to clean their house, because it is their incompetence which has made the fraud by voters possible.
Monday, January 24, 2005
A higher minimum wage would bring dignity to some people’s lives, allowing them to earn enough to eat and find a good place to live without public assistance, said council member Kerry Kincaid.
What? This would "bring dignity" to people's lives? I don't think it will. Ignoring the ripple affect something like this would have on small businesses and the number of people they could afford to employ, let's look at it this way. This minimum wage employee will gross an additional $3848 a year. That's about $320 a month, gross. $320 (gross) a month does not buy a whole lot more dignity. What about the dignity of those people who started out in a minimum wage job and worked very hard to get themselves good job reviews and raises over the years. Suddenly they find that they are minimum wage employees again, or that all of their hard work means that they are $.15 above the minimum wage, above people who are coming into entry level jobs with no experience what so ever. I know a person who in the early 1990's entered the job market later in life, and she worked hard to get herself up to a nicer wage, and every time she started to feel proud of her work, the minimum wage was raised and she found herself making what entry level workers made all over again. There was no pride in that. It did nothing for her "dignity". It gave her no desire to work hard and get ahead.
There are some very principled arguments against raising minimum wages. This is not meant to be one of them. This was an argument against a stupid statement by a local politician.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
All knowledge of the great house was lost until 1738, when workmen sinking a well shaft encountered a mosaic floor. It was too deep to excavate; instead, over the next 20 years under the supervision of Karl Weber, a Swiss military engineer, a network of tunnels was hewn through the debris clogging the great peristyle, the atrium and the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Cartloads of treasures were brought to the surface, destined for the art collection of the King of Naples.
Throughout this time, mingled with the sculptures and glassware, workmen retrieved what looked like lumps of coal which they unthinkingly dumped in the sea. It was not until 1752 and the discovery of an intact library lined with 1,800 rolls of papyrus, that the excavators realised that what they had been throwing away were carbonised books. The site has since been known as the Villa of the Papyri.
While the rolls of papyrus were unreadable due to the carbonization, modern technology, namely multi-spectral imaging, allows for us to see the words long lost to antiquity:
Booras’s tool was a digital camera sensitive to a far wider spectrum of light and which could range deep into infra-red wavelengths.
When he and his wife Susan, a fellow researcher, applied a filter that allowed only infrared light of 900-950 nanometres into the camera, the long-lost texts reappeared.
The ink had apparently retained a characteristic that made it absorb infrared light differently from the surrounding burnt papyrus.
The events of history have left huge gaps in Western knowledge. The burning of the library at Alexandria was a terrible tragedy for human knowledge. In this case, tragedy has preserved texts that otherwise would have detoriated by now, and modern technology allows us to read texts that possibly have not been read in 2000 years. May the Herculaneum society be successful in efforts to find a second library on the site.
Dealing with snow while drinking beer. Very Wisconsin. Possibly also the title of my autobiography.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Well you see, Norm, it's like this...A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.A joke, right? Au contraire, monfraire. A recent study indicates that moderate drinking makes the mind sharper. This would fit well into Clavenism. That's why you should read more about this in my new book, "Booze, Cigars, and Gracie-Why George Burns Lived to be a Damn Old Man." (Nod to Kevin Nealon for my blatant theft of his comic stylings on that last line).
History is marked by battles for resources. Since World War II, most wars have been over ideology. It is easy to fool oneself into thinking that those days are gone. They aren't. China is a very hungry, very large nation which is going to be trying to secure oil resources to meet needs that one day could be much larger than our own. It is uncertain whether the earth's oil fields can meet the world's needs as former third world nations like China attempt to leap into the first world. What does this mean to us? Well, it could mean several things. It could mean that the world is facing terrible global economic crunch as demand rises much faster than supply. It could mean that major economic powers find themselves in armed conflict over petroleum resources. Or it could mean that the nation that pioneers an widely available, cheap form of alternate source of energy will be the leader in the world's future economy. If it is us, believe me, we won't seriously dedicate ourselves to it until we are in crisis, but once we get there, no one will do it better.
Which of these three paths will we travel down? I'm not going to venture to guess that. There are too many decisions to be made yet, too many variables that we cannot account for. Just don't think that we are anywhere near the end of history.
Before anyone starts to think I'm turning into an environmentalist or radically turning to the left, I will say that I'm still skeptical about our current alternative energy options. Take hydrogen, for example. Read this article in Popular Science for reasons why hydrogen is more hype than realistic option.
I read this and I wasn’t quite sure — it says that Wisconsin cheese is being sold in France. (Laughter.) That’s a good cheese.No, Mr. President, you're "a good cheese". Congratulations, and may you help America achieve historic gains in your next 4 years.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
(Cross posted at Badger Blog Alliance)
Monday, January 17, 2005
Here's a recommendation for CAIR: Work a little more on the "Islamic" side of things. Worrying about a fictional story accomplishes much less in the long run than ending the barbarism being perpetrated by immoral representatives of the Islamic faith who practice terrorism. Are terrorists a small minority of all Muslims? Yes. They are also just as dangerous to Muslims as they are to white, black, and brown Americans. Clean up your backyard, CAIR.
Aw come on, Jib. Get on with life now. Your guy won. No questions asked. Give up the whining already. I know you wanted W to win Wisconsin just as much as I wanted Kerry to win Ohio.I can see how this can seem like a case of sore winnerism. Our guy won the election, and here we are complaining about the fact that we think he should have won in Wisconsin, too. That's really not what is going on here, though. There is probably nothing that can be done to change the results in Wisconsin at this point, no matter how loud the Wisconsin blogosphere is about this. I think most of us realize this. There are two things that are at play, though. First, a lot of us are concerned about the dramatic slide that is occurring in the legitimacy of Wisconsin elections. This started quietly in 2000 when a Democratic election worker was caught trying to buy the votes of Milwaukee area homeless people with cigarettes. There is also a great deal of concern about Wisconsin's very lenient voter registration laws. These laws, which make it excessively easy to register to vote in Wisconsin, also make it excessively easy to commit voter fraud. It would be nothing for someone from Illinois who has a summer home in Wisconsin (and there are a lot of these individuals) to register in the area of their summer home and vote in Wisconsin as well as Illinois. The laws also make it easy for anyone to show up the day of the election, register to vote at an address of a vacant lot or a business, and get away with it. On this count, I was sounding the warning bells before the election. Additionally, we watched as Milwaukee (heavily Democratic) allowed over 5,000 very questionable voter registrations to stand prior to the election. We watched as Milwaukee insisted that it needed over twice as many ballots as it had eligible voters. We've seen Milwaukee's disregard for justice when vans rented by Republicans to take voters to the polls were rendered inoperable with slashed tires, and no one was brought up on charges. Now we watch on as Milwaukee shows an utter disregard for its responsibilities, and does not verify its same day voter registrations, allowing the votes to stand long enough for the election to be certified, even though the ineligible votes could have been of a large enough quantity to swing the election. We cannot change any of this that is in the past, but we are beginning to feel besieged by what we feel is a corrupt Democratic establishment in this state. By trumpeting this story and applying pressure to the principles, we can help halt this slide towards corrupt elections that we've been watching. If we are quiet on this story, the Wisconsin media will not pick up on this story, and Wisconsinites will go to the polls in 2006 and 2008 ignorant of these issues, and nothing will be done to shore up our ailing electoral process.
But none of that happened. So enough already.
Let's start thinking of what needs to be done by the President to make him 'legendary'. Not about the voting.
If anyone, it is Kerry and his supporters who should be whining about voter fraud and stuff. Not you and yours.
A secondary issue that plays into this is a sense equality, of fairness. There is legitimate doubt about what is going on here in Wisconsin, primarily in Milwaukee and, to a lesser extent, Madison. Despite this legitimate doubt, nobody outside of Wisconsin is paying any attention to it. Instead, the story is a Democratically spun fairy tale out of Ohio, which is less than legitimate. We don't want the spotlight per se, but we do think that if the story was a legitimate one for the media to drone about, then they should be paying a lot more attention to what is going on here in Wisconsin than what happened in Ohio. But they're not, they are ignoring it. The results of the election in Ohio were never in doubt, despite efforts on the part of the left to find a Democratic vote under every rock. This story coming out of Milwaukee means that foul play may have very well turned the election results. Whether "our guy" ultimately won or not, it leaves a sick feeling in your stomach when you realize that foul play may have changed the results in your state. Even if you are one to believe that there was no foul play at all, you still have to be disgusted at the outright incompetence.
But given all that, RPM, if you would like to see me talk about what needs to be done to enshrine Bush in the legions of Great Presidents, I'll be happy to go to work on that, too :-).
"In a nation which is willing to spend several hundred million dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that too many people here in America were denied that democracy," Kerry said.Kerry must then support the thousands of voters created from scratch or raised from the dead to enjoy American democracy in Wisconsin and Washington, because he made no mention of those irregularities.
The story of Rosemary Kennedy is a rather sad one. It can be tempting to serve the story up as a condemnation of the Kennedys, but it is really a story of how the mentally disabled were treated poorly and hidden from society right up to the 1980's. Read the link above to learn a little bit about Rosemary Kennedy's life.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Let's start with the conclusion: We encourage people to work for regime change at home all day on November 2nd, Election Day, and then prepare to return to the streets on November 3rd (and perhaps beyond), at predetermined, symbolic, convenient locally-chosen sites.
So it is safe to say that Cobble and Shaw are not exactly Bush supporters. In fact, given that they went to the "People's Legislature" in Madison to collect signatures, it's hard to take them seriously at all. Just the same, in their ZNet article, Cobble and Shaw claim they were inspired to prevent another stolen election aka Florida 2000, stating:
A right-wing cabal stole an election, partly in the dark of night, partly in broad daylight.
If they were legitimately upset by Florida in 2000, then they should be down right outraged by Wisconsin in 2004, where in the dark of night, Republican rental vehicles were vandalized, and in broad daylight, large numbers of unverified votes were counted in Milwaukee County. Of course, they won't be, but one of their stated goals was that "We must also prepare to defend the vote." Here's their chance to "defend the vote". In fact, give them a little encouragement. Go to their feedback page and ask them to petition Sen. Feingold to open investigations on Capital Hill into voting irregularities and foul play in Wisconsin. After all, if their purpose is completely upright and honest, they should be even more outraged at election fraud here in Wisconsin as perpetrated by Democrats than they were by the "irregularities" in Ohio or in Florida.
And by the way, if you do not recognize Cobble and Shaw, I'll give you brief bios. Cobble has dabbled in writing, doing several pieces for The Nation, as well as working as a political director for the Rainbow Coalition and as an advisor for the Kucinich campaign. Shaw, on the other hand, is the Editor of Newtopia Magazine, which is self described as "A Journal of the New Counterculture." Well, now would be a nice time to see if the "new counterculture" holds consistent values or, if they are just like the mainstream culture they disdain, holding values of convenience.
Disclaimer: It is only with more than a little bit of indigestion that I give this organization any free publicity. I have no doubt that they will find nothing wrong with what has happened here in Wisconsin. I decided it was worth giving them the coverage only because they should be challenged to live up to their own publicly proclaimed desire to "defend the vote".
(Cross-posted at Badger Blog Alliance)
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Journal Sentinel coverage of the story is here.
The election in Wisconsin was decided by a little over 11,000 votes, not 18,000 as previously stated.
(Cross posted at Badger Blog Alliance)
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Then, the Republican-leaning actor/director advised the lefty filmmaker: "But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you."
From the context, his tounge was firmly in cheek, but still, who dares cross Dirty Harry?
Free wifi at the OC airport. Woo hoo!
Keep checking out Sykes Writes to see if Charlie ends up linking to additional Wisconsin bloggers.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Congrats to Blog General. He, along with the Owen at Boots & Sabers, Patrick at My View of the World, Kevin at Lakeshore Laments, Badger Pundit, and The American Mind. Give a good show everyone.
It sounds like the segment will begin at 10 am central. For a webcast, go here.
You have no idea how jealous I am right now.
Yes, I know all about Kid Rock's lyrics. Yes, I'm also quite familiar with the lyrics that refer to Barbara Bush (actually, quite a visual if you ask me, and I love 'Bar'). And I do understand how a portion of Bush's base could be offended by Kid Rock's lyrics. Sometimes, on some things, you just have to chalk it up to kids (Jenna & Barbara) being kid (fans).
- I walked out of my hotel room this morning to sunny skies. I was stunned to learn that I was looking at a snow covered mountain that wasn't all that far away. The skies had been so low that I didn't even know it was there until the skies cleared.
- This storm was weird. I showed up in Southern California as it did. The first stage had native Californians telling me to be careful on the roads because people slide around a lot in the rain. I was a bit stunned by this as it rains much harder than this during the Wisconsin summer, and handling a vehicle in those rains is not overly difficult.
- What made this unique was that it just kept raining steadily. If it weren't for the fact that this continued for 4 or 5 straight days, the rain would not have been a problem at all.
- Much of Southern California is little more than the rain gutter of the Southern Californian mountains. This is a very beautiful corner of the world, and I understand why so many people flock here, but when you choose to live in an area whose beauty is the result of its dangers, do you really deserve to complain when the worst happens? I'm willing to admit that Wisconsin, although beautiful, does not have the gorgeous vistas of Southern California. Outside of the occasional tornado, blizzard, or flood, Wisconsin is quite safe, though, and that's a trade out I'm willing to make.
I can almost feel sorry for Olberman. Here's a guy who thinks himself to be quite the Einstein. He's also a guy who was cutting edge and cool once upon a time-when he was teamed up with Dan Patrick on ESPN. Now here he is. The blogs are nipping at his heals. The blogs are cutting edge and cool, and he has a flailing talk show. I can understand where Olberman's bitterness comes from (especially if you add in the Kerry loss). That doesn't excuse him, though. I suspect that if I made an assertion that Olberman was on, say, Barbara Boxer's payroll, I could be open to a libel suit. Fortunately, Olberman's daily audience is about as big as Jiblog's, so that really shouldn't be an issue.
Monday, January 10, 2005
I am counting my blessings, though. I've seen video of a horrific landslide that has killed at least two. People's homes are being swept away. Their cars are being swept away. I still have my health, and my home is back in home sweet home Wisconsin.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
"I didn't know that if you wanted a show cancelled, all you had to do was say it out loud."So said Jon Stewart, on last night's "Daily Show," about the cancellation of CNN's "Crossfire."
Really? If so, I want the Daily Show canceled. Or am I just not elite enough to effect that change?
Friday, January 07, 2005
I will be posting during my California trip, but I'll be posting when I can, so expect seeing posts pop up at the oddest of times.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
"In the last [Bush] budget, we cut housing again, and that was Jesus' dilemma. In Bethlehem, his family ended up homeless. Rome was a wealthy country that left Jesus and Mary and Joseph, in a sense, homeless. He was born an at-risk baby. ... Today we are celebrating the wealthy and war, not the poor and peace." --"Reverend" Je$$e Jack$on
Ummm, Jesus was homeless? Wasn't it more a case of Mary and Joseph failing to call ahead for hotel reservations? Jesus was an at-risk baby, because a power greedy ruler was threatened by him and wanted him dead, but not because Rome cut housing. I mean really, how can the son of a carpenter during the period of Roman rule ever really be homeless.
The Reverand Jesse Jackson, buffoon.
Aw hell, who am I kidding. I'm going to spend my evenings dodging mudslides. Whenever I travel, I get button hooked by the weather (for the meaning of 'button hooked', please listen to "The Goat" by Adam Sandler). This week-plus looks to be no different than usual.
Good news! According to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, everyone in America will share in my weather misery next week as a "once-in-a-generation" storm sweeps across the country. Sorry, but misery loves company.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Okay, none of the above is true, but it illustrates my point. Environmentalists fail to understand one simple fact about our environment: We are part of it. Because of that, we will always have an impact on it, for better or for worse. I am willing to give the environuts kudos for wanting to be good stewards of the environment, but too often they don't factor into their thinking that humans will always have the biggest footprint in our environment because we are the most advanced species on the planet. This short sightedness leads them to chase initiatives that sometimes can be more harmful than the status quo.
This post was inspired by a couple of items in the news recently. The first is this story from the USA Today about the carnage electricity producing wind turbines creates amongst predatory and migratory bird populations. The second is this story out of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where an environmentalist lawsuit has halted work on a new coal generator which is important to meeting Wisconsin's power needs.
How To Start A Blog:
Part I -- Before You Begin
How To Start A Blog:
Part II -- The Beginning Bloggers Toolbox
How to Start a Blog:
Part III -- How to Become an A-List Blogger
How to Start a Blog:
Part IV – The Art of Marketing Your Blog
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Keep checking in on the site, and if you are a Wisconsin Blog that would like to participate, let me know.
Monday, January 03, 2005
I'm excited about a new year of blogging. All in all, I'm pleased with Jiblog's first 6 months, however, like Drew, I have an obsession with my hit count and my links, especially after having the rush that comes with a Hughicane (my trademarked name for Hugh Hewitt's version of an Instalanche) right before the election. I'm looking forward to an even better 2005, and I hope all of you who are regulars are still regulars here 365 days from now.
Jiblog will be going on the road at the end of this week as I head to not so sunny Southern California for an 8 day business trip. I suspect I'll be listening to a lot of AM radio as I sit in gridlock, so hopefully the evenings will be bountiful in new posts. I just hope that airport security doesn't fondle my chest during a frisk. After all, what could be more terrible than that?