Friday, April 29, 2005

I'm back

I'm back. Thanks for the well wishes. It was a long week, but fortunately Mrs. Jib's family is somewhat large, which made things easier on everyone. Last night was the first night in a week where we've really gotten much sleep, so as the fatigue wears off and I get caught back up the news cycle, things will start humming again around here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What do Bush's falling poll numbers mean?

Well, I agree almost 100% with this John Hawkins post at Right Wing News. He hits on a number of things that are contributing, including gas prices, the fact that foreign affairs are falling off the front page, and the resulting focus on domestic news works against Bush, etc. I do think that there is one more factor that is being overlooked, though. We have just gone through a very difficult and trying four years, followed by a highly contentious presidential election. I think Americans are both tired and content with life right now. They are not in the mood for change, and they are not in the mood for political fighting. They want a nice, quiet, "Eisenhower" period. On the domestic front, between Terri Schiavo, Social Security, and judicial nominees, they aren't getting it. I think that the falling poll numbers reflect that more than anything.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Save American Dreams

Regular Jiblog reader and commentor RPM is a big supporter of NBC's American Dreams. I can't say the same for myself-I think I've seen it twice, maybe three times. It isn't because I don't like it. I just don't watch a lot of television. I think Mrs. Jib gives into my blogging/laptop time because she has total control of the TV, and we can still carry on like a normal couple. But I digress. From my brief exposure to the show, it seemed wholesome, entertaining, and a communicator of pretty good messages. I know RPM has urged others to help communicate to NBC that the show should get picked back up, but I just cannot do it as passionately as he does. So as a favor to a reader that has been haunting these parts for a while now, head over to his site and see what you can do to help out.

The source for oil

As a young science student, I faithfully accepted all that my teachers tought me as hard, cold fact. There was one fact that I always had trouble wrapping my mind around-how it was possible that oil was the result of dead vegetation and animal life that was put under tremendous pressures. I had two problems with it-first, now was it possible that all of this dead vegation and animal matter happened to be so abundit in such isolated locations? My second question was how was it possible that this organic matter managed to stay undecayed for so long that thousands of years of sediment could layer on top of it to create the pressure necessary to result in oil. Logic would dictate that even if a cataclismic event like a massive volcano eruption or large meteor strike had kicked up sediment, decay would still occur below the surface.

I first read about the abiotic theory about a year ago. It makes sense-in fact, to my mind, it makes more sense than the above.

Can Putin do the impossible and push Europe towards America?

It has whirled around the blogosphere-Vladamir Putin sounding like a 1930's Adolph Hitler, lamenting the fall of the Soviet Union and all of the ethnic Russians living within the borders of other nations. Everyone I've read has taken the two next steps-concern over how committed Putin is to democracy and peace, and how much this sounds like Hitler's public rationale for invading his neighbors in the late 1930's. But let's take yet another step and see the effects this may have.

First, this may perk some ears up in Western Europe, but it is going to have very little short term impact. Europe, despite hosting the Second World War, has been largely pacifist since 1919. A chill will go down Western Europe's spine, and then they'll roll over and try to appease Putin. Right now, they know they have very little to fear. Russia's military is too weak to be much of a threat to them, they have a half continent buffer, and they have the United States in case of an emergency.

In Eastern Europe, this is going to set of air raid sirens in the ears of national leaders, though. They've felt just how "benevolent" Russian rule is. With one sentence, Putin has driven his Eastern European neighbors even closer to the United States. Do not be surprised in nations like Ukraine become urgent in their desirte for NATO membership. Also do not be surprised if the United States begins to marginalize the uncooperative Western European members of NATO and lifts the status of Eastern European members. This east-west divide will make the EU an even more contentious body than it already is, and in the short term, I'd expect more anti-Americanism in Western Europe to rise.

Putin will continue to consolidate his power-we can probably take that as a given. If he can find a way to strengthen his military, or if he can use a relationship with China to tie the U.S. up in Asia, then expect to see Western Europe get very nervous and very friendly again toward the U.S. Hopefully, if events start to play out like this, Europe sees the writing on the wall sooner rather than later. My concern for the next twenty years is not terrorism. My concern for the next 20 years is Russia, China, and the relationship that begins to develop between the two of them. We should be doing everything in our power to disrupt that relationship now.

The great thing about making prognostications like these is that you are usually wrong. It only takes one bump in the road to take the whole world in another direction. In this case I hope I'm wrong, but the writing on the wall is flashing in neon.

The problem with studies

Last week we learned, after all of this time hearing how fat is killing us, that if you are overweight but not obese, you actually may live longer than the thin person. How is it, most of us ask, that we can be preached at about excess weight for years, only to now find out that a little extra insulation on your frame ain't necessarily all that bad? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First, researchers go into these studies with a theory. In this case, the theory is "fat is bad." It's funny, but when you go into a study looking to prove it, you usually do. Yes, there is peer review, but when most of your peers are of the same mindset, it isn't that hard to slip some weaknesses by them.

Second, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is nice as a general stat, but its weakness is its inflexibility. People are built on variety of frames. Some are also more muscular than others. This means a person with a larger frame and/or extra muscle are going to show up as overweight, even if they are not. It is the garbage in garbage out theory. Many of these weight studies are working with cookie cutter definitions of "over weight" when in fact people are built very different from one another. The data is therefore weak from the start.

Finally, there may or may not be extra factors that play into this, but which are very difficult to calculate. For instance, are in shape, thin people bigger risk takers than slightly overweight people? If so, overweight people may still be more susceptible to diseases like diabetes or heart disease, but have slightly longer life spans than thinner people who take unnecessary risks. I don't know that the previous is true, but the problem is that the authors' of these studies don't know either.

Studies have to be taken with a grain of salt. They make nice guide lines for your health, but at the same time, you can't live by them.

Couric a diva? Perish the thought!

As a Deborah Norville sympathizer, I actually welcome the forthcoming Katie Couric article in the New York Times.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Beware the stock of Google

I've been very wary of Google since their IPO. I remain so. Valued more than heavyweights Viacom, Disney, GM, Ford, and HP, Google to me is that pop stock that people whine about how much money they lost on after the fact. I'll give them their snaps, they've been introducing as many projects as possible to capitalize on their opportunities since going public. As an investement, though, I'd go with conservative Yahoo over Google. Google ads are all the rage right now, but sooner or later advertisers and web operators are going to realize that Google is an unecessary go between. Web sites will learn how to communicate who their audiences are to potential advertisors, and by doing so they will learn that they can earn a better ad rate by doing so. Advertisors will learn that it isn't Google that provides them with their wonderful results, but rather those indiviual websites, and that they two can save a couple of points by going around Google. Once this occurs, and it will, Google will get squeezed out of the third party ad provider market. Once that occurs, kiss the value of that Google stock goodbye. Meanwhile, Yahoo will be the little guy that keeps plugging along, providing consistent, reliable returns.

Jiblog may be a bit quiet this week

Just a note for everyone who is so kind as to stop by this little piece of turf in the blogosphere. After Monday, Jiblog may be a little quiet through the end of the week. The lovely Mrs. Jib has had an unexpected passing in her family, and I will will be in Fond du Lac for a portion of the week. Don't be surprised if from Tuesday through the end of the week if it is pretty quiet around here. If at all possible, I'll be getting a little web time each day, and I'll update if I have something worth saying. Otherwise I'll be back towards the end of the week.

Post script
If you include include Mrs. Jib and her family in your prayers, it would be much appreciated by this little blogger.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Joel McNally is a dumbass

Okay, I understand that dumbass is a harsh term, but think of it this way: I'm Red Foreman from That 70's Show, and McNally is Eric Foreman. This column is McNally's "dumbass-able" offense. Clearly, McNally doesn't have any shame, and he also doesn't take issues very seriously, because his column irresponsible. He is writing on the voter ID bill, and from the very start he takes things into the universe of the exaggerating dumbasses. He portrays Republicans as rich white men-a cheap liberal tactic that is in and of itself a little bit racist in the way that it dismisses the conservative nature of some minorities. But that's not what this is about. This is about the fact that McNally cannot fight voter ID on its merits. Instead, he has to blow the issue out of proportion and mislead readers from his very first sentence on. Wisconsinites of all color, creed, and class have expressed concern that their votes are being cheapened by the fact that anyone can play the voting system in this state and never face the consequences. My vote counts the same as any white, black, or Hispanic man or woman, young or old, rich or poor. But all of our votes are weakened by those who commit voter fraud, and when you do not have to definitively prove who you are when you vote, you are asking for more fraud. That means all of us who play the game within the law are getting screwed, Mr. McNally. The lack of voter ID in this state only benefits those who play the system best. And since Democrats are fighting voter ID the hardest, I'd have to say that they are the best players.

If anyone is concerned that some people may have difficulty getting ID's, I have a suggestion for you. Volunteer in your community. Maybe even organize a group that helps the disadvantaged get their ID's. Or is the huge heart just the face you liberals put towards the public?

If I decide to start "The Red Foreman Award," McNally gets the inaugural one. Comes with a foot in the ass.

Me not dat smart...*burp*

Well, I know that I'm not writing at a level that is flying over everyone's heads. I took a readability test for Jiblog, and it comes in at Reader's Digest level. That's pretty low. To really elevate one's score, a person would necessarily have to flagellate their audience with multiple syllable words and extremely stylistic musings. Therefore, Jiblog is multiplying the syllable quotient by a factor of one hundred and eighteen. At least 'til I can done feel smart 'gin.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Hold up a second there, pardner...

Xoff Files has a post up on Charlie Sykes' take on the official state newspaper topic. I read through the post as innocent bystander until I got to this line:
Except I was thinking the state could use my blog as the official site, maybe for about 10% of what it now pays the State Journal. That would be $9-million in annual savings. And a million a year would not affect my objectivity one bit.
Ahem. Sorry Xoff. Jiblog scratched out that little piece of turf way back on April 13th, and I'm protecting it like Ted Kennedy protects his bottle of Glenfiddich, baby-ferociously and to the death.

Solutions that masquerade as problems

Since today is Earth Day, it is only appropriate that Jiblog celebrates with a politically incorrect post full of earthy goodness. It starts over at the blog Random10, which looks at the top ten threats global warming poses to Wisconsin. Here is number 6:
6. More native birds!!!
“Greater resident bird populations, however, could increase competition for food and resources available for migratory songbirds and making it difficult for them to survive.”
Do you know what this means? It means our runaway feral cat population is in place to thin the migratory bird population, allowing them to thrive without the threat of overpopulation! It is gloroius nature seeking a balance in all things! And according to a Charlotte cabby, we can always send our extra feral cats off to faraway lands to solve hunger issues.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Netscape issues

Now Jiblog seems to be screwed up. Test post.

Okay, at least on my machine, when I try to access BBA or Jiblog with Netscape, I'm redirecting to the Blogger homepage. Firefox and IE seem to work fine. If anyone out there knows what the issue might be, let me know. Thanks.

Badger Blog Alliance technical issues

The Badger Blog Alliance seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties. If you came here to see what the heck is going on, well, I'm not sure yet. Tell me what you see happening when you go there in the comments, please. Any thoughts on the problem would be appreciated, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Small town vs. big city

I live in small town, and I grew up in a small town. I enjoy the friendliness and coziness of small towns. Until very recently, however, I never realized what I had to sacrifice to live in a small town-convenience and much of my time.

Since I became a homeowner about 7 months ago, I've discovered that things go wrong at inopportune times. Putting in a sink? Better do it during the day, otherwise you'll need something that you can only get at one local store, which is already closed. So then you blow an hour and a half going to the "big town" to find a store that's still open. Need specialized parts for a project? Better buy 'em as soon as you see them. Otherwise, when you go to buy them at the hardware store 5 minutes before you want to start the project, you're liable to find out that the hardware store has closed for the day to move to a new location. The project is suddenly that deadly hour and a half behind. And don't even think twice about going out to eat after 9 pm, unless you are in the mood for bar nuts.

So if you live in the big city, and you are thinking of moving out to a peaceful small town, remember this: It ain't all that peaceful when you are swearing under your breath as you drive back and forth to the big city 5 evenings a week for the dumbest things.

Misperception, politics, or incompetence?

I often ask myself the question in the title as I read, view, and listen to news. I asked myself that again on Monday as I read this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article by Laurel Walker on Russ Feingold's Town Hall meeting in Wales, WI. This is the portion of the article that made me ask that question:
I wonder if the same people so ready to kill any Feingold-for-president hopes are the same ones rooting for twice-divorced (the last a very messy one, at that) and three-times-married former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
She was referring, of course, to Feingold's pending second divorce. My problem with this paragraph is that she's making a very poor comparison. Most of us at the Badger Blog Alliance have been sympathetic to Feingold over his divorce, even though most of us oppose him politically and would be part of that nefarious "ready to kill any Feingold-for-president hopes" group. I think most of us would agree that Giuliani is going to have similar political problems on the divorce issue. If Laurel is so curious, maybe she should ask. There are a lot of us at the BBA that would make a nice test sample for her. I think she'd find that the divorce is not a left wing-right wing issue, but rather an anti-divorce/divorce ambivilant issue. Her slap at the right was gratuitous, misleading, and wholly uncreative as a political time bomb.

Talking heads to blog?

So says NBC head Jeff Zucker. I welcome it. We all watch the talking heads work their biases into their journalistically pure stories while passing it off as objective. Might as well get their subjective opinions right out in the open.

It won't happen, though. Here's my prediction-NBC or some other network gets a start in blogging. The blogs of the talking heads will either be ghost written, very close to the vest and uninteresting, or both. Bloggers put their butts on the line every day. One opinion resulting from poor analysis and your credibility can take a big hit. Does anyone think the networks are really going to take the risk of letting their on air personalities actually voice real opinions and risk jeopardizing the network's reputation?

Why do we run deficits? Exhibit A: New food pyramids

One of the big news items on Monday was the new food pyramid. Apparently, because Americans have gotten fatter since the original food pyramid was introduced, the original pyramid was faulty. In reading this New York Times piece on the pyramid, we learn that $2.5 million of our taxes were used JUST "TO CREATE A SUITABLE SYMBOL!" That doesn't include the likely millions spent to "research" these new pyramids. Do we even need these damn things? NO! When was the last time you pulled out your food pyramid to plan out meals for the day? That's right, you never have done so. The food pyramid is something that belongs in a health textbook somewhere, written by private scholars, not in government literature.

Government spending is like a drug addiction. Unless we start electing leaders with extreme amounts of common sense, eventually we are going to have to go cold turkey to beat the habit of wasteful spending. I'd much rather see us wean ourselves of it. Start with "food pyramids."

Rookie Little League Coach, Part II

Well, my first crack at coaching Little League wasn't too bad. The head coach managed to only plunk one kid in the ribs during batting practice. Tough kid, didn't even cry. The thing I'm most proud of? Our biggest player seemed to be very afraid of the ball. During batting practice, I got her to relax, and I think she has more power than anyone else on the team. Once she was convinced the ball wasn't going to hurt her, she started started hitting smokin' line drives. Only time she smiled all night. Lowest point? Pitching to the coach's kid, who is pretty athletic, and watching him not make contact with one ball all night. Methinks his dad will be pitching to him for some time tomorrow night to ensure that doesn't happen again, but it will. He's just one of those kids that presses too hard to please dad, and in baseball, when you start pressing hard, kiss success goodbye.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope elected today

Wait, I thought the new Pope went 1 for 3 with a walk last night? I've got to get better sources.

All kidding aside, congratulations, Catholics, on whomever the new Pope is. I'll admit that I don't get the suspense and excitement, but it is a big thing for all of you. May he lead the Catholic Church down the path God has set before him.

Bill Richardson positioning himself for '08?

Probably. When you are a Governor and you are calling on the national media to pay more attention to the states, you usually have a reason for it.

Rookie Little League coach

Tonight is my first practice as an assistant Little League coach. I'm terrified.

Coulter, Time

There was a lot of comment out there yesterday on both the distorted Time cover photo of Ann Coulter and also her general hotness. The photo's used by bloggers to support Coulter's good looks generally weren't these two, though, and I thought they were the best pics in the shoot.

Of course, Coulter has nothing on the lovely Mrs. Jib (**Jib ducks**)

More Huebscher

See below for the first example of Huebscher. This is the second. In this editorial, he goes after state politician's who want to impose a beer "user fee" of a dollar to pay for alcoholism treatment programs. He effectively shows why this is such a stupid concept. Again, I will excerpt a small portion, since I believe these disappear after a week or so.
What analogies can we come up with to equate people who legally and responsibly drink beer paying a user fee to subsidize the treatment of alcohol abusers? Here are a few:

n Have people who legally hunt and fish pay a small surcharge to subsidize counseling for poachers.

n Ask people who obey traffic laws to pay an additional “user fee” on their car registration to subsidize speeders strapped for cash.

n Impose a slight fee on doughnuts and other goodies at the grocery store to help pay for overeaters to get treatment.

Sure, there are reasons we want to help alcoholics clean up their act. Mainly, because they drain society if we don’t. They end up in prison. They leave dependents impoverished. They cause accidents, commit crimes and otherwise cause havoc in many other ways that end up increasing corrections and human services budgets.

But there’s something aggravating about a politician telling law-abiding people who like to have a beer or two now and then to bear responsibility for alcohol abusers. The same goes for blaming breweries, unless it can be proved brewery officials grab unsuspecting victims, hold them down and pour beer down their throats.
Don, I'd buy you a Walter's if I could.

Fire from the editor's Pulpit

I meant to write about this before, but life kind of intruded. Eau Claire Leader Telegram editor Don Huebscher really unleashes some great editorials from time to time. In this one, he scolds everyone who did not vote in the spring election. I don't know Don, but I think I can see veins popping in his neck as he writes it. If you did not vote, go to the editorial and get your well deserved spanking. The number one highlight would have to be this, though, if you aren't a link clicker:
We at the Leader-Telegram sometimes are accused of making poor news judgments in our zeal to “sell papers.”

Sure we want to sell papers. That’s obvious. But we killed a lot of trees in recent weeks to preview the various local, area and statewide elections. History tells us the turnout will be paltry, but we keep writing these stories because it’s our obligation as a business given First Amendment protection. That protection carries a responsibility to give people the information they need to govern themselves intelligently.

But to be honest, when we see numbers like those of last Tuesday, it’s hard not to wonder why we even bother.

Maybe we should try running the election preview stories alongside photos of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears to try to drum up more interest. Well … do you have any better ideas?
Bravo, Don. I hope I never get under your skin.

Monday, April 18, 2005

William Wallace's sword is coming to America

This will be the first time Sir William's sword will have left its home shores, and it may be the last. Interesting little story, but that isn't what caught my eye. Instead, it was this quote in the story:
"The sword itself tells us that Wallace was a giant of a man, most likely standing more than 6ft 6in tall."
Which made this exchange from Braveheart pop into my mind:
"Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace!"

"Wallace is seven feet tall!"

"Yes, I've heard! Kills men by the hundreds! And if he were here, he'd consume the English with balls of fire from his eyes....and bolts of lightning from his arse!"
Damn movies and their catchy lines.

Althouse uses sex to attract male traffic

I'm noticing a pattern here of Ann Althouse giving us guys some "nice" shots of Bascom Hill's scenary. I didn't think much of it at first, but now that the sun bathing begins...

Yes, most of us guys are dumb enough for it to work, although I'm kidding about Ann's intentions. I still think pictures of the beers I've enjoyed is the ultimate traffic grabber. :-)


For everyone who has been stopping, by my sincerest apologies. I really feel guilty when I'm not updating to my standards. I visited the kin folk this weekend, and before my 4 hour drive back, I seem to have contracted something of a bug. Combine the two and ya have some pretty disappointing posts (and lack there of) here.

Goodbye, old friend

I have a tendency to opine (okay, maybe bloviate) here about beer. I may play up my love of God's golden nectar a touch, but I really do enjoy the taste of beer, and I'm also fascinated by its history and also its marketing. It is given that background that I must bid a very fond farewell to Miller's High Life man. After 7 years of "The High Life," Miller and their ad agency are putting him on ice.

I was not too fond of the High Life Man when the ads first started running. Back in 1998 I was still in college and still a haughty little snot (and a faltering liberal) who thought he had the world by the tail. I'd forgotten my roots, and the blue collar message grated on me. But as I aged, got out into the real world, and rediscovered my values (and realized that my beliefs were best represented on the other side of the political spectrum), I began to appreciate the commercials, and even admire them. The High Life man was the everyday man. And he was damn proud of it, knowing that it was he who lived the High Life.

Today I'm a little more sophisticated of a beer drinker-I actually taste the beverages instead of seeing them as mearly a means to an end. Back then I couldn't have told you the difference between a High Life, a Miller Lite, and an MGD, though. But as these commercials started to work on me, I became more willing to try this non-premium Miller High Life stuff (I was kind of a snotty beer drink, too. Why somebody just didn't kick my...). And I discovered that I liked it-it actually did taste good. And the bonus was, Miller wasn't charging me premium price for it. Goodness knows they could have.

So, after this long ramble, what's my point? (Who am I? Why am I here?) Oh, yes-I agree with this columnist. The High Life man did help save Miller High Life. And I illustrate it through my experience. I'm sure others have come to rediscover High Life over the past 7 years, an I'm sure he played a part in it. As for me, I'm going to miss the actors soothing, pride filled voice during commercial breaks on miserable Brewer broadcasts. And I'm going to enjoy the High Life in your honor, High Life man.

Cardinals gather for conclave

The Cardinals began their conclave today, and in a major surprise, white smoke was seen billowing towards the heavens by day’s end.


Reports filtering out are that the Cardinals have elected compromise candidate David Eckstein as the next Pope.


Late in the afternoon, with the conclave deadlocked over favorites Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols, momentum began to build for compromise candidate Eckstein.  By dusk, white smoke was seen pouring out of the Cardinals dugout, and Eckstein was Pope.


Word out of the Gateway City is that Eckstein will assume the name Pope Stan Ozzie I.  Cardinal Manager Tony LaRussa has said the Pope will be starting at shortstop tonight against the Pirates.


(The above was satire.  If you aren’t a baseball fan, you probably don’t get it.)


Japan ready for peace in 1944?

I have my doubts, but in this Guardian story, we learn of the Japanese sub the I-52. The sub was sunk in 1944, and American Vietnam vet Paul Tidwell is trying to bring the contents of the sub back to the surface. Despite the large quantity of gold aboard the sub, their is also a letter regarding peace negotiations. At the depth the sub is at, the paper would be preserved.

I wish Tidwell luck, as he stands to make a tidy profit on this project from the Japanese government. I don't think the letter on board that ship is going to yield what he is hoping for, though. If the Japanese were serious about peace negotitations in 1944, they'd have gotten it done. That one letter did not make the difference between peace and more war.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

One cab driver's solution to Wisconsin's cat problem

This story that I am about to relate is actually Col. Ollie's. Hopefully the good Col. won't mind me borrowing his material.

Anyway, the Col. was in a major east coast city last week on business. On his cab ride back to the airport, the driver asked Ollie where he was from. Ollie said, "Wisconsin." The cab driver's eyes immediately lit up. He had heard of Wisconsin's feral cat problem, and it just so happened that he had a solution. Trap the cats. Then export them. And it just so happens that he knew some people that could help facilitate this. But export them where, you ask? Well, to certain regions of the world where cats are a delicacy. This cab driver thought he had our cat problem licked, and he wanted a cut of the action. He left Ollie with his business card and strict orders to get this message to Governor Doyle: Governor, a cab driver out East says that you can kill two birds with one stone; you can solve Wisconsin's feral cat problem and find an alternative revenue source with which to lower taxes.

Col. Ollie told me this story, and my first thought was that this plan was impossible. I mean, Governor Doyle, lower taxes?


Saturday, April 16, 2005

This weekend

Posting will be light this weekend, unless Col. Ollie gets the feral cat idea from his cabbie in Charlotte written up. I'm up in west-central Wisconsin for the weekend, and I'm finding it difficult to get a reliable internet connection.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Happy %$&#@ Tax Day

Hopefully you are done with your taxes. If not, hopefully you're just here taking a break. Get back to 'em! The sooner you get them done, the sooner you can enjoy your favorite ice cold beverage.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bush has good form

He may have thrown a ball in his opening night first pitch tonight, but honorary Washington National President Bush showed he has good form.

Can this be right?

South Korea is a little larger than the state of Indiana. According to this story, prostitution is a $23.6 billion a year business. Can that possibly be right? That is $485 per every man, woman, and child in the entire country!

Bill Frist, Presidential candidate?

There has been plenty of talk for a while now about Bill Frist being a prospective Presidential candidate in '08. I'm not so sure about that anymore. I think something like this is overplaying the Christianity card, and will serve to turn off a lot of support, even amongst the right. Even if Frist's appearance in the telecast involves him saying something completely boring and PC, his association with it is going to creep out a number of moderate and liberal Christians, as well as non-Christians.

Spanish style in America

Right now I am watching HGTV's House Hunters in Barcelona, Spain. I'm struck by one thing. "Spanish style" homes in America are so much nicer than "Spanish style" homes in Spain.

Man, we can certainly romanticize crap extremely well in this country, can't we?

Have you seen this blog post?

Umm, I lost a post somewhere. Hmm. If you see a post laying around, let me know. I don't have time to retype it right now. (Grumble, grumble, Blogger, grumble)

Wisconsin blogosphere get together

It is looking like Wisconsin bloggers and blog readers are finally going to have a get together. If you fit into either category, head on over to the Badger Blog Alliance for details.

Feral cat hunt in Wisconsin

Okay, we've bludgeoned this topic to death at the Badger Blog Alliance and we do need to move on, which is why I'm going to post this meandering thought here. We've heard a lot about the approximate number of song birds killed by feral cats each year, and the numbers are all astronomical. I'm curious how many cats: A) Are killed each year by birds of prey, and B) are already being killed by humans in vehicles. I'd be willing to bet that the number for B is pretty high, and the number for A is a lot higher than most people expect. Does that mean that we list humans in cars and birds of prey such as owls, hawks, and even eagles as "non-protected species"?

I can't say that I've taken a side on this issue. In fact, I've waffled a hell of a lot. Are there a lot of feral cats out there? Without question. They do have natural predators, though. I'm more for the status quo, namely, what hunters do on some farmer's private land in regards to wild cats is the business of the farmer and the hunter. As Sean alluded to at the BBA, most prosecutors are probably not going to waste their time on small time cat hunting. Making it legal in this PC age only serves to make the entire state of Wisconsin look like a bunch of hicks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jiblog-the Blog of Record for the state of Wisconsin

Charlie Sykes is covering a story coming out of the Wisconsin budget, namely that the Wisconsin "Newspaper of Record" status is worth $10 million a year. I'm coming out right now to say that I'll be Wisconsin's blog of record for a case of Leinie's Honey Weiss a week and 4 Packer tickets. Cheap!

Small Print
Jib and the AWOL Col. Ollie reserve the right to insert critical editorial comment on any piece of state business listed at Jiblog. This may be a deal breaker, but hell, not that many of our legislative/administration leaders read the fine print anyway, so we should be golden.

California innovation

I'm hoping the LA Times is being sarcastic here. In this article, the Times calls California's new exit numbers an "innovation". Yep, innovative. In 1972.

Friedman: "...Stay extra-vigilant at home"

I can't say that I'm a Thomas Friedman fan, but I at least have respect for him, which is more than I can say for most New York Times columnists. Friedman's latest column recommends that we "..stay the course in Iraq, but stay extra-vigilant at home." Good advice. While I don't agree with Friedman's path to it, I do agree with his ultimate conclusion. I'm personally of the opinion that there is enough going on in the Middle East right now to keep the Jihadists' hands full, but I won't discount his opinion that they may try a hail mary here in the U.S. Events of the last three years just leave me hopeful that we are in a great position to intercept that hail mary, even though our 'secondary' (the FBI and CIA) appears to be as strong as the Packers' secondary.

Sore muscles

As I get a little older, I find that I can still do most of the things I could do at 21, but they take more effort. With that extra effort comes extra soreness. Monday night I pretended to be Ozzie Smith for an hour and a half. On Tuesday I hurt places I didn't even know I had; I think I even pulled my Hyundai.

"Hot" baseball "chicks"

I'm a big baseball guy, and I enjoy the history of the game. One part of that history which I enjoy reading about but which I do not know enough is the All American Girls Profesional Baseball League from the World War II era. has a nice little article on one of the teams from that league, the Milwaukee Chicks. Here are some interesting stats: In 1944, Josephine Kabeck tossed 366 innings and Vickie Panos stole 141 bases-in 115 games.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Jib, the Little League coach

I've been extended the offer of being an assistant Little League coach. If the coach can live with some of my schedule limitations, I'm excited to help. I'm also terrified of coaching 12 nine and ten year olds. I'm not terrified of the kids, but of the parents.

TheJournal Sentinel: If one of your taxes is high, all of 'em should be

What kind of logic do the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors employ? Today, they stump for raising the beer tax. First, they employ the "every other state does, so should we" logic. I don't know about my readers, but my parents taught me that logic stinks with the question, "if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" Second, they go through a couple of Wisconsin taxes that are high-the gas tax, the cigarette tax. Under their line of thought, our beer tax should be high, too. I'm beginning to think the Journal Sentinel editors write these editorials while they are high.

I'm going to cut to the chase here. Just because our beer tax is low does not mean it needs to be higher. This state is already a tax hell. And I've been to plenty of other states, and I don't think the quality of our lives is any better because of those high taxes. This is about more than just a low tax on beer. This is about the over all tax burden in this state. The responsible action for the state is to find a way to spend funds more efficiently. Simply raising taxes does not do that. I'll tell you why many state lawmakers are walking away from this issue-it is in fact the same reason that I hope the tax's supporters keep pushing it: There is a high level of dissatisfaction with the tax level in this state, and this is just an emotional enough tax to spark a tax revolt. Lawmakers don't want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, so they stay as far away from the beer tax as possible. The beer tax is a line in the sand they don't want to draw because Wisconsin voters might actually cross it.

(cross posted at the Badger Blog Alliance)

Spears pregnant (for real)

UGH. Does this mean Mr. Brtiney Spears is going to run off with Hilary Duff in about 3 months?

Illinois to change name to Lincoln?

It would under this proposal. Of course, I've proposed Wisconsin change its name to Leinie's Red, Leinie's Honey Weiss, Klements, and Secret Stadium Sauce, and none of those have flown, either.

Caution! Scare quotes on Yahoo News!

Are you a headline writer, and do you disagree with a scientifically sound study on the safety of cloned meat and milk? Use your scary quotes! With two simple marks, you can change the meaning of the headline!

Delilah Cat stands athwart cat hunting and yells, "stop!"

Delilah Cat is opposed to cat hunting. She's a house cat, so she's pretty safe, but most of her opposition is based off of this:
Minnesota defines a wild, or feral, cat as one with no collar that does not show friendly behavior, said Kevin Kyle with that state's Department of Natural Resources.
Delilah reminds me that she is a natural snob, and she shows friendly behavior to no one but the lovely Mrs. Jib and I. She also reminds me that she can shed her collar faster than a 35 year old Jersey girl can shed her clothes at a Bon Jovi concert.

I, on the other hand, became a supporter of cat hunting after Delilah felt the need to share her thoughts with me via incessant meowing at 4 am today.

3 suspected of planning attacks on NY financial targets

Hmm. And here I thought the raising of the terror level last year was just an evil Bush plot to literally scare up votes (tongue firmly in cheek).

Johnny Lechner

Johnny Lechner is all the rage right now. He even has the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doing his campaigning for UWW student body president for him. I'm told by a friend that he's a nice guy, and that he's been with half the UWW female student bodies over the years. Maybe that's why he wants to be president. Personally, I'm thinking less and less of him every day this story lives on. But if he can get the Journal Sentinel to brazenly do his campaigning for him, maybe he's smarter than I thought.

Nah. It's the Journal Sentinel, for crying out loud.

Wisconsin Conservation Congress

I was within Bo Jackson throwing distance of Dane County's Conservation Congress tonight. I really, really wanted to stop in and see the bird lovers and cat lovers go at it, just out of morbid curiosity. Instead I helped the Miller Brewing Company gain market share. I guess it just wasn't all that important to me in the end.

ELCA to possibly allow gay clergy in relationships

I grew up in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. When you get a group of LCMS and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) folks together, you'll often get disagreements over which church is more strict (LCMS, trust me). One thing everyone will agree on is that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American is by far the most liberal group of Lutherans. And they are proving it. The Bishops of the ELCA are considering allowing homosexuals in committed relationships to enter the priesthood. I have one problem with this, and one problem with this only. If homosexuality is a sin, then Pastors in committed homosexual relationships are pretty unrepentent sinners. I do not expect the leader of the flock to be perfect, but I do expect them to be more reflective on their sins than their flock. How else will they lead? The ELCA dispenses with such spiritual questions and instead bends to popular will, and that is disappointing to someone who finds himself in the ELCA today.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The UW-Whitewater student who is afraid to enter the real world is going to be on Letterman tonight. I'm told by someone who knew him once upon a time that he's a really nice guy, but give me a break. Letterman?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Thank you Stoicguy

I don't understand BlogShares. I tried to (sort of), and then I just quit checking on my BlogShares status. Today I saw traffic come in from my BlogShares profile. Somebody bought shares of Jiblog! So Stoicguy, I thank you, and I'll do my best to earn you a nice ROI.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Leery of this story so far

Occasionally there are stories that light the blogosphere on fire which I do not cover very much. Sometimes it is because I have low interest in the story, or I just do not feel informed enough to contribute to the commentary pool. There are other times, though, that I don't cover a story because something just doesn't feel right about it. The Mae Magouirk story is one of them. I like World Net Daily, but I read it with a heavy dose of skepticism. They've been one of the lead dogs on this story, and I'm not convinced of the story's veracity yet. So, as I said before, read the stories, and be aware that this may be going on. I'm leery of it, though.

Here's a newspaper report on this issue.

Saturday night at Jib's house

What, you say, does a Midwestern, gas guzzlin', beer chuggin', one woman lovin', son of a bitch conservative do on a Saturday? He enjoys the High Life.

(Speaking of Miller, the Journal Sentinel has a good article on them today)

The level of intellect at Jib's House

We're so damn smart around the Jib household, even the cat reads the Business section. After, that is, she finishes reading Get Fuzzy.

The perfect couple?

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have finally wed. This begs the question, in the Royal Family's disfunctional way, are they the perfect couple? After all, Charles and Diana had the perfect day for the perfect couple. As it turned out, they were the imperfect couple. Charles and Camilla had the imperfect day for the imperfect couple. Does that mean they are bound for perfection? Charles certainly married above his pay grade the first time around. Perhaps marrying to his looks this time will create an (ugly) love story for the ages. Sometimes its better if a toad kisses a toad instead of a princess.

Google me, Google you, Google-di-doo

Heh. I'm not sure if there is a correlation here or if it is just coincidence, but when I talk about Google, my Google searches seem to go up. When I ignore Google, my Google search hits drop. I have not seen a related trend in my Yahoo search hits. I'm beginning to wonder if there is some sort of vanity factor in Google's algorithms.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Search engines are are strange, when you're a stranger

Odd. On Easter I commented on the fact that Google didn't love me, but Yahoo did. Almost immediately after that, most of my search traffic started coming from Google, and Yahoo became non-existant. Now the Google stream of traffic is drying to a trickle, and Yahoo traffic is coming back. I'm never going to understand how those search engines work.

Another nourishment denial case

This one is in Georgia. I do not know enough about it yet to add my commentary; instead, go here and here to read about it and make up your own mind.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Powerball as social experiment

The 29 state Powerball Lottery is changing its rules in order to create larger jackpots. The rule change is minor-55 balls will be in the drawing instead of 53. I'd like to see them try something else, and just for one jackpot-require that winners choose the numbers in the order they are drawn. This would create an incredibly large jackpot that would take a long time to find a winner. I'd like to see the societal reaction to this stratospheric jackpot.

GOP Bloggers interviews Ken Mehlman

GOP Bloggers, of which this blog is a member, has an interview today with RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. Head over and check it out. See what a Republican insider has to say about the blogosphere, among other topics.

Day off

My tank was on empty, so I've taken a day off. It also gives me a chance to spend some time with Mrs. Jib, who is off today, too. For all of you stuck at work today, I'm thinking of you while I sit here sunning on the deck.

Thankful I'm not on this blogwagon

There was a low level buzz around the blogosphere that the "Schiavo Memo" was another forgery a la Rathergate. It wasn't. And I'm glad that I didn't feel the need to jump on that blogwagon. It was a sloppy memo that deserved the scrutiny it received, but it wasn't of the level of the Rather memo.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Call me Jib Steyn

I've mentioned on this site in the past that I was a big Mike Royko guy as a youngster. I always had a ton of respect for his ability to pump out 5 quality columns a week for the Chicago Sun and then the Trib. Since Royko's death, my new quanity/quality award goes to Mark Steyn. The amount of columns that guy does is phenomenal. About three or four months into my blog life, I hit a wall. I wasn't used to writing so much, and my tank would just run dry after so many posts. With practice, it became easier to average 5 plus posts a day. Now, with me acting as K.Lo over at the Badger Blog Alliance, I'm going to have to turn it up another notch. And I'm actually looking forward to giving it a shot. I'm just hoping that my post quality doesn't suffer.

Hunt: Bonds in Hall, McGwire out

Michael Hunt gives us a hint as to how his ballot for the Hall of Fame will be filled out when Mark McGwire (stats) and Barry Bonds (stats) are eligible for the Hall of Fame. To make it short, Hunt will be voting for Bonds and not for McGwire.


These two have to be bound together as one and the same by Hall of Fame voters. Hunt's logic is that McGwire was entire career was a product of steroids, but Bonds' was a future HOF'er early in his career and only jumped on the steroids band wagon late in his career. My first question for Hunt is what proof do you have for this assertion? Bonds was clearly a thicker man in 1993 when he broke 40 home runs for the first time, 7 years into his career. Not as thick as today, but much thicker than the scrawny kid that broke into the majors in 1986. Meanwhile, McGwire, who also came up as scrawny kid, hit 49 in his very first season. Hunt has no proof that Bonds' steroid use began very late in his career, and I think a study of Bonds body would indicate that he started much earlier. On top of that, late in a career is the most crucial time to be on steroids. Normally, a body starts to slow down after 35. Bonds didn't. In fact, he accelerated. He has hit over well over 260 home runs since his 35th birthday, and that's more than any other 5 year period of his career.

I suspect a little subconscious reverse racism in the pro-Barry anti-McGwire trend of late, but I have no proof, so I'll leave it at that, a suspicion. If not reverse racism, them maybe a misguided sense of 'make good' for the way the country treated Hank Aaron as he chased down Ruth. But irregardless of that, these guys have had pretty parallel careers, minus the MVPs. If you vote for one, you've got to vote for the other. If you vote against one, vote against them both.

Ms. Wheel Chair Wisconsin

Okay, I didn't think I was going to weigh in on this issue, but I'm starting to feel the need to defend Janeal Lee, the Wisconsin Ms. Wheel Chair stripped of her title because a newspaper photographed her standing. My mother has a thankfully mild case of a usually severe form of Muscular Dystrophy. She has her good days, but usually extend periods of moderate physical exertion are quite difficult on her. Trust me, they are much more difficult on her than they are on an overweight, out of shape person. Extending that to Ms. Lee, I'm sure that she can stand for limited amounts of time, but the exertion required to do so is extremely tiring for her, requiring the use of the wheel chair most of the time. I know that is the case for my grandmother, who also has MD. She has a scooter which she even uses to get around her apartment. She can stand and she can walk, she just cannot do it for very long. The Ms. Wheel Chair competition used a technicality to bear down on Ms. Lee. There is very little she could do about the photo that appeared in the Appleton Post-Crescent. It appears that the Ms. Wheel Chair competition is either discriminating against women who are not 100% confined to a wheel chair or it is a slave to both pity for those who are disabled and also to political correctness. I'm proud of Ms. Lee's sister Sharon Spring and Wisconsin runner up Michelle Kearny for supporting Ms. Lee and pulling out of the competition. They did the right thing.

Jonah Goldberg, Bill Clinton, and the Pope

That title sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Anyway, over at The Corner, Jonah Goldberg comments on Bill Clinton, a member of President Bush's delegation to the Pope's funeral, saying that the Pope had a mixed legacy and cracking a joke, asking if it was a bit snippy of Clinton. I think that it is actually a classic example of Clinton's spinelessness. The guy has the worst need to be liked by everyone of any person I've ever known of. He'll say anything to anyone. Yes, a classy member of President Bush's delegation to the Pope's funeral would either say nice things about the man the funeral is for or nothing at all. No one has ever accused Bill Clinton of class, though.

Please click on the ads!!!

Heh. Half of all visitors to this site probably read that title and left the site. Another 25% probably rolled their eyes and skipped this post. The remaining 25% of you who are reading this are thinking, "what are you talking about, you crazy coot? You don't have ads on this site."

I don't, but others do. And I've begun to learn what I think is an important lesson, and that is that it doesn't take very much effort to support your favorite bloggers by clicking on the ads at their site. Also, you never know what you might find at the sponsor sites. For instance, I know that John Hawkins at Right Wing News was recently downsized and is now going to try to make blogging a full time gig. I like his site and respect the hard work that he puts into it, so I clicked an ad to support him. As it turns out, through that ad I found the Replay Radio Internet Radio Recorder, and I am probably going to purchase it. I cannot get my favorite radio station in my office, and internet radio is heavily frowned upon. I'll now be able to record the likes of Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, and then listen to them at my leisure. It took almost zero effort on my part, I found a solution to a problem that I have, and I supported a blogger I enjoy. So I am asking all of you to click on the ads of your favorite bloggers. They'll appreciate it, and you may too. And the best part is, I don't have to feel guilty because I don't have any ads myself.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Creepy-Pope born and buried on days of solar eclipses

I've seen a lot of things popping up about the Prophecies of St. Malachy. I've been skeptical to say the least, but this is creepy. Supposedly, the prophesy for Pope John Paul II was "of the solar eclipse" or "from the toil of the sun". Pope John Paul II was born on May 18, 1920, the date of a solar eclipse in the southern hemisphere. He is going to be laid to rest this Friday, the date of another solar eclipse.

Haloscan added

After a couple of requests, I've switched the comments here and at the Badger Blog Alliance over to Haloscan. Hopefully this will make both sites more user friendly.

I voted today. Have you?

Voting today was a pleasant experience, and it was over and done with in less time than it takes to order a Big Mac. I walked down to my local polling place and right up to the desk-no lines! I got my ballot, voted for the underdog, Gregg Underheim, in the State Superintendent of Schools race, voiced my opinion in several referendums and a few uncontested local and state races, and I was done. And it is a beautiful day to get out of the office or the house for a little while.

Do yourself a favor. Get outside and enjoy the weather before it rains and cools off. Maybe get an ice cream cone. Along the way, stop and vote. In these races with light turnout, your voice is all the louder, and the process is so simple and quick that you aren't out any more than 5 minutes of your day.

And of course, vote Underheim.

US to make it tougher for Americans to cross border into US

You know, this post's title just screams "Scrappleface," but this isn't a satirical post. According to this story, by 2008 we will have tightened our borders by requiring Americans to show a passport to get back into the country from Canada or Mexico. I'm fine with that, but the story doesn't say much about whether we will be stemming the tide of illegal immigrants who are crossing into this country without any identification. Unless the Bush administration starts to crack down on illegal immigration, I'm tempted to oppose this passport initiative out of principle.

Delay stirring up hatred against judges?

I know that this story is a little stale, but bear with me. Last week, in regards to all of the judges in the Terri Schiavo case, Tom Delay said the following:
The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.
Ann Althouse takes the issue up here, and at the end of the post, she says this:
And for a public figure even to hint at violence as a solution is completely unacceptable.
I was out of the news loop last week when Delay said this, but I did read about it briefly. I personally did not take it as a threat of violence as Althouse does. I took it to mean that the judges will have to answer for their actions before their creator on judgement day. Perhaps this is naive of me, and maybe the Hammer was making a more earthly threat than I had thought. If anyone has a link to the full context of Delay's quote, I'd certainly like to see it.

Who is to blame for the crucifixion of Christ?

It always bothers me when I see polls like this, or actually anytime that I see people trying to blame Jews for the crucifixion of Christ. It was the sin of men that led to the crucifixion of Christ. That means you and I are just as culpable as a Jew 2000 years ago. People should know this, and they should know that forgiveness of our sins and everlasting life are gifts to us through that crucifixion, as horrible as it was.

On drunken driving, Democrats

With state Senator Decker's recent arrest for drunken driving, it would be pretty easy for conservative me to paint state Democrats with a broad brush, considering the spurt of Democrats arrested for the offense. I'm not going to do that though, and I hope other state Republicans avoid having too much fun with this as well. When ethics issues are involved, the individual is fair game to those ethics charges. However, terrible personal decisions are things that afflict individuals of both parties. Eventually there will be a string of state Republicans that make stupid decisions. If you dish it, be prepared to take it when that time comes. I'm choosing not to dish it on this one. Given the unhinged nature of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, though, something tells me I'll still have to take it. But that's no excuse to dip to their levels.

Tribes witholding payment a solid business decision

I'm sure I'm going to catch some heat for this one, but when tribes like the Potowatomi withold their gaming payments from the state, it is a sound business decision on their part. Of course, to see this you have to strip away all of the ancillary issues that enflame people on this topic and look at the gambling compacts between the state and tribes as business contracts. The state allows certain forms of gaming in the state, and in turn the tribes pay a portion of their revenues to the state. The problem right now is that over the years, the legislature and the Governor have horked up their end of the compacts something terrible. The legislature made the huge mistake of conceding compact negotiations to the Governor. In turn, Governor Doyle overstepped his bounds by negotiating an expansion of gambling with the tribes for higher payments. Right now, the tribes are in limbo. They are not getting what they were supposed to be getting from the state. Therefore, they have every right to withold payments. It doesn't really pay to get upset with the tribes. Instead look toward the mess the state has created. That's where the anger needs to be directed.

I think that this is politically smart as well, but that is a topic that is a bit more emotional, and I choose not to get into that in this post. Perhaps another day.

Tax gas, but leave my beer the hell alone

The Journal Sentinel is running with a story that is sympathetic to State Representative Terese Berceau's "user fee" on beer, saying we should "put that glass down long enough to listen to her arguments." I'll tell you something. With taxes as high as they are in this state, reasonably priced beer is one of the reasonably priced joys we have left. One could say Madison and its taxes have driven some of us to Milwaukee's Best. If Berceau wants to increase the beer tax, that's fine by me. Then cut government spending by 10% and return it to us, the tax payers. I'm fine with bringing our beer tax in line with other states as long as our tax burden is brought into line, too, and I'm sure we'd all be happy to spend our money on healthier endeavors. Until then, leave our beer the hell alone. If she doesn't, she's going to have a lot of ornery Wisconsinites to deal with.

Heh, my first trackback. Thanks, Sandi.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Blogger's block

Wow. I had a half dozen post ideas rolling around in my head before the whole yard work thing. Now all I can think of is, "Why do I always see and hear Will Ferrell hitting a cowbell when I listen to 'Don't Fear the Reaper?'"

Spring yard work

I'm back home and my work schedule has lightened up for the time being, so I'll be giving the blogs a little TLC. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about something else I'll be giving a little TLC, that I never thought I would look forward to-spring yard work. The combination of spring fever and owning my own little piece of property has created an as yet unquenchable desire to get filthy doing yard work in the sun. This evening at work I started two projects. First, my water pipe coming out of the house broke over the winter, so I purchased all of the materials necessary to fix it, and began the task. I also broke out the leaf blower to pick and mulch some of the dead leaves that blew in late in the fall.

My joy at doing such boring, mundane tasks has led me to one conclusion: I'm well on my way to becoming a boring old coot. In a couple of months, I'll be mowing lawn in shorts that are just a little too tight and black socks that are hiked up to my knees. And sandles. By fall I'll be weeding my garden in jeans with 6 inches of plumber crack hanging out. By next spring, I'll be jacked about doing spring lawn work again-in polyester pants that come up past my belly button, all the while cussing those damn neighbor kids.


I'm going to go do a kegstand now and run through the neighborhood naked. If you see a drunk 29 year old streaker sprint past your house, please avert your eyes.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Torano cigars

Regular readers know that I enjoy a quality cigar on occasion. My brand of choice is Carlos Torano. I enjoy all of their lines, but I am now also just plain impressed with their company. I signed up as a Torano Insider, which just puts me on their email list. There was no charge to do so. On top of that, I received two free cigars from them in the mail this week.

Bold faced politics

I will start this post with a disclosure: I am no fan of US Representative David Obey. I grew up in household that received Obey's congressional newsletter, and I disliked his politics from the get go. So, given that, I was intrigued by this filler piece in the Appleton Post-Crescent entitled "Obey wants to broaden discussion of end of life issues." With a little careful reading, one gets a feel for Obey the politician.

Let's start first with this, found at the very end of the article:
But Obey said end-of-life issues have been politicized by House Republican leaders so that thoughtful consideration won’t occur.

“The problem is that we are not going to get that kind of debate because this issue has been almost sacrilegiously polarized and politicized,” he said.
Fair enough. That's a pretty standard Democratic talking point. Now, let's go to the top of the article, where Obey is quoted as saying the following:
“We need a healthy non-ideological discussion of all of the questions surrounding this issue,” Obey, D-Wausau, said Friday. “And I would welcome a debate that broadens the question and takes into account the fact that the largest moral question we face in health care is the fact that 40-million-plus people have no health insurance.”
Whoa, hold up Congressman. The Republicans are politicizing this? And you aren't by wanting to tie this to socialized health care? Feel free to lie to me, just don't smirk while you do it.

Well, based on the first quote above, at least we know that Obey believes that this is a legitimate federal issue. Right?
The Wausau congressman, who had returned to Wisconsin on March 21 to conduct community forums on Social Security, said he urged colleagues not to vote on the bill because he considered it an intrusion.

“When I am at death’s door or heaven’s gate or however you put it, I want those decisions to be made by me and my family and not my friendly local politician,” he said.
Dave Obey, a politician's politician, fluent from both the left and right sides of his mouth. In this article, he tells you that he was opposed to Congress intruding into Terri Schaivo's case. But it should intrude on your end of life decision. Additionally, he lets us know that Republicans should be blamed for politicizing all of this. But he's willing to tack the most political issue of all onto it-socialized health.

Ah, the memories of living in Obey's district just come flooding back.

Finally, the Jib has come back to Wisconsin

I'm back home, and I couldn't be more pleased. Minneapolis and New York are fine places to visit, but they aren't home. While I could see the Minneapolis area being home for me at some point, New York gave me an all new respect for Chicago and Milwaukee. What a dump. The New York you see on TV isn't the real New York. The streets are absolutely filthy. As I left my house on Friday, a neighbor chatted me up. He said that he used to drive truck in New York, so I should do him a favor. If I saw one clean street, I should photograph it for him. Needless to say, I don't have a photo for him.

New York has its charms. Namely, it is the biggest, richest, baddest city in America. I found that impressive for all of about 2 minutes. As large cities go, I found it to be largely a pain in the ass beyond that. Before I dozed off on Saturday night, I read this article from last weekend's Sunday Washington Post, which is highly complimentary of Milwaukee. I began to think on the topic of big cities. While New York is where the country's power brokers congregate, the city itself is a dump. Milwaukee is not exactly one of the country's power centers, but the city is slowly but surely seeing a resurgence. With good leadership, always an iffy proposition in Milwaukee, the city really could quiety become a little gem of the upper Midwest. And that's the bottom line, because Jiblog said so.

(For those of you with a passing knowledge of wrestling will notice that I ripped off a couple of WWE taglines in honor of tonight's Wrestlemania, which I am not watching.)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ben Sheets as Wisconsin baseball's Favre

As any Packer fan will attest, Brett Favre is the patron of professional football in this state. There is a reverance for Favre that is only topped by Lombardi. Wisconsin baseball fans, I present to you your Brett Favre: Ben Sheets. As evidence, I give you this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

The Pope, part 2

As I've already mentioned, as a Lutheran I cannot understand how Catholics are reacting to the passing of Pope John Paul II. All I can say that this man was truly a giant of history. I'm sure that this is particularly difficult on Polish Catholics, as this man was nearly a patron saint for them. My prayers right now are for all Catholics, and particlarly Polish Catholics, as the Church chooses its new leader. As for the the Pope, I have a certain joy in my heart for him; after all, this is a man who has now entered God's Kingdom.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Pope

My prayers are with the Pope. He truely is an incredible man who will go down as one of history's and the church's great leaders. As a Lutheran, I know that I don't understand what Catholics feel right now so I'm not going to comment much on this. All I can say is that I pray that God allow his death to be as peaceful and painless for him as possible, and that while this is a sorrowful time for men, it is soon to be a joyful time for Pope John Paul II.

The Big Apple

I flew into New York today for a weekend of work north of the city. The plan was to pretty much avoid the city itself, skirting it on interstates on my way to my destination, checking out Yankee Stadium along the way. That changed after a wrong turn. I ended up driving across lower Manhattan, which was somewhat cool considering that I'd never been in the city before. All in all, while it was cool, I was not overly impressed. I hear New Yorkers professing their love for the city on TV constantly, but I'll take my Chicago anyday. The one cool thing I saw that Chicago can't top was a street that looked like a canyon, lined with skyscrapers. If you are from New York, you can probably tell me what street it is; unfortunately, I can't remember because I was doing my best to avoid cabs and to not run over bicyclists. I know that I was on 23rd Street headed west, and the view was to the north. It was in the rough vicinity of Fifth Avenue.

Now, as for my weather jinx. It is still alive, but I think that it only applies on the coasts. They are talking about 3-5 inces of rain in the next 36 hours. At least I shouldn't have to be concerned about mudslides this time.

Waukesha acquiring lake water via crazy straw


April Fools, Wisconsin!

Your gas tax just went up a penny, just like it went up a penny last year on April 1, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that...

Today would be a good day to contact your representatives and let them know that you are opposed to this automatic annual tax increase. We need current state representatives to go on the record with their own position on all tax increases.