Monday, February 28, 2005

The personification of cows

I believe that I read a lot of things with an open mind. If I read a lede and I disagree with it, I do give the rest of the article the chance to change my mind. But some articles, with one sentence, make it impossible for me to take the rest of the article seriously. Here is an example of a sentence which can shut me down on an entire piece:
“Cows look calm, but really they are gay nymphomaniacs,” he said.
The best part is, I didn't make that sentence up. In Sunday Times of London, there is an article claiming that animals are just as complex as humans. The above sentence appeared halfway through the article. I giggled, then I ate a hamburger.

Quick update

A sink installation that takes nearly 8 hours is not an impressive sink installation. It also serves to exhaust a slightly out of shape 29 year old such as myself, especially when the following day is a full one. Still, the lovely Mrs. Jib came home from work, saw the sink she picked out installed to her approval, and even called me "a regular Bob Vila." It isn't true; I'm more of a regular Tim Taylor, but it still made all of the frustration and the cursing worth it.

Posts have been light since the sink installation because regular life has been busy. Mrs. Jib shows incredible patience with my blogging, though, so I'm glad to give back to her as best I can. Tomorrow is WC-Day. I'll be at UWW for the events surrounding Ward Churchill's speech. After I get back, I'll hopefully have ample posts on everything, with pictures.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

By the way...

If you're wondering why in the world one would be awake and posting at 3:19, I have one word of advice for you. Never start installing a sink at 7 pm.

Lawsuit crazy culture has gone too far!!

That's it! I've been pushed too far by this lawsuit crazy society. I'm ready to snap. This is taking it too far:
A Madison school nurse is suing national brewers and distillers, claiming they have engaged in a "long-running, sophisticated and deceptive scheme" to sell alcohol to underage drinkers and reap billions a year in unlawful revenue.

Jacquelyn Tomberlin's suit was filed Thursday in Dane County Circuit Court and lists more than 100 defendants, including Milwaukee-based Miller and its subsidiary, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., as well as mega-brewers Anheuser-Busch and Coors and imports Heineken and Guinness. Among the spirit-makers in the lawsuit were Bacardi, Jim Beam and Hiram Walker.
Leinenkugel's!?! Why doesn't she just toss Walter's and Grain Belt in there for good measure!

In all seriousness, though, this is ridiculous. Even more so than the tobacco lawsuit. If you want to look to the source of kids developing a brand awareness and preference for alcohol as a minor, look to the home, not advertising. It all starts with the parents. My father quit smoking and drinking when I was six, and that did more to keep me from trying any of those vices as a minor than anything. In fact, and I'm loath to admit this, I was very anti-Leinies as a kid because I heard my dad tell horror stories of the stuff. It wasn't until I left home and started growing up a bit that I developed my attachment to Leinie's, or beer for that matter. And as for those 18-20 year old underage drinkers, they are adults responsible for their own actions. In fact, just legalize it for them. If they can vote and die for their country, they sure as hell should be able to drink legally. But that's another post for another time.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Judicial gerrymandering

Are judges just winding their way through the law in order to issue the judgements they want? Look at this judgement, which defies logic.

Kapital Times cartoonist says UWW a "real standout"

The Kapital Times today runs a column by Mike Konopacki, who usually does a Saturday cartoon for the newspaper. In the column, Konopacki says UW Whitewater is "the real standout" amongst schools that have accepted his son because they invited Ward Churchill to speak, and he talks of the discussions he and his son have had about Churchill's essay. Well, I hope Konopacki also discusses some other topics with his son:
-That in the real world, there are consequences for misrepresenting who you are and your qualifications to an employer.
-That academic standards to apply to students, and if you are caught making up facts in a paper that your citations do not support, that there are consequences for this as well.
-That taking someone else's work, whether it be written or artistic work, and passing it off as your own, is a copyright violation and could lead to serious legal consequences.
I doubt that Konopacki will be discussing these topics with his son. By the time you get to the end of his piece, it becomes apparent that he fully supports Churchill's views, and his glowing support of UWW and Churchill would indicate that the issues above are not pertinent to him.

I'll give Whitewater this, they are doing a great job of showcasing a person their students shouldn't try to emulate. If they do, they'll probably face expulsion.

A Whitewater welcome

Without reading too much into it, it is interesting to see that Whitewater's biggest student housing owner has all of their properties lined with "In Memory of 911 Victims" signs. This property owner has also been a very generous donor to UW Whitewater in the past.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Odd Schiavo coverage

I haven't covered the Terry Schiavo case, although I am in Mary-Eileen's corner on the topic. When I saw the AP headline on Yahoo News, Fla. Woman's Feeding Tube to Stay in Place, I was pleased. Then I went to Reuters, and I read Judge Orders Florida Woman's Feeding Tube Removed, and I was baffled. From what I read in the AP's more detailed story, the stay on removing the tube was extended for three weeks. That means Reuter's story is misleading-unless they've taken sides on this issue and support the pulling of Schiavo's feeding tube, in which case the headline supports their editorial slant.

Interesting. It seems that AP's original headline and story was the incorrect one. Disturbing is this from the judge in the updated AP story:
The judge wrote that he was no longer comfortable granting delays in the long-running family feud, which has been going on for nearly seven years and has been waged in every level of Florida's court system. He said the case must end.
Interesting. I didn't think that being a judge was about making decisions for your own comfort. Also interesting that he finds starving a woman to death on his order is more comfortable than working this case. I half expect the judge to stand up and try to wash his hands of the matter.

My apologies to Mary Eileen for my spelling her name Mary Ellen. I work with a Mary Ellen, and I just naturally write it.

Churchill's original American Indian artwork... apparently neither American Indian nor original.

UW-Whitewater, why are you still putting this man on a pedestal before your students?

Thursday, February 24, 2005


It just goes to show that the early bird gets the worm in this blog eat blog world. Last night I thought I had a damn intelligent thought: 2005 as 1848, with the 2005 struggles hopefully being more successful. I was going to hit my old European history books tonight to make the comparison. Then I log in to see that great minds think alike, and that Mark Krikorian beat me to the punch. Drat me and my need for sleep! Next time I seize the day instead of crawling off to my nice warm bed.


Churchill & property damage

From the audio files Michelle Malkin is highlighting:
Churchill on getting revenge for speeding tickets: …And I’m not really comfortable with, since I’m presenting no public hazard ever when I’m ticketed, can attest to that, we can take that further at some point tonight if you’d like to, if you’d like to challenge it, but I’m presenting no public hazard, I’m simply being asked to ante up to pay for my own repression.

Not being comfortable with that, I have a rule of thumb: I smile very politely to the cop, take the ticket, look to see how much the fine is going to be, and before I leave that state, I make sure I cause at least that much property damage in state material before I go, so it’s a wash, boys and girls (laughter and applause).

I'm glad I'm not a police officer part of Churchill's security at Whitewater. And if the University finds property damage come March 2, they should probably check to see how many speeding tickets he got before he came to campus.

Churchill Updates

Two big Churchill updates. The first is this article in today's Wisconsin State Journal. Not a lot of new ground. The reporter says that security costs will be covered by private donations, but since the information seems to come from the early PR I was skeptical about, I'm still holding off on believing that until I'm given confirmation. The article also notes that the College Republicans will hold a pre-speech rally. That puts the number of groups rallying/protesting that I know of to 3. One group, which I'm told is the American Legion, was said to be talking about holding a rally of 700 people initially, but given that the Wisconsin Chapter has a Washington meeting on their schedule (click Upcoming conferences & conventions) for that day, I'm skeptical.

The second update is from Michelle Malkin. She has audio and transcripts of Churchill advocating terrorism. Go to her site to access both.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Will pitching see a resurgence this season?

In 1968, baseball saw one of the most dominating seasons of pitching in baseball history. After the season, the mound was lowered to help hitters catch up. Since then, we've seen hitters race past pitchers. Steroids probably played a big role in this, especially during the last 10 years of inflated offensive numbers. Now that baseball has outlawed steroids and a number of guys are showing up to camp smaller than in the past, is it possible that we'll see a pitching resurgence? Is it possible we could see a sub 2.00 ERA this year? A sub 2.00 ERA may be out of reach, but watch as the league average ERA's dip, and watch even closer in 2006 as many guys return to more human sizes.

Amber alert, or no?

Fox 6 News in Milwaukee is running a continual ticker right now on an Amber Alert. A Kendale Coats (black, 5'6, 200 lbs, 40, pierced nose, left ear, goatee) took his daughter after a domestic dispute and had threatened to kill himself. When you head over to Amber Alert Wisconsin, there is nothing up on this case. In fact, at 7:45, it says "There are no active alerts at this time!" What's with the lag time?

For up to date information on this Amber Alert, go to Fox 6 News. This is the current text of the alert:

The Milwaukee Police need your help find a six week old baby girl that was taken by her father at 2pm Wednesday. Kenyatta Coats was taken by her Father from her home in the 700 block of North 29th Street. Police say the father, 40 year old Kendale Coats, has threatened to kill himself and the child. The child does not have warm clothes and the father is not carrying any of the child's food. The child was wearing a little pink jump suit at the time of the incident. Police believe Kendale Coats is driving a 1991 burgandy 4 door Ford Taurus. The car has grill damage and may not have any headlights due to a previous accident.If you have any information about the abduction, Milwaukee Police urge you to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Randy Moss to be traded to Raiders

No!!!!! The Jib Dad is a Raider fan. He needles harder than the most obnoxious Viking fan. He's going to want me to buy him a Moss jersey for Father's Day. Drat!!!

The big non-surprise: Churchill not American Indian

Little Green Footballs is reporting (via the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, HT: My View of the World) that Ward Churchill admitted in Hawaii last night that he is not an American Indian:
Churchill did address the issue of his ethnicity, admitting that he is not Native American.

"Is he an Indian? Do we really care?" he said, quoting those he called his "white Republican" critics.

"Let's cut to the chase; I am not," he said.

His pedigree is "not important," Churchill said: "The issue is the substance of what is said."

Frankly, I'm surprised he admitted it. I'd actually like to see the fuller context of that statement. The only reason I can imagine he'd admit to it is if UC had told him that lying about his ethnicity would not be held against him.

And as for his assertion that pedigree is not important, the substance is, the initial trouble comes from the fact that he's lied about the pedigree all these years. Whether anyone likes it or not, a scholar on American Indian issues who is an American Indian has a built in credibility and authority. Non-American Indians have to work a little harder to earn that authority because they did not grow up experiencing life the way the American Indian did. Churchill lied and traded on that false credibility. All of his work has to be called into question. While pedigree is not important per se, it becomes so once you've lied about it, because it calls into question any "substance" that is said.

Instapundit is covering the potential misquote of Churchill.

March 1st speech may be televised... Whitewater. The University is looking at broadcasting it on local cable channel 19. And as it looks now, that may be how I end up covering it, by sitting in my sister in law's dorm room in front of the TV. And that's provided her and her roomate can bear to sit through it. It doesn't look like I'll get anywhere near the speech, as the entire wing of the University Center is going to be sealed off that night. Unless some great reader has an extra ticket...hint, hint.

The latest Loose Lips Sink Ships award

The Jiblog "Loose Lips Sink Ships" award is back. This time, the award goes to the leadership of the Federal Air Marshalls Service, whose loose lips could really result in "sunk ships." Michelle Malkin has the details, which include the Federal Air Marshall tactics, procedures, and weaknesses that FAMS leadership has tipped terrorists off to in the media. Congrats, FAMS leadership. May the blood of innocents never be on your hands.

On Ward Churchill & legislative activities

Earlier this month I said this:
I personally do not want to see state politicians getting involved in this issue. There are plenty of reasons for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater to decide against having Churchill on campus outside of the stupidity of his "little Eichmans" essay.
Today, the State Assembly passed a resolution that condemned Churchill and which called on UW Whitewater to call off the March 1st speech. This non-binding resolution is a responsible action on the part of the State Assembly. Those in the State Legislature have every right to express their displeasure at UWW holding this speech, and using their leadership to try to convince the university to cancel the speech. Ultimately this is the University's mess to deal with, though, and I applaud them for not putting the clamps to UWW. When I said the quote above, I was not referring to that type of action, but rather this type, found in Colorado:
Furious lawmakers threatened to take state funding away from the university over an essay by Ward Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, who wrote that some "technocrats" killed in the World Trade Center were like Adolf Eichmann, who orchestrated the Nazi holocaust.
These Universities have been creating their own messes. They have to deal with them now. It's the only way they can be made to face reality. If lawmakers in Colorado were to cut funding, not only would they possibly create a huge legal mess, they'd also give the University of Colorado a scapegoat for firing Churchill, allowing them to get away with not fully addressing their own culpability in this.
The best way to clean up a University is to let it dig itself a huge hole, and then let it get itself out of it. Stay out of their way. Steve Nass and the Wisconsin State Assembly displayed leadership today while still leaving UW Whitewater to find its own way out of an uncomfortable position.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

PETA now targets middle schoolers

This morning in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, PETA attempted to win converts to veganism amongst the junior high set:
Animal rights activists were kicked off the DeLong Middle School campus this morning after encouraging students to become vegans.
Credit the school principle for keeping the activists from turning her school into a circus. To wit, the chicken-human:
A PETA activist wore a chicken suit with a sign that read, “I Am Not a Nugget.” A woman held a TV screen that showed singing chickens.
The activist is right. We gots to plump that chicken up a lot more before we make it into a chicken nugget. Especially dem der singin' chickens. Yum!

UW-Whitewater being "cute"

Ah, yes, my Alma Matter. I see that your vision of communication is a one way model. Today, the university issued an open letter to the Wisconsin Legislature here. My curiosity was piqued by the following:
The university carefully addressed issues of funding support and security for the event.
Absolutely no state general purpose revenue will be used to subsidize the lecture. All direct and indirect costs beyond $1,400 in student fees will be covered by private donations. The safety of the campus community is of the highest priority and we are working to develop and implement a security plan that is appropriate for the circumstances. A suggestion by some that the event be moved off university grounds would not only undermine security, it would pass the security costs of this lecture directly to taxpayers.
This lead me to a question. Does this mean they are reimbursing the city for security expenses? The statement is so vague that it is easy to infer so, but impossible to say definitively. So I burned off a quick email to the address they have designated for this information. This is the automated reply I received:
Due to the extremely high volume of comments regarding the Ward
Churchill controversy, university officials are unable to personally
respond to the electronic mail we are receiving. Please understand that
we are trying to be as open as possible regarding the news and issues
surrounding this controversial visit by posting updates, as they happen,
at: (Under "In the News")

Thank you for your input on this difficult controversy.
Interesting. So they set up an email account to collect the messages on this topic, and they may or may not even be reading the messages. I'm really glad I took the 5 minutes to ask for clarification of my question. It's too bad, really. The University looks like it is ducking the repercussions of free speech much like Mr. Churchill would like to. Somebody has a question about what you say, or is maybe critical of what you have to say? Just ignore them, maybe their critical or questioning voice won't be heard that way, only yours will.

Ugh. Somebody in the business school please teach these guys about customer service/public relations, please.

(Cross posted at the Badger Blog Alliance)

Personal update

I've been a little wiped out by the flu for a few days now. On Sunday that seemed to spur a posting frenzy, but I've been beat the last two days. I'll be trying to post something of substance this evening.

I'd also like to thank Dummocrats for the link today. They've been very supportive of Jiblog by linking here several times now, and I don't have the words for how much I appreciate it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

UWW-Churchill Bleg

To the teeming single digits of Jiblog readers, I have a request. I want to watch the Ward Churchill speech at UW Whitewater and cover it for Jiblog and the Badger Blog Alliance. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that the university quietly issued tickets for the event, and that there are no more tickets available. If you have extra tickets, or can put me in contact with someone who can get me tickets, please email me at ojibway7rj-at-gmail-dot-com. Thank you!

No leads on tickets yet, so I'll be periodically bumping this to the top of the page.

A neo-hippy fears glance into the future

Heh. Since the day I graduated from college, I've tried to avoid criticizing the writings of college newspaper reporters. These reporters are fairly young kids who aren't generally well rounded individuals yet, and I know that as many of them experience the real world, their journalistic work is going to improve (usually). I couldn't help but chuckle at Breezy Willis, an apparent neo-hippy wannabe Marxist in the Daily Cardinal, though. In a piece entitled "Overconsumption rears ugly head with wealthy alumni" one finds this beauty of a paragraph:
Typically, they are overly clean, and smell of laundry detergent, deodorant, cologne, perfume, lipstick, soap, hair dye, Rogaine, Viagra, blush and aftershave. Their hair is always neatly trimmed, and the men's faces are always scraped clean with razors on a daily basis, while the women's are painted unnatural Revlon hues.
Wow, where to start? Well, let's start with the hatred for cleanliness. Breezy, you can mate in college as a dirty, smelly neo-hippy because there are members of the opposite sex (or same sex, if ya swing that way) who are also dirty, smelly neo-hippies. (As an aside, I'm convinced that one pre-requisite to hippydom or neo-hippydom is actually a lack of olfactory senses). Once they graduate, most be people are slapped in the face by reality. Believe it or not, once you graduate, the act of paying your bills and feeding yourself actually becomes more difficult, even if you were a poverty ridden student. Filth tends to obstruct your ability to get a job that pays enough to meet those basic monetary needs. Cleanliness helps you attain basic monetary needs, and it also attracts sexual attention from potential post-college mates. So what I am saying is, if you want to ever eat or "get any" ever again once you leave college, you too will probably dip into such consumer sins as washing your clothes, shaving, slapping on some pit stick, and (gasp) even tossing on some cheap cologne!

The one curiosity I am left with is: Viagra has a smell? Is it a smell like garlic is a smell, or does it smell more like fear? Somebody help me out here.

Somebody check Koko for a zipper

As Ann Althouse notes over at today, Koko the sign language speaking gorilla signs things "that drunken guys say to women at Mardi Gras." This leads me to only one possible conclusion: Koko is really "Diamond" Dave, a fat former janitor in a gorilla suit. Someone check Koko for a zipper-stat!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Um, uh, I'm sorry for this link

I knew about this story (HT Boots & Sabers) earlier in the week, but I suppressed my memory of it. Owen posted it tonight, and I read it to the lovely Mrs. Jib. She said, and I quote, "I am shocked and horrified." She really seemed to take too much pleasure in the shock and horror, though. It makes me happy that she's had mine stowed safely away in a lock box since 1995.

Off the record comments

Right Wing News on Friday dissected this column by Kathleen Parker. In her column, Parker seems to mourn the death of off the comment records, saying that bloggers not respecting off the record comments is a blow to free speech. Right Wing News is of the opinion that off the record comments have been nearly dead for a while now, and that the increased scrutiny of the blogosphere is actually growing the amount of free speech. Frankly, I think they both miss the mark.

Off the record comments are about self interest, not freedom of speech. To drag free speech into the debate over off the record comments is to cave to cliche. The reason a reporter will grant a source an off the record venue is so they have a starting point to a story they otherwise may not have gotten. You protect your initial source, and do your research based off of that starting point. A reporter may also offer someone off the record conversations in order to built trust and rapport with a source that would be useful down the road. The reason off the record comments are seemingly dying is because everyone wants to break a story, because that's how you get noticed. There is a certain impatience with confirming a story through other sources. There are also individuals who mistakenly think that if they say "this is off the record" that the request will be automatically granted. That's all fine and good, but there are enterprising individuals out there that will still honor off the record comments. They'll build trust with people, and eventually they'll start getting the stories that no one else does because they've earned the trust of well connected people.

Off the record isn't dead, folks. It's not even on life support. And it certainly is not impacting free speech noticeably one way or another.

Doyle uses state resources for campaign purposes

I meant to get to this yesterday, but didn't. Owen at Boots & Sabers makes a great catch. After receiving a Doyle email, Owen found that the Governor is using a tax funded state website for campaign purposes. I'm sure that Doyle will do the ol' Monona two step to avoid any dirt on this, especially if state papers and TV stations don't pick up on it. If so, I'm sure will see more of this out of Doyle the closer we get to the next election.

Outside pressure must be used to keep UN honest

We've been watching a corrupt UN spiral out of control the last ten years. Apparently the only thing that can make UN officials accoubtable for their actions is outside pressure. Kofi Annan is unwilling to do it, so the press and blogosphere may as well do it for him.

"Lubbers resigns as UN refugee Chief" (Reuters)

When resigning as a result of charges of sexual harassment, feign righteous indignation.

Churchill-Whitewater update

Earlier this week, I promised more details on this story. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of new information. I know that security will be a joint law enforcement effort, but nobody really seems interested in the tax dollars spent on this. Additionally, there are a number of groups talking about protesting, but very little seems to be gelling on this front. I believe only one group has applied for a permit to demonstrate so far. I'm beginning to wonder if this event is going to quietly come and go, except for some attention in corners of the internet.

May Fund-gate be short lived

If you've been reading the blogs who covered CPAC this weekend, then you are probably aware of "Fund-gate". To make a long story short, there is plenty of beltway gossip and intrigue surrounding the Wall Street Journal's John Fund. Then at CPAC, he walked into bloggers' corner, hopped on the laptop of one of the bloggers, and made him wait to use his own machine. Apparently, Fund has apologized. And not a moment too soon. Fund was rude and inconsiderate to do what he did. The bloggers had every right to note it. It was getting close to being over blown, though. Maybe it was a product of the slow pace of events at CPAC on Saturday, but I think the incident got a little more play than it deserved.

Daytona 500

Since I've been "snowed in" (see below), I'm camping out in front of the TV for the Daytona 500. I am going to spare everyone the live blogging, but I am going to try my hand at prognostication. I think this is going to be a dogfight between three teams-DEI, Gibbs racing, and Hendricks racing. I'm a DEI guy myself, but I just don't think the DEI cars are going to have enough to win it today, unless Junior and Waltrip are 1-2 in the final laps. So I think this race is going to be won by a Gibbs car, Tony Stewart to be precise. The Hendricks cars are good, but I think the Gibbs cars are just as good, and Stewart is the difference.

I'm certainly happy that I didn't go with Bobby Labonte's Gibbs car, now that he's blown an engine and all. Hopefully Stewart has a stouter engine under the hood.

Update II
Heh. I looked like a genius for 195 laps or so.

On Wisconsin weather

The lovely Mrs. Jib and I had planned on journeying to the West Bend area today to wish her brother a happy birthday. Then we watched the news last night, and the meteorologists were yapping like feral dogs that a terrible winter storm was on the way. So we called her family and cancelled. As I look out my deck doors, the couple of inches on the ground does not seem to be all that bad. Being that I used to travel between Eau Claire and Whitewater once a month in my college days, I've driven in worse many times. This leads me to my larger point-why are our weather forecasters acting like they live in South Carolina? We get snow in Wisconsin, and we operate pretty well in it. The snow we are getting right now was not deserving of the dire warnings that came out of meteorolgists last night.

Because we've cancelled on my in-laws, today is about NASCAR, blogging, and sink installation (in addition to baseball and football, I passionately follow NASCAR racing).

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Brewer pitchers and catchers report

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. I typically start to get restless and cranky in January. It is about that time when winter starts to get the best of me. I avidly follow two sports, football and baseball. By mid-January, the Packer season has come to a painful halt, and I have only one thing to look forward to: The day pitchers and catchers report. Today's that day. I was driving to Menard's to buy a sink this afternoon, and I got to listen to Brewer talk on the radio. To me, this is the most hope filled day of the year. Every year I get to pretend that this is the year that the Brewers play Cinderella. It also harkens me back to my baseball days, pulling out that glove for the first time of the year, smelling the leather and reminiscing on all the plays it made the previous season. It is also hope filled because I know that winter has begun to lose it's icy death grip on us. Spring, and all the rebirth that comes with it, begins encroaching upon old man winter on this day. At least that's how it all plays out in this fan's mind.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Example: Why the anti-voter ID argument is weak

Anti-voter ID types bring one argument to the table-that and ID is an insurmountable barrier to voting for the poor, elderly, and disabled. Over at, Brian Fraley covers the pros of voter ID, and Michael Tate covers the cons. One paragraph of Tate's piece is emblamatic of weakness of the anti-voter ID position:
My grandmother is 87 and doesn't drive anymore. She moved a few years ago to be closer to family. She reads the newspaper daily, discusses current events with her friends, and counts the days to Election Day when she exercises her civic duty. This law would directly impact her. She does not have a current ID and getting one would be an extreme hardship. Similarly, why should a disabled veteran without the ability to get an ID be denied the right to vote?
By the tone of that article, I'd say Tate loves his grandmother, as does the family if she moved to be closer to them. Taking that as a given, why would it be such a hardship? Is everyone in the family unwilling to help take Tate's grandmother to get an ID? I'm not one who is sympathetic to this argument. My grandmother was legally blind and had diabetes. My father took her to town every Saturday so she could get out, do a little shopping, and feel like a normal person. Every Sunday we took her on a ride and out to dinner. Even late in her life, when diabetes had taken her legs, we still took my grandmother out every weekend. The elderly are not incapable people who have to be locked away from society. If Tate is concerned about their ability to get out to get an ID, maybe he and his family should volunteer to work with the elderly, and help lower the burden that those elderly who are short on family and friends do face.

As for college students, almost every one I knew in my college days had an ID. If that ID is a driver's license that has an address that is in another city besides where they go to school, absentee ballot in their home district is an option. If I remember correctly, absentee ballot is an acceptable way to vote for Democrats. After all, Kerry's campaign managed to get a Madison office to stay open late for his Madison/Springsteen rally last year so all of his Springsteen fan supporters could vote. Surely it is good enough for college students as well.

Ward Churchill, equal opportunity Eichmann labeler

I received an email on Thursday from the Editor/Publisher of Campus J today. It seems that Ward Churchill is willing to spread around his use of the Eichmann label. In fact, he's even willing to hoist it upon Jewish scholars like Deborah Lipstadt who disagree with him:
Long before he called the people in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns," Ward Churchill had written that there was "no difference.... between a Deborah Lipstadt and an Adolf Eichmann." His comments were prompted by the fact that I do not equate the treatment of the Native Americans with the Holocaust.
Churchill is no scholar. He is a 'wannabe' Indian who has over played his hand. He found acceptance amongst a radical group of American Indians by spewing hate filled bile, he fraudulently earned a tenure, and now his paper on September 11th is truly a chicken that has come home to roost. The Janesville Gazette still thinks that this is about free speech, though:
"I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it." -Voltaire

The above quote from Voltaire, the 1700s French writer and philosopher, eloquently sums up our view of UW-Whitewater's plans to let Ward Churchill speak March 1.
The free speech argument is a lazy one on the part of Gazette. If UW Whitewater were to rescind the invitation, Churchill would have no less free speech than myself, you, or even the Janesville Gazette. Free speech does not compel any one to provide you a venue for free speech, especially if you would be paid for it. The Gazette also latches on to another canard in this story:
You might object to your tax dollars paying for such offensive commentary.

The fact is, no taxpayer money will be used. Chancellor Jack Miller made that one of his six conditions when he tentatively agreed last week to let Churchill speak during Native Pride Week. All funding will come from private gifts or student fees allocated by the Student University Fee Allocation Committee.
Well, that's true in so far as the University is not using its state funding to pay for Churchill's visit. Given the history of security threats surrounding Churchill, though, one would have to safely assume that campus and city police are going to have to devote extra resources to security for this event. Last time I checked, police departments are paid for with tax dollars.

The fact is Ward Churchill is not a good example of a scholar and minority rights expert to put before undergrad students. He lied to get his position with CU. His scholarship is questionable. He's a divisive figure even in Indian Country. It is irresponsible for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater to put him before students as one.

Heh. Drew reports that not only is Churchill an honorary American Indian, he's an honorary Raelian. Does that mean the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is going to be obligated to hear Churchill's thoughts on extraterrestials?

Separated at birth?

Col. Ollie, a writer by trade, and apparently a private detective by choice, made this discovery today. Negroponte is Burns.

Image Sources
Mr. Burns
John Negroponte

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A different take on Eason and the future

I was tooling about by my sitemeter this morning when I noticed that someone had come to Jiblog from The Radio Equalizer. Unfamiliar with the site, I headed over to check out Brian Maloney's blog. In a post from the 15th, Maloney cautions bloggers to be prepared for war with the old media this year. I agree with him. In fact, I think this is part of what bothered me about the Eason blog storm. The old media is waiting for the conservative blogosphere to show its soft underbelly, and at that point they will attack. For much of a year, the blogosphere has been on the offensive. Sooner or later, there will be a blog swarm that over extends itself a little too much. Don't think the old media isn't going to relish attacking the blogosphere with the same vigor it has seen from bloggers. Bloggers who maintain strong standards are going to weather that event just fine. Bloggers who don't are going to have a mess on their hands.

Adults need gov't to tell them to wear condoms?

It is disappointing to hear that, after years of progress in controlling HIV, a new super strain of the disease has emerged. It is also disappointing to hear that concerned gay activists are trying to shuck their community's self responsibility and instead place the blame on government:
Gay activists, while recognising the responsibility of their own community to promote safe sex, argue that the federal government has hampered progress by favouring a message of abstinence over condom use.
These people are adults. They don't need the government to stand over their shoulder and tell them to use a condom. Adults know that you don't send your soldier to war without his flak jacket on. Adults make the conscious decisions not to wear one. Trying to claim that a government message of abstinence is partly responsible for this is to do a disservice to the gay community. Community leaders should instead be chastising those in their community who are practicing hazardous and irresponsible sex lives.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Mall of America may double in size-if Minnesota approves a casino

Across the border in Minnesota, the Mall of America has rolled out an expansion plan which would double the size of the mall, with one condition: Minnesota has to approve a casino for the mall expansion. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has already suggested that the state partner with three northern Minnesota tribes to take advantage of the opportunities in the Twin Cities.

There are two morales to this story. First, another large casino in Eastern Minnesota is going to apply pressure to Wisconsin tribes to improve their own casinos or lose business out of state, which means we haven't seen the last of Governor Doyle's expansion of gaming. The second is no politician (outside of maybe Scott McCallum) is ever going to seriously try to halt casino expansion as long as they can cut their state in on a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. Politicians love the additional money too much.

Was the Iraqi election a tipping point for the media

Bear with me on this post. It is more of an exercise in thought than it is a flat out opinion.

As the headline above says, I'm beginning to wonder if the election Iraq is something of a tipping point for the media. I've perceived a decrease in Iraq coverage since our election in November, but it has seemed to be most noticeable of late. We are seeing other regions-Iran, Syria, North Korea, China-and other topics like social security getting a larger and larger share of news coverage. Perhaps tipping point is the wrong terminology, as it implies a rapid change, but is it possible that we've turned a corner on Iraq coverage? Has the media finally grown bored of bashing the Bush administration over the head with Iraq? I'm asking a lot of questions here, and I'm interested in seeing others' toughts on this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Eau Claire Leader Telegram 'gets it'

Momentum is building towards enacting a little common sense in Wisconsin. The Eau Claire Leader Telegram is calling for voter ID in Wisconsin in an editorial entitled "If you want to vote, show a little effort." Here's their closing admonition:
In America, we can’t even get off our duffs and register ahead of time to help keep the process clean. Oh well, what’s that line about getting the kind of government we deserve? Think about it.
Head on over to the Leader Telegram and read the rest.

(Cross posted at Badger Blog Alliance)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day evening hiatus

I am going to be on hiatus from Jiblog. Until tomorrow morning, that is (Andrew Sullivan, I am not). The lovely Mrs. Jib shows an extraordinary amount of patience toward my blogging. Tonight she shall receive my undivided attention and complete adoration. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

February 14th in JFK-South Central Wisconsin history

Attention JFK-philes in Fort Atkinson, Whitewater, Elkhorn, and Lake Geneva: On February 14th, 1960, Kennedy was in your cities campaigning for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. To my knowledge, no one in any of these cities have immortalized any bathrooms that JFK used (see Spooner, WI).

Thank you to Rep. Frank Lasee

I'd like to send out a special thanks to Representative Frank Lasee for adding Jiblog to his list of Wisconsin bloggers. If you'd like to subscribe to Lasee's newsletter, please head on over to his newsletter online, where there is a link and details.

Photos of a soldier's tour of duty

I recommend that everyone who stops by here today also head on over to Candle in the Dark. Over the weekend, he posted photos from his time in Iraq. These photos tell you more about a soldier's life in war than 100 stories in the New York Times.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Wisconsin media keep Feingold presidency talk on front burner

Wisconsin has had a lot of interesting stories to track in the last month. From election controversies to UW Whitewater to the state budget, even to Brett Favre's status, one story keeps bubbling right at the surface: Russ Feingold and the presidency. This weekend it is the Capital Times and the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the beat. You'll find nary an unkind word in either one of them.

Churchill, UW Whitewater revisted

Hunch blogging worked quite well for me not too long, so I'm going to give it another shot. In his nearly neurotic statement on continuing the invitation to Ward Churchill, UW Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller left himself 6 outs for cancelling this thing at a later date. Bet on him using one of them. This event is going to garner a lot of attention, and I'm not talking just about media attention. For one day, the city of 12,000 is going to be the center of the protesting and counter protesting universe. As this becomes more and more apparent to those in leadership positions at the University, there is going to be a lot of pressure to avoid the attention. After all, UW Whitewater's bread and butter is their business school, and the business school has grand plans for a new facility. The last thing they are going to want is financial backers for that building having second thoughts about their contributions.

If I'm right on this, I'm not going to chock it up to intuition this time. Living in the area, I'm piecing together pieces of information from different places. Once I've verified some of it, I'll be hopefully citing some specifics as the week goes on.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Cringing at the hate speech label (and other thoughts)

State Representative Steve Nass was on Madison's WISC NBC-15's ten o'clock news tonight to discuss the Ward Churchill-University of Wisconsin Whitewater issue. Nass is still maneuvering to bring a halt to UWW hosting Churchill, and during the interview on NBC-15, he called Churchill's speech hate speech. I immediately cringed. There is little I dislike more than lawmakers tossing around the hate speech label, be it Democrat or Republican. The hate speech label is little more than a politically viable way to suppress unpopular and stupid voices. I personally do not want to see state politicians getting involved in this issue. There are plenty of reasons for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater to decide against having Churchill on campus outside of the stupidity of his "little Eichmans" essay.

First, this invitation was extended 6 months ago. At that time, Churchill's essay was little known. Had it been a high profile piece prior to the invitation, it is likely the invitation would not have been extended. A university is to a certain extent a business. Most do not want to be associated with perverse thought such as this, and they have every right not to extend a venue for it. It would be one thing if this horrible opinion came from high quality scholarship. The case can and should be made that Churchill's essay is of such low quality that it is not deserving of the title of scholarship. Just the same, the University can make the case that it does not want to associate itself and its good name with Mr. Churchill.

More importantly than this are the questions about Churchill's convenient relationship with facts and the truth. Academia, especially the social sciences, is about the quest for knowledge and truth. Churchill is a poor example of this. I can tell you from experience, lineage plays a role in Native American studies. A Native American scholar has something of a built in 'street cred', for lack of a better term. The non-Native American scholar has higher barriers to credibility. Churchill plainly lied about his lineage, and this likely opened up roads to him as a scholar that may have never been opened to him. Next, it appears that Churchill fabricated a story about an 1837 small pox outbreak. This violates all codes of ethics in academia, and opens the remainder of his work to serious questioning. To put such an individual in front of students as an honored speaker is irresponsible.

Finally, and this point is open to academic debate, Churchill's work may be just plain harmful to Native American communities. Much of it is a caustic celebration of victimhood. It looks back with anger and blame without answering many unresolved questions. It does not offer Native Americans options for moving forward in the future-if anything, it keeps them rooted in a miserable past. It does not take a lot of work to scream 'damn you white man' with everything you write. It does not break new intellectual ground in people's minds to assert over and over that the appearance of Europeans on the continent proved catastrophic to Native American communities. Given that, what purpose does his speech to students serve? If he is a mediocre scholar, why is he there? Because he's published and mildly famous?

This is a topic (and I'm sure you can tell), that strikes a raw nerve in me. During my time at the University, I followed a dual track of study. I covered my need to provide my future family with a comfortable life by studying in the business school. I satisfied my personal needs by studying history in the school of letters and sciences, with a self emphasis on Native issues. Up until the day I graduated, I had not decided if I was going to join the business world or continue my studies on Native American history. I came to learn that Native American history is a tough nut to crack. Native American politics is a winding maze that is tough to follow, with political boundaries that seem to shift below your feet. Unless you toe certain lines of thought, your work does not seem to get anywhere. It offends me that this man lies and distorts the way he does and gets a false credibility for it. Come to think of it, in a way, he may be the prototypical white man of his own work, using Native Americans for his own gain.

For a great piece on the history of the media coverage of Ward Churchill prior to 2004, check out this column from Dave Kopel at the Rocky Mountain News. It also outlines various charges of academic fraud leveled at Churchill over the years.

In the original, the year 1837 was transposed to read 1873. The correct year is 1837.

Carter. Fife. Carter is Fife.

Am I the only one to see the resemblance here? It's becoming so clear. One can explain Carter's presidency in 6 words: Andy never gave him a bullet.

(Photo sources here and here)

The blogosphere becoming scary strong

If you are well informed on the Eason Jordan story, good for you. You are a very well read individual. You didn't read about it here, though. I thought Eason's comments at Davos were idiotic, conspiriatorial, and downright kooky when I first read about them. It was also disconcerting to know that an individual who held such whacked out beliefs held so much influence over the reporting of the news at CNN. The forum at which he spoke was closed door and off the record, though. I hold the personal belief that closed door, off the record meetings stay that way, because they offer people the chance to think well outside the box, and that means that sometimes very idiotic things will be said. So I let this story be. When the blogosphere swarmed this story, I thought they were biting off more than they could chew.

Then Eason resigned. I'd write in detail my thoughts after the resignation, but Drew pretty much covers my thoughts on the issue. Sufficeth to say, even I, a member of the blogosphere, underestimated the collective power of this medium. The pack mentality is extremely effective in justifiable cases, like Rathergate. After all, Rather broadcast a fraudulent story and stonewalled efforts to get at the truth. This Eason story was a little bit more on the borderline. I know the intellectual argument that can be made against me on this, and I'm not saying that I disagree with it. Yes, it is important to know that the head of a major news organization holds such crazy, paranoid views about the military. But the pleasure with which some blogs went after Eason, and the fact they could bring him down without the help of the MSM opens the door to the possibility of using this influence unjustly in the future. I think we all need to respect the power we collectively hold with these little blogs.

Then again, maybe this really is a complete revolution of the news media, and I'm just stuck with some old fashioned values.

James D. Miller checks in at Tech Central Station with a few words of caution.

Friday, February 11, 2005

BBA passes Jiblog

Congrats to the Badger Blog Alliance. The BBA is nothing without its members, but it is a digital sibling of Jiblog, and Thursday evening it passed Jiblog in total visits. Thanks to everyone posting over there, you're doing a great job.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ward Churchill's arrogance

One of UW Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller's stipulations for holding open the invitation to speak to Ward Churchill is that Chruchill respond to concerns of Millers, as written in this letter. Churchill's response is pure arrogance:
Dear Chancellor Miller:

Attached, please find an uncorrected copy of my essay, “The Ghosts of 9-1-1.” This is the final refinement and fully annotated iteration of my 2001 response piece, “Some People Push Back.” It may interest you to know that the attached text serves as the lead essay in my 2003 book, ON THE JUSTICE OF ROOSTING CHICKENS, which was named as a runner-up for the Gustavus Myers Award for best writing on human rights, 2004.

In any event, this is the final clarification I am prepared to make with regard to the meaning of my work in this regard. I am entirely unprepared to undergo a personal interrogation at this late date in order to facilitate your deliberations as to my “worthiness” to deliver a public lecture on an entirely different topic at Whitewater.

The lecture, after all, has been contracted for approximately 6 months and I am fully prepared to deliver it as contracted.

While you do, one assumes, hold the prerogative to cancel the event on bona fide security grounds, your right to do so because of disagreements 'your own or others’ -- with certain political conclusions I’ve drawn is dubious at best.

Please be advised that should you opt to cancel the contracted event for any reason whatsoever, your institution will be obliged to pay me the full amount of my honorarium at the appointed time (i.e., the date scheduled for my lecture).

Please be further advised that these monies will be used, at least in part, to underwrite my coming to Whitewater at the earliest opportunity for purposes of meeting at some appropriate location, either off campus or on, with the students who originally desired to hear what I have to say with regard to Indian Affairs.

Ward Churchill

If you review Miller's letter, it was very fair to Churchill. Had I received this response and I were in Miller's shoes, the invitation would have been rescinded. I'm a little baffled as to why Miller didn't rescind the invitation.

UW Whitewater decision on Ward Churchill

UWW has decided to continue to host Ward Churchill at 7 pm on March 1st. Read Chancellor Miller's comments here.

Miller lists 6 stipulations for the event to continue on. In short, Miller, who states that he finds Churchill's essay repugnant, gives the University 6 outs for this event at a later date should the heat over this event get a little too high.

If you have feedback on this decision, you can direct them to Brian Mattmiller:

Contact: Brian Mattmiller
(262) 472-1194

UWW/Churchill prediction

Later today we should find out whether or not the University of Wisconsin Whitewater will still host Ward Churchill on March 1. While UWW is generally a fairly cautious institution, I believe they will still host Churchill. Barring any major threats of violence, of course. One major reason I believe this is because I think they will get full support from the Whitewater Police Department, or at least the administration of the WPD. I have no supporting facts for this, just hunches based on what I know about the community. If the threat of violence is mitigated, the University will have little cover for cancelling the speech, despite the fact that Churchill's credentials and scholarship have come into question.

Hunch blogging is fun when you are right.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dick Morris on Condi for President

10 years ago I'd have never thought this, but I can't read enough Dick Morris. He has some good analysis in this piece on Condi today. Never thought about it before, but Rice probably would be Hillary Clinton's biggest foe for the Presidency.

Novel idea

A Judge in Yemen challenges terrorists to theological debates. If the terrorists lose, they must renounce violence after they get out of jail. The Judge is undefeated thus far.

Ward Churchill "Defiant"

Reuters today covers an unapologetic speech by Ward Churchill. The speech is a 'more of the same' type of a speech, but one Churchill quote sticks out:
"Nowhere in there did I justify the killing of innocent people," he told Reuters. "Those words are not there."
Technically, Churchill's right. Instead he grossly perverted the meaning of innocent:
Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.
By Churchill's own definitions, about 300 or so innocent people died on 9-11 (firefighters, service workers). Everyone else was fair game. If this is what UW-Whitewater wants to be associated with, so be it. In that case, as a UWW Alumnus, my money will never be associated with the university again.

What a mess

Greg Borowski and Tom Kertscher are back in the Journal Sentinel today with another story on the folly that is Milwaukee's Presidential election. What a mess.

Borowski and Kertscher take great care to look at duplicate names in this report. I would caution against only using duplicate names as the threshold for a vote being questionable. I'd be curious to see how many, if any, dead voted in this election, as well as people who do not reside in Milwaukee.

James Rowen & Elitism

This article by James Rowen slipped by me on Monday when it was published at, but fortunately I caught the second time around when it was published at James Rowen, amongst other issues with his piece, perfectly encapsulates why Democrats are finding it so hard to win elections these days. It's because of their haughty elitism.

I should step back at this point. Rowen was not so perceptive as to actually write an article that would cause the Democratic party to look within and address its ample problems. Instead, it was his own arrogant attitude which allowed those of us on the outside of the Democratic machinations to see how party opinion makers truly think:
Want to know how and why erroneous information could get entered on registration cards? There are people in our less-than-wealthy city -- and this is a fact that may have escaped suburban politicians like GOP state Rep. Jeff Stone as he lectures Milwaukee about how to conduct a proper election -- who don't write or spell well.
When I was in a long line of people at City Hall waiting to vote absentee, the couple behind me could not read the small print on the forms. I loaned them my cheap, drugstore magnifying reading glasses, and they passed the glasses down the line where a half-dozen more people were grateful to use them.

The couple was elderly. They did not speak the Queen's English with perfection. They appeared to be low-income. They did not know that non-prescription glasses are available at the local Walgreen's, though at $10 or $12, the glasses might have been out of their reach. Without them, I can guarantee you that their forms would have been a mess, and perhaps, would have shown up as someone's Voter Fraud Exhibit A.

Let's break this statement down a little bit. Rowen wants to play class warfare here, and he continues to use it throughout the article, claiming also that it is just too much trouble for the poor to get identification. The only reason the Democratic party isn't a completely broken and irrelevant organization is because they fear monger on the basis of age, wealth and race. So Rowen, instead of making the simple point that some people just aren't good readers and writers, links wealth to one's ability to read or write well. That is one of the most condescending statements I've ever seen. Instead of honestly and intellectually looking at the problems in Wisconsin's current election law, Rowen decides to blame it on poor, Democrat constituents being too ignorant to fill things out correctly. This is the kind of tripe that, along with basic moral issues, that drove me away from the Democratic party in college, and which helped me learn that Conservatives were not the evil monsters I'd been hearing from all corners.

Rowen's elitism is not the only problem in this article. A larger problem is Rowen's spin. At least that's what I'm attributing it to-spin. It could be a disconnect from reality, it could be a failure to intellectually understand his opposition's position. I trust that Rowen, who tells us in the article "...I have a masters degree in English," is smart enough to see where Republicans are coming from, so it has to be spin. Let's start with this fantasy:
The GOP-er's dream scenario is that investigators can connect election-eve tire slashings, incomplete or erroneous voter documentation and sloppy decision-making by overwhelmed poll workers to a hidden Democratic Party bunker behind a secret door in City Hall.where Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett oversaw Fraud Central like a crazed Wizard of Oz.
What? I understand that Rowen rhetorically wants to make Republicans look like bogeymen here, but come on. It does not take a lot of effort to see that Republicans do not see the tire slashing incident and voting problems in Milwaukee as some sort of single conspiracy directed by some evil genius Democratic mastermind. In fact, I've not seen the two connected in any way other than as examples of the overall disregard Democrats seem to have for fair elections these days. Next, let's watch Rowen cover for a prank:
The tire-slashings damaged a parking lot filled with vans rented by Republican election workers. It was stupid and criminal behavior, but let's also remember that it was a prank that got out of hand.
Rowen goes on to compare it to an earlier case in Milwaukee when E. Michael McCann went easy on some Rocky Horror Picture Show devotees who got out of control. There is no comparison here. This was much more than a prank. It was a deliberate attempt at disenfranchisement, and to back that up, let me quote Lavell Muhammad from the criminal complaint: "We got ‘em, we got ‘em. They’re not going anywhere now." If you or I were to pull a prank that resulted in the death of someone, make no mistake, we'd face felony charges. These 5 deliberately set out to disable the vehicles Republicans were going to use to transport poll workers and voters. Felony charges sound just about right.

I initially disregarded Rowen's piece because what he writes is so transparently partisan. In this piece, he's just not on the right side of history, and the way he sells out to the Democratic Party and condescends to a Democratic constituency is just one more example of why more and more of the country is turning away from the Democratic party

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

UW Whitewater may cancel Churchill speech (or not)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports this morning that the University of Wisconsin Whitewater may yet cancel the Ward Churchill speech scheduled for March 1:
Churchill is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. March 1 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Hamilton Hall. In the past few days, UW-Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller has received e-mails asking him to cancel the talk as administrators at Hamilton College in upstate New York did last week, said Brian Mattmiller, university spokesman. Churchill was invited to Whitewater by the Native American Cultural Awareness Association as part of the group's Native Pride Week and by the college of Letters and Sciences. Mattmiller said the chancellor is weighing whether Churchill's speech would pose a threat to the safety of the campus. Miller has ordered that no state funds be used to sponsor Churchill's talk.
This does not mean that a cancellation is a sure thing, and even if the University cancels, Churchill may still find himself in Whitewater:
Howard Ross, dean of UW-Whitewater's college of letters and sciences, said Monday that he and members of the Native American Student Association have had three meetings with Jack Miller, the UW-Whitewater chancellor, in hopes of being able to bring Churchill to campus.

Ross said he has read a number of Churchill's writings, and he supports Churchill's visit. If the university cancels the talk, Ross said, he will be working with others to bring Churchill to an off-campus spot.

Doug Kiel, president of the university's Native American Support Service, said several other professors, including professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have contacted them to say they are in support of Churchill's visit.

The standard line for cancellations of Churchill speeches thus far has been on safety concerns. The vice president of the student group bringing Churchill to campus has no such concerns:
Angela Miller, the Native American student group vice president, said she did not think Churchill's talk would pose any threat to security.

"Our campus is pretty tame," she said. "What he had to say about the World Trade Center victims is much more upsetting in New York than it would be in Wisconsin. Just because someone doesn't like what is being said doesn't mean that that person doesn't have the right to be heard."

I wonder if Ms. Miller's opinion is echoed by the Whitewater Police Department. This is a campus, after all, that rioted in 1996 after a Packer game. While the Whitewater Police Department does not have jurisdiction over campus, it will certainly need to increase staff and possibly contribute to security that day. If Ross were to succeed and get this moved off campus, the the city will need to shoulder the full cost of security.

UW Whitewater is typically a pretty conservative campus, so it would not surprise me if this talk does get cancelled. If it does not, though, the University should have to reimburse the city for any and all additional security costs, even if the costs are for an event fully off campus.

Yahoo searchers, please see the main page for updates to this story as they are available.

It's cold and lonely here at Jiblog

Ouch! My TTLB ranking has literally plummeted of late. Assemblyman Lasee recognizes a number of Badger Blog Alliance blogs, but not Jiblog. puts up a list of Wisconsin bloggers from the right, center, and left. No Jiblog. The child (Badger Blog Alliance) is about to surpass the parent (Jiblog) in visits and page views. My ego is dented a bit here. I can hear the wind whistling through the broken Windows XP, and the blogroll creaking in the cold February air.

To the Party of Seven (actually, the party of three-haven't seen four of you around much lately): Has the site been suffering since I went to work on the Badger Blog Alliance? Is my work just not good? Am I a little too sassy? Am I fat? (see Boots & Sabers for a reference point on that last one).

Monday, February 07, 2005

Was the GoDaddy ad really a bad ad?

Depends on how you are defining "bad", I guess.

Here's why I ask. According to Ad Age, the general feel is that this ad created buzz, but in the long run is not going to work well for GoDaddy. Well, is my case unusual, then? I'm an individual who may be in the market for a domain soon. Prior to this commercial, I had no idea who GoDaddy was or what they did. Now they have carved a place in my brain and they actually have a chance to sell me on their service, which is what they are buying with that ad-the chance to sell me. They didn't have that chance before this commercial.

Tasteless? Perhaps. Effective? Maybe.

Sources for this post:

Jonah Goldberg at Northwestern February 28th

...and Ward Churchill will be at UW-Whitewater on March 1st. UWW College Republicans, I know a couple of you have visited this site in the past. Any thoughts on/capacity to bring Goldberg to campus on March 1 to address the conservative Warhawk community?

Deep Throat

I typically scorn the "who is Deep Throat" debate as a waste of time. This afternoon, I posted a short bit meant to deride the Deep Throat gossipers by claiming the Pope was Deep Throat. Then I pulled it after an hour because I thought it was in poor taste. Now I see Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner is going to get all of the credit for that one. Grrr.

Guess where I'm going to be on March 1?

Ward Churchill is going to be right in my backyard that day (Hat tip Boots & Sabers):
Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor whose remarks comparing the victims of the World Trade Center attacks to a World War II Nazi war criminal, is scheduled to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on March 1, a university spokesman said. Churchill, chairman of Colorado's ethnic studies department, was invited to Whitewater by a group of Native American students.
If this is an open event, I plan to be there with bells on. I do not plan to make problems. I wish no harm on Mr. Churchill. I must take part in this event, though. I've read some of Mr. Churchill's stuff, and I was not impressed with it. Some of the revelations of this past week did not surprise me in the least, and now that I have the opportunity to see the horse's ass in person, I simply must go.

Oh, but this is a tough call. UWW will also have a showing of the Vagina Monologues that night. UWW's College Republicans have a meeting that night. I wonder which event they will attend before their meeting?

Email Deep Throat

Heh. Thanks to ol' Howie Kurtz, you can now email Deep Throat, I guess:
Howard Kurtz: Yeah, but it would have ruined some of the best scenes in the movie if he was just
Thanks for the chat, folks.
Goodness, gracious. What if that had been some poor fool's real email address.


I am concerned about clawback on private social security accounts. Not because I think the Bush proposal will result in it, but because I think Democrats will legislate clawback into private accounts down the road in order to fund whatever pet projects there isn't any money for down the road.

Feminism and the Middle East

I'll be the first to admit that I can be a bit hard on feminism. This is not because I am opposed to the ultimate goal of feminism, but rather because I find the positions of the feminist movement wildly inconsistent and merely political. In my humble opinion, the movement has long since ceased to be about equality for the female gender and is now about the accumulation of political power. The silence of the feminist movement during the Clinton scandal was irritating, but the silence of the movement over atrocities committed against women in the Middle East is infuriating. To me, this is proof positive that the feminist movement is no longer about gender equality. Last week, I discussed how this applied to a year old story of a Palestinian woman who was almost murdered years ago because she became pregnant out of wedlock. Today, this column puts it in words I could only hope to.

Women are third rate citizens in certain parts of the Muslim world. Those women face miseries that American women of all generations have never faced. There should be rage on the part of feminists. Instead, there is silence. There is silence because Islamic fundamentalists are George W. Bush's enemies, and apparently even if your political enemy's physical enemy isn't your friend, you still don't wage your own just war against them.

I'm sure that my opinion on this is wide open to criticism from the feminist view point, but I don't really care. Out of political concerns, the feminist movement is selling its own ideals down the river. Once they find back the spines of the women who preceded them, they'll have proven me wrong. Until then, we'll watch as the legal domination of females by males seeps first into Canada, and then on into the United States, all because of politics.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

It's Official (follow up)

There was a nice little exchange going on in the comments section of the "It's Official" post directly below, so I think this is a post worthy of a quick follow up. First, the picture I paint of Russ Feingold as the Democratic nominee for President should be qualified a little bit. Feingold does face numerous hurdles before he gets to 2007. First, he's the Junior Senator from Wisconsin. That is a role that makes it a little bit more difficult for him to acquire the high profile needed to become the Democratic nominee for President. Second, Feingold's homespun, grass roots style works well in Wisconsin, but can it translate to the national level? Third, he is a very liberal senator. Fourth, the Democratic party is such a mess right now that it seems that only the biggest demagogue can make it through their primaries. It is not a sure thing that he will even end up running, let alone be able to capture the nomination-far from it, in fact. The one thing that concerns me is that the default position of Republicans in Wisconsin has been to underestimate Feingold, and here's why it concerns me that national Republicans will do the same.

Feingold and McCain. McCain and Feingold. Both have ambitions to become President. Both seem to enjoy working together. Both have a built in mechanism to keep their name out in the press. As Owen at Boots and Sabers points out, they are working on new campaign finance bill. They may believe in this bill, but it also serves to keep McCain-Feingold on everybody's lips for another couple of election cycles. This helps Feingold maintain his national identity and overcome that little junior Senator from Wisconsin problem. As for his homespun, grass roots style, I think that is the root of why Republicans underestimate him, but it is effective. I consider Ann Althouse to be a pretty reliable representative of the "middle", or those voters who aren't straight ticketers. She's already on Feingold's band wagon. (Read why here). As for Feingold's liberalism, he's not a Kerry liberal. He's more of a classic liberal who breaks party lines on "principle", and that is something the average voter respects. And as for the nature of the Democratic party, the war for the heart of that party has only just begun. Howard Dean looks to become the DNC chair, but don't think that means the party is going to hell in a hand basket. Hillary is tracking hard right, Feingold's playing classic liberalism, and Dean, with everything he represents, is about to be put in a position where everything he represents can be repudiated from within the Democratic Party and with Republican help from the outside. The Democratic party is going to look very different in four years.

Now don't take this as me being a Feingold supporter. What I am saying is that if you are conservative and/or a Republican, put your first impressions of Feingold away and re-examine him. Otherwise we may have an unpleasant surprise on our hands come 2008.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It's official

We can finally put away our prognostications on a Russ Feingold run for President in 2008. If Feingold can build the momentum, he'll be in the running:
I'm trying to be one of God knows how many Democrats who are going to get out there and try to help turn this thing around...If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run.
There isn't a politician worth his/her salt alive that doesn't think they are the best person for a higher political office, especially the Presidency. Wisconsin, you have one and a half senators for the next 3 years, because Russ Feingold has road bed to lay for a Presidential run.

It is possible that "making Wisconsin a red state in '08" could be a little more difficult than originally thought.

(Cross posted at the Badger Blog Alliance)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Disenfranchisement or laziness?

This is the typical person Democrats say is disenfranchised by election laws that ensure the validity of our elections (from the Star Tribune):
In the final days of last year's presidential election, Nick Hauer still hadn't registered to vote. But on Election Day the 19-year-old Roseville resident cast his first-ever ballot.

"It was really quick," he said, adding that he probably wouldn't have voted if not for Minnesota's same-day voter registration.

If Minnesota did not have same day registration, who would really be disenfranchising who here? The government certainly wouldn't be disenfrachising anyone. Hauer would have had the same opportunity to register that everyone else in the state had. The only person that would have kept Hauer from voting would have been Hauer and his own laziness.

<>The lack of proper respect given to the voting process by the left has chapped my hide since at least 2000, when I wrote a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, scolding those who could not take voting seriously enough to take the time to fill out their ballots correctly. An excerpt:
<>What is this lesson? The right to vote is not a right to be taken lightly. Millions upon millions of our very own relatives and ancestors have died to protect this right for us. We are not to treat the act of casting our ballot in anything less than a serious manner. If, after all that our veterans, living and deceased, have done to preserve this right for us, we cannot take the time to correctly fill out a ballot, whether it be punch-card, computer-scanned or absentee, then our vote does not deserve to be counted.

It does not deserve to be counted because we have not lived up to what those who came before us sacrificed to give us the right to choose our own leaders.

Change the words so I'm talking about voter registration, and I still stand by what I said then. Too many people in this country take for granted rights that others in the world yearn for but may never get.

(HT: The American Mind)

Feminists, the Middle East needs you. Really, I'm serious.

I am not one who is above taking the occasional shot at feminists. I believe they served a very important role for women once upon a time in this country, but I believe their role has become more and more corrupted as feminism became a career. If feminists care to prove me wrong about this, then I have a challenge for you. Read this story and then tell me we shouldn't be doing whatever is in our power to spread freedom and republican or parliamentary democracy across that region.

For those of you who don't click links, let me introduce the story and give you a little flavor. It is the story of a Palestinian woman who got pregnant before she was married. Think that was tough on a woman in the 1950's Bible Belt? Try the Middle East. Their they kill the woman for the honor of her family.
Twenty-five years later I see these images again as if time has stopped. I was sitting on a rock, barefoot in a grey dress. I had lowered my head, unable to look at him; my forehead was on my knees. Then suddenly I was running and on fire and screaming. There were women, I remember, two of them, so I must have climbed over the garden wall and into the street. They beat at me, I suppose with their scarves. They dragged me to the village fountain; I felt the cold water running on me and I cried out with pain because it burnt me too. I heard women wailing over me. "The poor thing . . . The poor thing . . ." I was lying in a car. I felt the jolts of the road. I heard myself moan.
The author is alive because her brother in law botched the killing. The woman was then placed in a hospital where she was given no medical care. She was expected to die. If not for an aide worker who was able to smuggle this woman to Europe, she would have.

The above story is more than a little bit dated, but I just happened upon it today and was revolted by it. My father raised me to have great respect for women, and he instilled a strong defense of women mechanism deep inside me. This story is just one in a long line of stories about the atrocities Muslim men commit against Muslim women. Feminists should be falling over one another in defense of their Middle Eastern sisters, urging the liberalization of that region at all costs. I suspect if a Democrat were President right now, even a womanizing one, they would be. Sadly, their silence is deafening.

Before you scroll down...

...let me just say I that I'm a bit burned out right now. Serious blog topics will return soon, I promise. Making fun of terrorists who kidnap action figures never gets old, though.

More doll carnage in Iraq


AP-Sad news came out of Iraq today as the world learned of the failed mission of US soldier John Adam. Adam, captured Tuesday by shoplifting 11 year olds, had an objective of freeing three blonde women, all named Barbie, from their captors in Sadr City. Once Adam was captured, the Barbies' captors took out their anger on them, beheading them with a dull 9 year old girl.

Army medics recovered the three Barbies' late in the day Wednesday. They are hopeful they can reattach the Barbies' heads with a little known Apoxie treatment, allowing them to live normal lives until their arms and legs fall off. Sadly, the doctors do not believe they can do anything to alleviate digestive problems created by the Barbies' abnormally narrow waists.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Driver on Favre: He's "hanging 'em up"

The Journal Sentinel is reporting on an interview Donald Driver gave to Sirius NFL radio this morning in which Driver said he believes Favre is retiring. One quote from this interview is particularly interesting:
I think he was trying to wait until the draft, and I think coach Sherman wanted to know right before free agency because there are a couple of quarterback free agents that they want to look at if Brett decided not to come back. I think they forced him to make a decision. When you force one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL to make a decision, he's pretty much going to let you know that he maybe is just hanging 'em up.
Uh-oh. I think the Packers were fair to ask Brett for a decision by the draft. They have a job to keep this team as competitive as possible, and if they go along assuming Brett will be back and then he retires in June, they are already a year behind. Just the same, if the story becomes "Sherman's pressure on Favre led to retirement," Sherman may as well resign now because he'll be crucified until the end of the 2005 season, at which point he will be fired.

TABOR-Tax Payers' Bill of Rights

I have a real brief thought tonight on TABOR tonight, and if I still think it is an interesting topic later in the week, I'll go into greater detail in a new post.

This thought started to bubble in my head during my many hours on I-94 this weekend. With rumors floating that TABOR doesn't have enough support to pass right now, I started thinking about this at a basic marketing level (I studied marketing in college in addition to history). Tax Payer Bill of Rights is a very powerful statement. When you are trying to pass a very solid piece of legislation that your political opponents want to kill through scare tactics, you have fend off those scare tactics with the facts and with words that garner support amongst the masses. The words "Tax Payers' Bill of Rights" are those strong words. They send a strong and clear message to people who feel crushed by the tax burden in this state. When you shorten those words to an acronym like TABOR, you lose that emotional attachment that a potential supporter may develop with your legislation. I'd be willing to bet my house that most Wisconsinites have no clue what TABOR is, but that most would automatically support a "Tax Payers' Bill of Rights" (Mrs. Jib would not let me make that bet, by the way). It is just basic marketing. I don't believe TABOR ever generated the general interest needed to pressure legislators to get it done, and I think part of the reason is it was never marketed or sold to Wisconsinites effectively.

Re: Two queries to the blogosphere

Milwaukee talk radio host Charlie Sykes posted the following two questions to the Wisconsin blogosphere. Below each question are my personal thoughts.

Query One: Why no interest in Doyle's handling of school choice in the blogosphere?

Answer: Personally it hasn't been a lack of interest. Until a couple of months ago, my blogging was much more national in nature. This site was started in June, and much of my blogging from June through November dealt with the election, terrorism, and the war, which are three areas I'm very comfortable with. Wisconsin politics, sadly, were not as high up on my radar screen. As I try to bring myself very quickly up to speed on local topics, I've chosen to bypass topics that I didn't think I had given enough thought to yet. This was one of them, unfortunately.

Query Two: What's the next step in promoting the new -- very active -- WI Blogosphere? I'm open to suggestion. The MSM will ignore this development as long as they can, but that shouldn't deter us.

Answer: This is a difficult question for me because, at the urging of a few others, I set up the frame work of the Badger Blog Alliance (everyone else's participation made it into something unique), and I feel like I should have a big vision for it that I can share with everyone. Instead my policy has been to pretty much leave it alone and let the other great Wisconsin bloggers, who so enthusiastically came on board, help set the tone for the site. To be honest, I was caught off guard by how quickly it all came together a couple of weeks ago. It is a very small part of the vibrance of the Wisconsin blogosphere, but it is a place where we can join our voices together and make a little bit more noise than we can individually (hopefully).

So, having said all of that, I do have a couple thoughts on promoting the Wisconsin blogosphere. The first is the easiest for me to work on. The Badger Blog Alliance needs to be refined more by me so that it really becomes a portal for anyone who wants research and opinion on Wisconsin news and politics. The links need to be more robust and defined, and I need to do some footwork to get the site more exposure than it already has. If we can get the site acting like a portal, then it becomes a central clearing house which will make it easier for people to access all of our sites, making the Wisconsin blogosphere that much more difficult to ignore. Eventually that will mean moving the site off of Blogger and making its graphics much more crisp and professional, but that's another story for another time.

Secondly, we need to reach people who normally may not visit blogs. The only way to do that is through traditional media, and most outlets would just as soon pretend we don't exist. NBC 15 out of Madison had a story about blogs on their 10 o'clock news on Sunday night, and they managed to make the Wisconsin blogosphere look like the driest, most boring piece of fluff you can imagine. They also went out of their way not to bring up any of the vibrant Wisconsin blogs (read conservative) that people really would want to read. Perhaps it would be a nice segment for your show if once a week or once a month you had a small panel with a couple of Wisconsin's biggest and best bloggers. Choose a topic which those couple of bloggers could prepare for ahead of time, and maybe do a 20 minute Wisconsin blog panel. I'm not going to be so presumptuous as to recommend any more than that, because radio is not my career and there may be very good reasons that this isn't a good idea, but I think that there are several very eloquent bloggers who would do a great job for your show, and they would do a great job in making the Wisconsin blogosphere even more legitimate in the eyes of those who would ignore us. I'm thankful for everything you've done for us, so just take this one as a brainstorm type thought.

These are just a couple of thoughts. In addition to these, we all need to make sure we keep the momentum we've had the past couple of weeks rolling. If we don't, we become easy for the mainstream media to ignore, and our collective and individual influence wanes.