Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
Petty Officer 3rd Class Shane Schmidt and her father share a unique, yet tragic bond — both survived their war experiences in the Navy only to be killed in car accidents back home. The 32-year-old soldier also was buried on the 32nd anniversary of her father's death.
...he'd stopped by the memorial built for Vietnam nurses. He met a woman who looked at the button he was wearing that bore a picture of his son, and she recognized him. She told him that she was an Army nurse and had held his son, First Lieutenant Nainoa (ny-ee-NOH'-ah) Hoe, as he died in Iraq.
If you find it difficult, start by thinking of those in your own family who have served. I personally do not know of anyone in my family who has died in battle for this country, but I do know of numerous family members who have served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. I start by thinking of a Grandfather who I never met (those of you who have met me may not see the resemblance :-) ), and I move through the uncles and cousin who have served.
After your moment of quiet reflection, enjoy the rest of your day. After all, that is in part what they fought for, and still do.
First, it is especially humorous to see otherwise free market conservatives endorsing this idea of legalize, regulate, and tax. Think about this for a moment. Let's say we do legalize drugs. Government has two options. They can regulate and tax similarly to the way they regulate and tax alcohol right now. Is that going to go anywhere in reducing the negative impact drugs make on society? Not likely. If anything, that course of action is going to take drugs and move them from what is right now essentially a niche market and turn them into a mass market product. The threshold for addiction to most illegal drugs is much lower than the threshold for alcohol or nicotine, and with the legitimate money of corporations behind the marketing efforts, this is going to lead to a mushrooming of drug related problems in society. Even more people are going to become addicted, even more people are going to spend every last dime they have on drugs, and even more people are going to be destitute and violently seek out their next high.
Okay, now let's say we go with option two and we legalize the drugs and heavily regulate and heavily tax them. What have we solved? Any time there is a market for a product, and we have to admit that there will always be a market for drugs, and government steps in and heavily taxes and heavily regulates them, a black market in that product is inevitable. The black market leaves buyers and sellers extremely vulnerable to extortion, blackmail, and violence. Additionally, while the product is cheaper and more easily available, it is also of lower quality and occasionally extremely dangerous. The heavy regulation and tax route is going to do two things. It is going to create one legitimate market that is difficult to participate in except for the wealthy, and it is going to create a black market that is even more dangerous than the one we currently face.
I'm going to refrain from tarring and feathering all of those out their that support the legalization of drugs. Some truly believe that this is the solution to the problem. I think many more are trying to put a legitimate face on this, though, for purely selfish reasons-they want legal access to a product that they themselves use or want to use. The more and more I read on the legalization, regulation, and taxation of drugs, the more I see similarities between that other farcical movement, the medical marijuana movement. Neither movement really seems to be concerned about the good of society, but rather the selfish wants of the few.
(Disclaimer: I would support marijuana as a legitimate pharmaceutical product. I do not support medical marijuana laws that allow individuals to cultivate their own product, much as I would not support laws that allow people to manufacture their own codeine, morphine, or vicodin.)
Sunday, May 29, 2005
"France has expressed itself democratically," Chirac said. "It is your sovereign decision, and I take note."The key words in that quote are "your" and "...and I take note." That's politico for, "You've spoken, and I'm going to pay lip service to listening to you, but I'm going to ignore your decision."
- Open wheel racing is not as TV-friendly as stock car racing. As I watch this race as a casual viewer, I'm reminded of how difficult it is to identify these cars. The announcers even have some difficulty. The stock cars have larger surfaces which allow for large numbers and distinctive paint schemes, making the cars easily identifiable for the casual fan. The larger surface of stock cars also allow for high visibility of corporate sponsorships, which also helps the casual viewer get into a race. It also means more money for the stock car teams.
- No bumping and grinding. Americans are a bit of a rough and tumble lot. Part of the excitement of stock car racing is that the cars are much more forgiving of bump and grind racing. In open wheel racing, bumping and grinding is fatal. This leads to passes in open wheel racing that are completed very quickly. Stock car passes take a little longer and have a little more drama to them.
- Engine sound. During the muscle car era, Americans fell in love with the throaty roar of an engine. Stock cars provide that throaty rumble in spades. The engines in the open wheel vehicles have much more of whine, a sound that many Americans scoff at. Don't believe me? Take a look at America's relationship with motorcycles. The throaty Harley is a much loved sound. The whine of crotch rockets is routinely scoffed.
- IRL's current lack of household names. If you are an ardent fan of either stock car racing or open wheel racing, you are going to know the names of the drivers, so this doesn't matter. Casual fans are where the ratings are at, though, and with casual fans IRL comes up noticeably lacking in personalities. Again, this partially goes back to corporate sponsorship. People know NASCAR drivers because their corporate sponsors help make them stars. Take Tony Stewart as an example. Race fans knew who Tony Stewart was when he was an open wheel racer, but the larger population did not. Slap Stewart together with Home Depot, and the name Tony Stewart ends up on many more people's radars. Now this is a catch 22 for IRL. The mainstream corporations got involved with NASCAR not necessarily because the vehicles were more visible (although that helps), but because that is where the eyes are. IRL may be lure more mainstream corporations if a buzz starts to form around IRL, ratings start to come back, and the sponsorships prove to be less expensive than NASCAR, but that will be a very long term change.
Speaking at one of his Orwellian, faux townhall meetings on Social Security in Greece, New York on May 24, Bush said
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.I'm no historian of the presidency. but I'm guessing this is the first time in the history of the Republic that a president has publicly acknowledged he was catapulting propaganda at the American public.
Hey, dumbass. Try re-reading Bush's quote a couple of time. He is saying that he has to repeat what he saying (i.e. the truth) in order to catapault over the propaganda out there. He isn't saying that he's catapaulting BS at the American public.
Congratulations, David Corn. You are Jiblog's current Red Forman Dumbass Award Winner.
I fear that this award could end up getting over awarded to H-Bomb posters, so I may need to take a look at the award process down the road.
"The lighter the car, the faster it goes," Gordon said. "Do the math. Put her in the car at her weight, then put me or Tony Stewart in the car at 200 pounds and our car is at least 100 pounds heavier.
"I won't race against her until the IRL does something to take that advantage away."
Well, well Robby. That stinks of chauvanism. Why, you might say. After all, it is a fact that a lighter car will go faster. Two reasons. First, why is Gordon choosing Patrick as his target on this? After all, by that logic, Robby Gordon is giving away 50 pounds to 155 pound Jeff Gordon every week on the NASCAR circuit. Does that mean Jeff Gordon has an unfair advantage because he's smaller and his car goes just a little bit faster? Why isn't Robby Gordon asking that Jeff Gordon go out with a 50 pound weight in his car?
Second, what about the strength advantage Gordon and his fellow 200 pounders have over the 100 pound Patrick? Believe it or not, it does take some upper body strength and endurance to control these cars for 500 miles. Granted, there is more of it required in NASCAR than IRL, but just watch their hands when they have the in-cockpit camera views today, and watch how much movement there is to control these 1500 pound vehicles at 230 mph. Gordon is ignoring this obvious advantage he has over lighter drivers.
The lovely Mrs. Jib had this to say on the topic, "That p***y! He's just afraid of being beat by a girl." Although I haven't said it as eloquently as she, I agree with her. After all, Gordon never complained about racing against the less competitive, 120 pound Sarah Fisher in past races. Robby, if you are so afraid of the weight disadvantage, lose some weight, tubby.
Drat! I've been fisked. Wendy from Boots & Sabers and the Badger Blog Alliance corrects me in the comments. NASCAR does add weight to Jeff Gordon's car to make up for the weight difference. I still stand by my Sarah Fisher comparison, though. Good catch, Wendy.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
So this year I am going to partake in an older tradition of mine. On Sunday, I'm going to hunker down for a marathon of racing. Then on Monday I'm going to hunker down again for a day full of war movies. I did a check of AMC and Turner Classic Movies to see what they are playing on Monday, and I was disappointed. No Stalag 17. No The Great Escape. No John Wayne. No Dirty Dozen. The lack of some of my favorite war movies may drive me back to the North Woods next year.
The goal, however realistic or unrealistic it may be, of embryotic stem cell research is to prolong the life of those humans who are walking on this planet right now. Setting aside the moral issues, it would seem to be a good idea, right? Nature has a funny way of making sure we humans don't over extend our stay though. So, stripping away the moral questions, what could be the unintended consequences of helping millions upon millions of us live longer through treatments developed from embryotic stem cells (or adult stem cells for that matter)?
Well, despite the fact that we have done a good job of bottling up former mass killers like the plague, small pox, and typhoid, to name a few, there are still many other illnesses out there that are capable of killing large numbers of people during pandemic infections. What happens when you rapidly increase the number of people who are most vulnerable to communicable diseases? You invite outbreaks of those diseases, and the outbreaks would logically spread beyond those vulnerable populations to the healthier populations.
I'm not saying that we shouldn't investigate ways to prolong human life, and I'm not saying we shouldn't look at the ways adult stem cells can help prolong life. What I am saying is that we may be setting ourselves up for an era of pandemics. This is really a time where we should be looking two steps ahead to in order to try to prevent the unintended consequences of our actions. I don't believe we are doing that right now, and despite my protestations over the bird flu scare stories, I think we are woefully unprepared for pandemic illnesses.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Not one dimers, I support your movement when it comes to primaries. In general elections, though, that movement isn't going to help conservatism one bit.
If you check her résumé, you won't find an entry that reads: "Can raise great American sports tradition from the dead."
And in case you've been away on an extended vacation to a galaxy far, far away, the Indianapolis 500 has long since stopped being the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Even though I jumped on the "Danica as IRL marketing juggernaut" band wagon, he is exactly right. IRL needs more than just Danica Patrick. And he's right in saying that she will not single handedly bring the Indy 500 back to its former heights this year. But he's wrong in declaring it dead, and I think he is underestimating her potential long term affect on making open wheeled racing competitive again.
Open wheeled racing has been on life support for some time now. Open wheeled racing can blame that partially on Dale Earnhardt and ESPN, but it has to place some of the blame on itself as well. The CART-IRL break was the ultimate self inflicted bullet wound. Now, with teams migrating from CART and back to Indy, the IRL itself starting to resemble the old CART a little with the addition of road courses, and a rising star who, if she is as talented as her hype leads us to believe, has a chance to transcend the sport. These could be the beginnings of open wheeled racing as a Phoenix. The skyrocketing cost of involvement in NASCAR just may give IRL the opening it needs. I guess it is only appropriate that IRL's future star resides in the city of Phoenix.
Interestingly, the AP runs with a piece that reads like an obituary.
I noticed that I'm one of a few sites that come up on a search for "King Fahd Dies Video", even though this post is quite dated now. As a service, here is a link to video on the news of King Fahd's death.
Al Qaeda is no USSR, but I wouldn't be surprised if Zarqawi were already dead.
I nearly forgot to add this-I owe Wigderson Library & Pub a royalty for the use of 'Zarqawi's owie.'
These leads to an obvious, if harsh, question: Is it the increased blood flow that causes these medicines to work, or the decreased vision?
I kid, I kid.
So, with Hillary at 53%, should the right be concerned? Yes. The American public is forever willing to give politicians a second chance. I'm not talking about card carrying members of the Republican and Democratic parties. I'm talking about those individuals who vote in presidential elections, but just don't follow politics particularly closely, people who make up probably a third or more of the electorate every election. They are willing to vote for politicians who have revolted them in the past if that politician has seemed to change their ways. Hillary has been posturing herself to get their vote since the day she join the Senate. If she wins re-election to her seat, she will have 7 years of a moderated Democratic record in the Senate to offset her controversial White House years, and I suspect there are a number of people willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Are Republicans underestimating her electiblility? Yes, and I don't think many realize they are doing it. I think most people on the right are concerned about Clinton running in '08, but it seems most are just so sure that she is unelectable that they are not taking her chances as seriously as they should. I'd like to remind my fellow members of the right that this is exactly what the left did in 2000. They felt Bush was unelectable. They took him seriously, but they were so sure that the American public would not make him president that I don't think they ever brought their 'A' game. My fear right now is that as seriously as everyone is taking a Clinton run in '08, they are still taking it for granted that there will be a huge grass roots movement against her.
What should the right be doing about it? Well, two things. First, Republican politicians should be engaging her constantly. Clinton has already started playing her Presidential chess match. Right now, nobody seems to be playing against her. Hell, Newt Gingrich seems to playing on her side right now. Republicans are allowing Hillary to play the political field right now, and no one is trying to force her to defend her moderate credentials. Second, and for all I know this may be occuring, party leadership needs to be laying out a Clinton strategy for the next 3 years.
Who in the Republican party would best be able to defeat Clinton? Well, Condoleeza Rice is the odds on favorite because she mitigates the advantage Democrats would have among women, and she would also make serious inroads with the black vote. Rice is an unknown quantity, though, as she has never run for an office before. We really wouldn't know what kind of a politician Rice would be until the primaries. Who else, then? Well, if it seems that Clinton is the odds on favorite for the Democratic nomination, then I think Jeb Bush would be the other logical option. Jeb against almost anyone else in the Democratic party would not be a good match up for Republicans because I just don't think that Americans would extend a 'Bush Dynasty'. Hillary is another matter, though. Americans would be forced to choose between two political dynasties, and I think it is a match up Jeb Bush could conceivably win.
We are a long way out from 2008, and I'll be interested to see how this all plays out. I'm concerned at this point, though. Just saying that America wouldn't elect Hillary isn't enough. In fact, it is a losing strategy.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Pandemics move faster than governments or international bureaucracies, and the cost is hundreds of billions of dollars more than it would have been had we tackled avian flu in Asia in the first place, and invested in flu research. For millions of families, the cost isn't measured in dollars.
Watching all that military hardware on the streets made me think. We imagined we could encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative vaccines and drugs by offering 'incentives' or modest subsidies. When the military knows it needs a fighter aircraft, it doesn't offer incentives to Lockheed Martin or Boeing. It pays them through procurement to develop the weapon to the specifications it wants.
I'm getting disgusted on several levels. First, if half as much effort went into preperation for the bird flu as is going into scaring people, we'd have nothing to worry about. Second of, this is smelling more and more like a heavy handed fund raising effort all of the time. Third, if there is a pandemic, the public panic could become a self fulfilling prophecy with these organizations and media outlets planting the seeds of panic.
First, cold medicine certainly is being used to produce the stuff. Take it from former user and meth cooker Dana Beise:
Beise said a teenage girl either bought or stole Sudafed and similar products from pharmacies and supermarkets and then brought it to her and her boyfriend to make the drug.
"She went everywhere -- to North Dakota even, to Iowa," Beise said. "They would just take road trips and come back literally with garbage bags full."
But that isn't the biggest source of meth. It's Mexico, as I hinted at in that earlier post:
Beise said she thinks the soon-to-be law will help shut down the labs in Wisconsin, but the problem is 80 percent of the drug supply is coming from so-called superlabs in Mexico.So what does that say about legislation in Wisconsin restricting the sale of certain cold medicines? Well, moving it behind the counter is probably a good thing, as is a per purchase limit. Requiring an ID and tracking the sales, while disturbing to those of us who are law abiding citizens, will show patterns of purchase from people willing to travel far and wide to acquire the cold medicine. Logic would dictate that it may concentrate meth labs in border areas, though, if Illinois, Iowa, or Minnesota have looser laws than Wisconsin.
The Mexico connection creates another interesting thing to contemplate, though. If crystal meth is the new crack cocaine, and an estimated 80% of the supply is coming from Mexico, isn't this just another reason we should clamp down on illegal traffic over the U.S.-Mexico border?
Mike points us to this well written piece on this topic by Jeff Wagner. I don't disagree with what Wagner says. In fact, I've allowed my opinion on this topic to evolve as I've learned more and more. There is one unique aspect to the manufacture of crystal meth, though. It is possible for the masses to engage in making this stuff, unlike most other drugs (marijuana being the exception). That creates additional problems that drug enforcement does not need to worry about when it comes to drugs like cocaine and heroin. The chief concern is how do you stop the 'professional' stuff from Mexico. The additional concerns are how do you keep the amateur stuff off the market? How do you keep the amateurs from killing themselves while making it? How do you keep the amateurs from putting out a bad batch and poisoning several people. How do you keep the amateurs from poisoning their own families while making the stuff? If 80% is coming from Mexico, 20% is still coming from somewhere else, and that's no small amount. Yes, the big busts are going to come from those getting caught with the Mexican crystal meth. Yes, some amateurs are going to have a way to get a hold of ephedrine from Mexico. Most amateurs are going to be trying to score the ephedrine-pseudophedrine from sources readily available to them, though, and most are going to be dealing with small batches and still making good ching off of it. The state has minimal control over anything that is coming from Mexico, but they can try to snuff out that which they can control-that especially dangerous local amateur crystal meth manufacturer.
I'm not squarely on the side of the state on this issue yet, I'm just leaning their way. And I started on the other side of this issue.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Good night, all. See you in the morning.
I'm the first guy on the 'steroids are bad' band wagon. I'm even steamed at how steroids have probably sullied baseball's record books. Government should not be doing the testing, though. There are plenty of ways Congress can apply pressure on the leagues to enforce this on their own. I DON'T WANT TO SUBSIDIZE TESTING ANY PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE'S URINE. It's bad enough that a few times a year I drop big ching to go see these people play games that high schoolers often play with more heart for free. In these tight fiscal times, I sure as hell don't want any percentage of my taxes to go towards testing them. McCain needs to butt his nose out of professional athletes privates. Apply pressure, yes. Get government involved, hell no. The only place government has in this issue is the enforcement of law, not in testing.
Tonight, the Waterbuffaloes lost again. o-3 on the year. Personally, I was 2-4 (or as Javon Walker would say, Jib was 2-4, and Jib was pleased). A double, a triple, 2 RBI, and a nifty play at third. For the season, I'm 4 for 10 (.400) with a single, a double, 2 triples, and 3 RBI. I'm slowly working my way towards my goal of a .600 season batting average.
And so ends another mind numbing Jib meme.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Hemmer: "There was one other outstanding issue on this though. This ‘extraordinary circumstances’ clause that could come back again. I dunno, maybe in weeks, maybe in months. Ultimately, is that where this debate is headed again?"Emphasis mine.
Senator John McCain: "No, because, I think that we’re talking about 14 people now, not 100. It’s up to us, the 14 to decide what’s extraordinary circumstances. We trust one another. We’ll know it. It’s like child pornography, you’ll know it when you see it. And I hope that the President will send over more nominees who are acceptable and at the same time in keeping with his philosophy. And I am confident that at least the seven Democrats we are dealing with will not use the judicial filibuster except in most extreme circumstances. I’m confident that this agreement will hold."
Going beyond that, though, and beyond the gender issue as well, doesn't it blow your mind a little that a 5'2", 100 lb person is able to command a vehicle going 230 mph?
I think that I'm going to watch the Indy 500 for the first time in many, many years. My curiosity to watch Patrick's racing is the reason why. If she does well, the IRL should really line up a marketing effort with her as the face.
Bainbridge starts out with a little Russel Kirk to try to show us why we aren't being conservative. I'm going to use those same grafs to show why we are.
Conservatives are champions of custom, convention, and continuity because they prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know. ... Burke’s reminder of the necessity for prudent change is in the mind of the conservative. But necessary change, conservatives argue, ought to he gradual and discriminatory, never unfixing old interests at once.Here's the devil I know in this fillibuster deal-the Democratic party. And here's what I do and do not know. I do not know that, when they next take power again, that the Democrats won't scuttle judicial fillibusters themselves. After all, legislating through the judicial is a fine art of the Democrats. Here's what I do know. The first time Republicans attempt a judicial fillibuster, they'll scream that it is mean spirited payback on the part of Republicans, and rule change will be back on the table. Given the Democratic affinity for the judicial branch, logic tells me that rule will get changed. Therefore, killing the filibuster now is a prudent change.
... In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for the great mysterious incorporation of the human race has acquired a prescriptive wisdom far greater than any man’s petty private rationality.Precedent. Precedent is a strong, strong thing. If you want precedent, just look at how old Bob Byrd has flip flopped on the filibuster over his career. Does anyone actually believe the Democrats won't flip flop on judicial fillibusters when they regain power? Precedence tells me the weapon the Democrats yield today will not be available to Republicans tomorrow. So if you can take away that weapon yourself, you should do so. Bainbridge is apparently of the opinion that those of us who are angry are just displaying "petty private rationality."
Here's the money quote.
... Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries.It is Bainbridge and the like who are being short sighted here. Can they actually tell me that they think the Democrats won't pull the rug out from under Republicans on judicial fillibusters? That is the long term consequence of this compromise. McCain, Graham, et al, have just made sure that the Democrats can obstruct Bush's first nomination to the Supreme Court until they get someone who meets their litmus tests. Once they regain power, they will then remove Republicans' ability to block their nominations in return by killing the judicial fillibuster. I'd put money on it. Being a conservative does not mean sitting back and never changing anything in political realm, especially when the other guys are changing the rules to fit their present needs. The conservative thing in this case is to go back to the time when judicial nominations were debated and voted on, not fillibustered and held to a super majority.
Bainbridge the attempts to play the slippery slope card. If Bainbridge thinks this is a slippery slope issue, then I hope he realizes that we are already standing on avalanche ready snow. The Democrats will change this rule when it suits them. They've learned that they ultimately control the game when they control the judiciary. They are not going to allow Republicans to keep them from doing so now that they've taken the radical step of using the fillibuster against Republican judicial nominees.
If anybody is out their standing athwart history and yelling stop right now, it is those of us who are trying to prevent judicial appoints becoming subject to a super majority vote. Bainbridge can tell me otherwise until he's blue in the face. He can even call me a "numbnuts". He isn't going to change my mind on that, though.
For Bill Frist, he needed to score some sort of a victory on this issue. His leadership in the Senate has not exactly been what most of us expected of him. By having many moderate RINO's leave the fold of the party and strike a compromise, Frist sees his leadership compromised even further. He's fairly young, so if he wants to be President, he'll need time to repair the damage that has been done. He may need to wait until 2012 or 2016.
As for John McCain, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of making it out of the primaries. Primary voters are much more partisan than general election voters, and McCain is making a career out of pissing off party loyalists. Does he have himself position well in front of the general electorate? Possibly. But if the party won't nominate you, it doesn't matter.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Of course, home runs by your lead off guy will work, too. :-)
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Take this story for example. The media, while stopping to call Afghan leader Hamid Karzai a U.S. puppet, jump all over the fact that Karzai is being mildly critical of the U.S. right. Karzai has made a statement looking for more control over the actions of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the release of all Afghan prisoners to Afghanistan. But how serious is Karzai?
He is probably at least a little serious, and we will probably make at least some concessions to him. But is all what it seems? Did anyone in the mainstream media stop to think about the recent Newsweek Koran-flushing controversy which lead to riots in Afghanistan? Politically, Karzai had to do something to condemn the U.S. while all the while not alienating the U.S. So he makes a statement that mildly rebukes the U.S., allows us some room to make concessions, and he is able to politically maneuver in way that allows him to maintain support at home. But I don't see anyone reflecting on this possibility. Instead, the sources I've read so far clap their hands together like a little child who just received something it wanted. "Yay! We got what we wanted. Karzai condemns U.S. Yay!" No deep analyses. And our wonderful mainstream media wonder why their readers and viewers are dwindling.
I guess it just goes to prove that old adage, everything in moderation.
If the vote ends up a 'Yes' by less than 2200 votes, the yes supporters are going to say the differences in the ballots are so small as to be insignificant. The vote will be thrown into the courts, and given that this is Dane county we're talking about, the yeses will probably have a sympathetic judge. If this ends up as a no by less than 2200 votes, this vote will be in the courts so fast it'll make your head spin. Given the funny timing of all this falling on weekend, which is a dead news period, I'd be surprised if the 'Yes' supporters don't already have lawyers working on it. Should they go to court on a No vote, they will claim that the absentee ballots caused this vote to flip to a no.
So, it seems to me that there is only one solution. Reschedule this election. This referendum cannot take place fairly, so the entire thing should be postponed. This would likely require a court order, and I'll be curious to see if anyone tries to contest this on Monday.
If bleeding hearts in Madison really care at all about preventing the disenfrachisement of the elderly and the poor, they will be the ones in front of the Court on Monday. If they go forward with this, they disenfranchise every single person holding an absentee ballot, regardless of the outcome.
(cross posted at BBA)
Friday, May 20, 2005
Absentee ballots is where the potential problem will lay. A close vote will probably take the decision out of the people's hands and put it into the courts.
(cross posted at BBA)
In a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if, down the road, a website were to launch which was dedicated to finding out the identities of annonymous bloggers.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
She threw a perfect game for the Dodgers in an 11-0 victory over the Yankees.I don't think that my merry band of Little League pitchers had less than a three ball count on any hitter.
How dominant was she? She struck out all 18 batters she faced in the six-inning victory. She never got to a three-ball count on any of them.
The forecast maps, updated hourly, would be most useful after a temblor strong enough to break windows and crack plaster, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Matthew Gerstenberger, who developed the site.Now I'm not a Californian, but are earthquakes that are strong enough to lightly damage a home usually followed up by aftershocks? Why do people need a website to tell them this? This seems to be a giant waste of money. And really dumb.
Two or three times a quarter, female Northwestern students studying at University Library, Evanston Public Library, Borders Books & Music or Barnes & Noble look up to see unknown men masturbating near them. Most of these men do it just for the thrill of being seen, said an NU psychiatry professor.Uh, interesting, at my alma matter, something like that had the po-po loooking for you.
Good job Newsweek. Maybe you can charge for your commentary like the New York Times and reduce your vulnerability to bloggers-if only just for a while-while reducing your total exposure to potential customers.
"The occupier is trying to make up a sectarian war between the Sunnis and Shiites," al-Sadr said. "It is not acceptable to direct the allegations of ugly acts committed by the occupier against the Shiites, to the Sunnis, we also condemn and denounce all the terrorist acts."Wha?! Umm, this schlub must actually think now is the time to get back into the limelight. After all, charges against him may very well be dropped for the assasination of Abdul Majid al-Khoei. His claims are frankly out there, though, and I doubt this is going to score him much in the way of points with the Iraqi people when there frustration lay with the Syrian and/or Saudi terrorists mounting the attacks againt the Iraqi people.
Meanwhile, al-Sistani, the true clerical power in Iraq, calls for unity amongst Shia and Sunni. Sistani wields great power and could easily be our worst nightmare; so far, though, he is taken a very moderate line. Because of this, al-Sadr will probably never be anything more than a fringe player.
Jib stats year to date (not that anyone cares): .333 batting average, 1 single, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 sac fly. Not impressive, but I did work out a kink in my swing tonight.
And so ends a post nobody really gives a rat's patuity about but me.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
But...even though I found myself really liking the guy, there is really no excuse for his habit of not correctly attributing the sources of his quotes and of writing stories before the events occured. He has made excuses on this, saying that the columnists are/should be held to a different standard. No Mitch, they shouldn't be. If you lift a quote from someone else's work, attribute it. If you can't witness an event you want to write about as if you are there, don't file a column on it. I'm not really sure of what to make of Albom now. I had begun to really respect him, but I don't respect the way that he is responding to all of this. Next time I'm in Detroit, I'll be interested to see if the community responds differently to him than it did in my last visit.
After a new study by the Hawaiian chapter of the American Lung Association found that Kilauea was the nations number one sulfur dioxide polluter. The study also found that Kilauea dumps dangerous hydrochloric acid into the Pacific Ocean.
The EPA announced it will fine Pele $10 million a day until she either ceases and desists the emissions at Kilauea or until she installs scrubbers and filters on the volcano, which is the major contributor to Hawaiian vog (volcanic smog). They will also force Pele to pay for and carry out the environmental clean up program.
Pele could not be reached for comment on the article.
(This satire was full of hot air)
First, let me apologize for the lack of links on the circumstancial evidence I'm going to present. If I get the chance, I'll update this post with them. Okay, now Toyota has been working very hard to "Americanize" their operation for the U.S. market. They've opened plants in the U.S., and they've been very sensitive to the loyalty Americans have towards Detroit. A few weeks ago, around the time of GM's announcement of their huge quarterly loss, the CEO of Toyota mused that perhaps it was time that they help GM and Ford by raising their own prices and by working more cooperatively with them. He wouldn't do this out of the goodness of his heart, but because helping GM and Ford would alleviate any future American backlash towards Toyota. Then, a little while after that, it was announced that GM and Toyota are going to be working together on fuel cell technology.
Those two things, along with the GM stock acquisition by Kirk Kerkorian, that have me thinking about this. Toyota is very dedicated to be being the top foreign car manufacturer in the U.S., but their strategy actually seems to be turning Toyota into a very domestic auto manufacturer. But still, no matter what they do, they will always be the outsider here. Unless, of course, they can wiggle in on an exisiting U.S. automaker. Daimler Chrysler and SAB-Miller are two recent examples of this strategy. If you want to be a domestic company, you buy into it. It could also help solve GM's 24 karat gold benefits program, which may be the biggest reason GM is struggling along so. With any merger, those agreements with the auto workers union are going to become breakable in a way they cannot be if GM remains out their on its own. So their is benefit in both directions with such a merger.
It would be a high risk maneuver for Toyota. They would be taking over a company they have been grabbing market share from for a while now. They would also be assuming quite a bit of risk with bloated GM. But it would make them a "U.S." automaker, an advantage they can lord over all of their other competitors but Ford and Daimler Chrysler.
Toyota fears U.S. backlash as General Motors struggles
General Motors, Toyota hold talks on cooperation
In graf 2, hybrid has been corrected to read fuel cells.
Monday, May 16, 2005
So, I'm thinking of changing my name to Buttermaker. How does Buttermakerlog sound?
Take this post, for example. Much better thought than a mindless slogan, even though I'm not sure that a lawsuit is a very good precedent to set.
Danica fans, I have more commentary here, here and here.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Am I a bad person for walking by? In that instance, I probably was. I certainly felt like a bad person. No one needs to hit me in the head with a bat to teach me being helpful can cause you endless headaches sometimes. The instinct of self preservation led me in this example to not dare tempt the PC god's though, and because of that, I contributed my little piece to a coarser society.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
In regards to the financial viability of producing crystal meth from cold medicine, it is very viable. If 1000 cold medicine pills is the magic number for 1 ounce of meth, it would take 14 packages of the Sudafed PE Maximum Strength, 72 count, at a cost of approximately $202. An ounce of crystal meth goes for about $7000. Also, in a city the size of Janesville (60,000), a person could easily get 14 packages of this medicine without raising any suspicions-with or without restrictions. A prospective meth cooker could buy two packages at Walmart, Shopko, Kmart, Target, Walgreens #1, Walgreens #2, and any one grocery store and have enough for an ounce of meth.
I am still disturbed by the lack of hard facts that I'm (not) coming up with to tie cold medicine to the manufacture of crystal meth, but the financial part of the equation seems to work.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Today, Ed Garvey had this piece in the Capital Times. Here are the excerpts to which I objected:
Students are mobilizing. They are sick of higher tuition, fewer courses and lower state support. They are demanding a tuition freeze, as well they should. And the absurd lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-theStudents deserve this? I’m all for some subsidization of in state tuition, but WI students already have a pretty sweet deal comparatively. And our cupboard is bare? What are we, the sixth biggest per capita spender, and the highest ranked high school we have is number 213?
-key policies of the past 20 years are now open to question as legislators and the governor find the education budget is bare because Corrections has such a huge appetite. Yes, we are beginning to hear about alternatives to incarceration, sensible parole policies and even a call to review so-called truth in sentencing.
The Center for Democratic Action held a conference last Saturday where participants made it clear they are no longer willing to be fed pap by local TV and radio stations. They will challenge holders of FCC licenses if stations do not present a diversity of views. Through underground magazines, blogs, newsletters, Free Speech TV, WORT and community TV, alternative sources of news are springing up everywhere. More and more people visit progressive Web sites and listen to Amy Goodman. Something is stirring.Diversity of views=more of his, none of ours.
The realities of our budget problems are becoming too obvious for people to swallow the simplistic formulas of the two right-wingers seeking the Republican nomination for governor. They are out of step with the people as they compete for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce dollars and endorsements from the likes of Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes. The public knows we cannot expand services to a growing population without raising taxes or eliminating loopholes. We aren't stupid. You can't keep building and filling prisons and increase support for education and health care.A growing population means a growing tax base. That isn’t why we are facing budget problems. Our budget problems are the result of our representatives spending money like drunken sailors.
Even the plight of the poor is coming into focus. The bumper sticker solutions of Tommy Thompson's time, from bride-fare to W-2, cannot withstand the light. W-2 had no chance of reducing poverty. It was a diversion. And a costly one designed to make chest-thumping politicians look good.Let’s see a third option then, Eddie, because the old welfare system only encouraged poverty.
In Wisconsin, 400,000 people do not have health insurance. Our wages are stuck in place. That is unacceptable to the good people of this state and they are being heard at the People's Legislature sessions.Does he intentionally make his organization sound like the Chi-coms and the Politburo?
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
And that leads me to another question. David Frum, what the hell were you thinking? You look like the fox in the henhouse, but unlike the fox, the hens in this henhouse are going to try to peck your eyeballs out. Even if you succeed, all the other hens are going to cackle about how they got the better of you.
"I go out every single day looking to feed my litter in this God forsaken country, and when I find a fresh feast for my family, people swoop and and take it from me. What's a bitch to do?"
News services from around the world have hailed the stray as a hero for lugging the 7 lb child through barbed wire and over a busy road to safety. The stray told media that someone owes her.
"Great, I'm famous now. Everyone wants to scratch my head. Petting doesn't fill the belly, folks. I damn well better get some snausages for this. That was my baby that was taken from me. I expect some compensation, here. I've had mange for a while. Some meds would be nice, too."
The stray, who still has not released her name to the public, also told a sad story of love lost.
"I met the father of my puppies in a back ally where we were both searching through a dumpster. He smelled my butt, I smelled his, and I just knew we would be together forever. After he knocked me up, he goes and runs off with a poodle. Now I'm stuck taking care of these little brats all by myself. It's all because the Bush administration in the United States isn't spending enough on doggy condoms in Africa."
Rob Reiner immediately issued a statement condemning the Bush administration for not promoting safe doggy style sex and urging the Bush Administration to give up it's efforts to promote abstinance in dogs through spaying and neutering. Reiner is recovering in a Cailfornia hospital after a first rate butt whooping from Bob Barker.
(This was satire. I shouldn't even have to tell you that.)
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Not too long ago, I thought I had the future of the blogosphere all figured out. There was a critical mass developing, and I was positive that MSM web sites were going to start incorporating bloggers, and I was positive that big blogs were going to start taking on corporate identities and start losing their original voices. I don't think that I'm wrong about that. In fact, the buzz this week seems to be of hidden internet booms via the blogosphere and collaberative efforts like Pajama Media. I even emailed Pajama Media to see what their venture was all about. I was uncomfortable with it, but I also began to wonder "what's in it for me?" Then I clicked over to Moxie's web site, and a few things began to click into place.
I've pretty much always been of the opinion that in a few years we won't even recognize blogs as we know them today. But my ultimate view of the future of blogs has changed. I do believe that many, many bloggers will sell out. I also believe they will fail. Just read back through the last year's archives of the biggest blogs out there. Many have become down right arrogant. A year ago, they pumped out some interesting content and they linked to some genuinely interesting posts of smaller bloggers. Today, many of them regurgitate more and more from fewer and fewer sources. They've begun to taste fame and rake in (small) fortunes, and with that, they've begun to forget what made them popular in the first place. Many of the big blogs are becoming more and more like the MSM they've earned their traffic criticizing. Pajama Media is a perfect example. Here we have a business venture created by some of the biggest, most well known names out their. They want to place ads on your site and my site, and they want to syndicate our material. But after reading their agreements and thinking on this, I've become more and more convinced that this venture benefits them much, much more than it benefits mid and small sized blogs that participate. Much more. I'm all for those taking the biggest risks receiving the biggest rewards. In the example of Pajama Media, though, I think almost all of the reward goes to the big guys, with the little guys just playing the part of the "long tail" from which the big guys can profit. I'm also increasingly concerned that these ventures will start to sterilize the voice of the blogosphere. After all, if it is all about the money, then you naturally start to shut your mouth when opening it risks the money.
Part of the blogosphere's charm in the last two years has been that people said whatever they damn well pleased. If they were wrong, people told them. More often than not, they weren't wrong though, and the freedom they had allowed them to go after those who mislead the public because they weren't beholden to the almighty dollar. That irreverance is starting to fade, and with it, so too will the influence of blogs fade. People who have searched out blogs for that irreverance and that freedom will turn their backs on it. They'll turn their backs on it because it is not longer what they are looking for. And these larger collaberative efforts will fail because they'll have more expenses to cover, but people will be more and more disenchanted with what they have to say.
If you can make a buck with your site, I say bully for you, do it and capitalize on it. Whoring out your site and your content to a few big bloggers won't get you there, though. In fact, it may even alienate your old audience. I'm going to keep on keeping on, and I may never be succesful at it, but at least once I've failed, and only three people a day come to read my insight, I'll be able to say that I never gave up my voice, and I never sold my voice and my influence to someone else.
The "mainstreaming" of blogs seems to make sense on the surface. In the long run, it will destroy a lot of blogs. By 2008, don't expect to recognize the blogosphere. Little guys will still be around, but people will have a tougher time finding them. As for the big guys, they'll make a big splash and then their group ventures, built on profit models, will begin to fail. A great shake out is about to begin in the blogosphere; prepare yourself for it.