Thursday, May 31, 2007
The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful.
State and local governments resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail. (ital mine)
Next up will be emails from Nancy Pelosi asking for your bank account information so she can get $42 million out of William Jefferson's freezer.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.
The Agriculture Department tests less than 1% of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. But Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows.
Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone tested its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive test, too.
A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. The ruling was to take effect June 1, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal — effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge plays out.
If Creekstone Farms tests all of their animals, it will be far from compulsory for other beef producers to follow suit. Will it give Creekstone Farms a marketing advantage? Certainly. Will their beef cost more and also have a higher margin? Most definitely. Will there still be a huge market for cheaper, less-frequently tested beef? You bet your rump roast. Not only is the Bush Administration acting very unconservatively by wading into this free market issue, it also looks stupid for trying to keep a company from doing product safety testing on all of its meat.
When you have a necessary choice between the imperfect and the bad, choosing the imperfect is also in your best interests.
When faced with a necessary choice between a bad option and a worse option, it is still in your best interest to choose the bad over the worse.
The only exception to the above occurs when the situation is dire and calls for a scorched earth policy. A scorched earth policy makes things much worse immediately with no guarentee that one day things will be better than they are now, however, and are best left as last ditch efforts at survival.
So now you are probably wondering, "what the hell is the point Jib is trying to make here?" My point is this: Next time you are in a voting booth, apply the logic above. Last fall we conservatives grumbled mightily about our Republican choices in the midterm elections. I suspect many of us went to the scorched earth plan well before it was justified. As a result, we collectively chose the 'worse option' with no guarentees that things will be better down the road.
Additionally, realize that, as a self reliant conservative, if you don't like your choices at the polls again in 2008, you are partly to blame. Before and during the primary elections, you have the freedom to recruit, support, campaign for, and donate to a candidate you find satisfactorily conservative. The blame game played by a lot of grass roots conservatives in 2006 has to stop before 2008 or Democrats are going to own Washington for a long, long time. We all have some ownership in who is and is not chosen to represent us, and thus share in the blame for lousy candidates and representatives. Do something about it.
And yes, as an on again, off again complainer in 2006, I'm going to take a couple of big doses of my own medicine.
A newly released inspector general report backs eyewitness accounts of suspicious behavior by 13 Middle Eastern men on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2004 and reveals several missteps by government officials, including failure to file an incident report until a month after the matter became public.
"Agency management was not only covering up numerous probes and dry-run encounters from Congress and other federal law-enforcement agencies, it was also hiding these incidents from their own flying air marshals," said P. Jeffrey Black, an air marshal stationed in Las Vegas.
Homeland Security officials initially denied the complaints and blamed passengers who reported the incident to the press as behaving hysterically. However, the inspector general report shows that air marshals had the group of men under surveillance before they boarded the plane.
"What is disturbing to us as pilots is that there are now a number of incidents like this taking place across our industry and the vast majority of our flights are still defenseless," said Captain David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance.
"If I were a member of Congress, I'd be asking some hard questions about why such a small percentage of flights have armed pilots or air marshals aboard, while the TSA whistles past the graveyard, asking us to believe none of this is related to terrorism," Mr. Mackett said.
Read the whole thing. I'll have more on this later in the day, as well as links back to previous posts on this incident. I'd be surprised if this story doesn't get a lot of play in the blogosphere today.
Additionally, I may start a futures market on the appearance of the first doomsday MSM piece on the environmental hazards of CFLs. Or I may not. Again, I probably don't care enough to actually set it up. But we all know that piece is going to happen, it is just a matter of when.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
In her high school track and field career, Stokke had won a 2004 California state pole vaulting title, broken five national records and earned a scholarship to the University of California, yet only track devotees had noticed. Then, in early May, she received e-mails from friends who warned that a year-old picture of Stokke idly adjusting her hair at a track meet in New York had been plastered across the Internet. She had more than 1,000 new messages on her MySpace page. A three-minute video of Stokke standing against a wall and analyzing her performance at another meet had been posted on YouTube and viewed 150,000 times.
"I just want to find some way to get this all under control," Stokke told her coach.
Three weeks later, Stokke has decided that control is essentially beyond her grasp. Instead, she said, she has learned a distressing lesson in the unruly momentum of the Internet. A fan on a Cal football message board posted a picture of the attractive, athletic pole vaulter. A popular sports blogger in New York found the picture and posted it on his site. Dozens of other bloggers picked up the same image and spread it. Within days, hundreds of thousands of Internet users had searched for Stokke's picture and leered.
First off, if this were my daughter, I'd be pissed about a chunk of the internet ogling my teenage daughter, no doubt about it. I'd also be very, very concerned for her safety. On top of that, I believe people are entitled to a certain level of privacy. On the flip side, when you're an elite performer in your level of athletics, you become a public figure whether you like it or not. Images of you become part of the public domain. With that comes hassle, but also income opportunities that most people can never realize. Stokke now has to deal with being a celebrity and a sex symbol, which is creepy when you consider that she was probably 17 in the picture getting all of the attention. But were people as creeped out by the pictures of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera when they were 17? Some, perhaps, but not a ton of people.Oddly, my biggest gripe is with the uniforms some schools are putting their underage female athletes in. Girls' volleyball teams and track teams are trotting out onto their fields of play in skin tight, curve hugging uniforms that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. Not too long ago, say, when I graduated in the mid-1990's, girls' teams did not wear skin tight uniforms like these. There is no one that can convince me that these outfits improve the performance of high school level girls. Personally, I think the high schools are irresponsible for putting their female student athletes in these uniforms. Had Stokke been wearing a track uniform circa 1990 or so, I guarentee her picture would not have garnered anywhere near the level of attention it has gotten.
Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices.
The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that farmers will plant between 25 percent and 35 percent less agave this year to turn the land over to corn.
"Those growers are going after what pays best now," said Ismael Vicente Ramirez, head of agriculture at Mexico's Tequila Regulatory Council.
Hurrah to all the farmers who are cashing in on high corn prices created by the ethanol craze, but sooner or later people are going to figure out that corn based ethanol isn't the answer.
It's affecting the price of steak, too.
As for me, I tend to slog through. Travel is a huge reading aid for me. Time on an airplane and sleepless nights in a hotel are precious times for me to catch up on my reading. Over a recent stretch, I started a book in my pile, "1776" by David McCullough, and I bought and started another, "Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost its Mind, and the Other Lost its Nerve," by Bernard Goldberg. This weekend I finished Goldberg's book (I recommend it for your apolitical friends), and soon I anticipate finishing McCullough. I have the utmost respect for bloggers who receive advance copies of books from publishers and actually read them; personally, I think they bluff their way through reviews rather than actually read them as I find carving out the time for just a few books difficult.
In anticipation of getting through "1776," I picked up "The Reagan Diaries." I was out of town the week before it came out. I mistakenly thought it came out that week and frantically searched through a mega-bookstore in search of it. But I have it now and it will be my next project. After that, I have every intention of finally cracking into a couple of books on Vietnam that Chris from Spottedhorse recommended to me. They've been sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read for a long damn time now. I look forward to reading them, but they are are going to be a daunting task given my inconsistent reading pattern.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
So are you going to watch the Indy 500? Do you even care about the race? If you do, who do you plan to cheer for? As for me, I have a moderate interest in the race, but if I don't watch all of it, it won't bother me. And I decided who I'm cheering for just this morning while watching the pre-race. ABC did a short little thing on Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, and Sarah Fisher. Every time they showed Fisher, they showed her with her helmet on. So I'm going to cheer for the woman who ain't get any media love. Go Fisher.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Peter Baron isn't at all worried.
Well, maybe he's just a bit concerned about Sunday's race.
After all, it's only the second Indy Car race for his team and that race just happens to be the biggest open wheel race on the planet – the Indy 500.
Baron's driver is Venezuelan Milka Duno, who has challenged Danica Patrick for the title of most popular driver with the fans during the month of May.
Duno will start in the 29th starting position, which itself is a triumph for the team.
Okay, the two most popular drivers in Indy racing are women. The only problem is that neither really has any reason to be fan favorites-neither has accomplished very much in Indy Car racing. A couple of years back, when Patrick burst upon the scene, this blog was innundated with traffic from guys looking for her pictures. Patrick's popularity was in part due to her being the women's favorite in the race, but largely due to the fact that she's hot. So why is Milka Duno surpassing Patrick in popularity? I imagine there are two reasons for it, although Duno has had success racing in Venezuela. But let's face it, we guys are pigs. Her past racing success isn't what is making her popular. Something else is. I'll let you figure out what it is.
Friday, May 25, 2007
1. All things considered, I'm not a very material guy. Everything has a utility to me, and as long as it continues to work for me, I'm usually happy. In other words, I'm not the type of person who has to have the latest and greatest car or computer or camera, etc., as long as the ones that I have are doing their job to my satisfaction.
2. I'm incredibly vain about my softball playing prowess. I've only just come to that conclusion as my body has slowed ever so slightly and I've noticed that younger players are starting surpass me and my skills. I now get madder about not being able to do what I could five years ago than I do about losing.
3. I'm handier around the house than my wife realizes, mostly because I resist taking on Quixotic projects. (She'll dispute this one, of course).
4. I'm a direct descendent of a Chippewa Chief who at an advanced age stopped the removal of his people from Wisconsin to Minnesota with a face to face meeting with a U.S. President. I'm also a direct descendant of Abe Lincoln's maternal grandfather, which also makes me a very distant cousin of Tom Hanks. Additionally, both of those facts are the result of research by family members, and I have a need to independently do the research myself to verify it, but I just haven't gotten to it. Yet.
5. When I was sixteen, I cracked my sternum in a collision in a baseball game. It hurt like hell to sneeze, laugh, and even breath hard for most of that summer, but I never went to a doctor for it. To this day, when I stretch my chest I can make my sternum pop much in the same way you might crack your knuckles. And if you're wondering, the other guy ended up with a broken jaw.
As always, I don't tag others with memes. If you want to do the meme, consider yourself tagged and say that I was the one ya got it from.
Historic cemeteries, desperate for money to pay for badly needed restorations, are reaching out to the public in ever more unusual ways, with dog parades, bird-watching lectures, Sunday jazz concerts, brunches with star chefs, Halloween parties in the crematory and even a nudie calendar.
I've been both creeped out and fascinated by cemetaries since my teens. Growing up, one of the popular places to watch the Fourth of July fireworks in Eau Claire was a vacant portion of one of the city's cemetaries. Invariably, extended family members and I would go on a walk through the "occupied" portion of the cemetary. We'd look at head stones and ask out loud, "I wonder what their story was?" As a teen, I'd occasionally ride my bike through my hometown cemetary and be amazed by some of the famous names I'd see on headstones. In college, part of an art history final assignment was done on some of the architecture in a local cemetary. Our cemetaries are the final resting place of the actors of our history, and all to many of us are more scared by them than curious about their eternal occupants.
My second book idea was to tell the stories of some of the people in cemetaries around the area when I grew up. I never followed through on that one purely because it creeped me out a bit, but who amongst us hasn't asked the question that my cousins and I asked in that Eau Claire cemetary, "I wonder what their story was?" Why did they pass so young? What happened during their time at war? Why did they have their dog buried next to them? If a cemetary were to tell some of those stories, I'd probably open my wallet to hear them or read them. And I'd be glad to do so because it would help preserve the memories of our dead and of those people on whose shoulders we stand on in our communities today. As long as the fine line between revenue generation and disrespecting the dead isn't brazenly crossed, I say good for the cemetaries.
To me, one of the saddest trends of the last thirty years is that of cemetaries forbidding above ground headstones and monuments. Yes, in ground headstones help keep maintenance costs down, but the cemetaries of old tell us a lot about their occupants with the wide variety (might I even say diversity?) of headstones and monuments. The small limestone headstone of a man next to the even smaller limestone headstone for his dog says something about the man (yes, it exists) as much as the huge monument.
RADAR: You seemed to have a deep respect for the soldiers you met at Camp Pendleton. What did you come away with?
GENE SIMMONS: It is embarrassing what's happening to America nowadays. I'm embarrassed. The same thing happened in Vietnam, and I lived through that era. It was unbelievable. The answer seems to be, from some political experts, just get up and leave and the bad guys will decide, "Hey let's disarm and everything's going to be okay." I'm so fucking sick and tired of such idiotic behavior.
A social conservative he ain't, but he ain't all bad. It seems he actually uses that melon of his.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Can an Adviser Model work as Plan B? At the grass roots, yes. An aggressive corps of advisers and their Iraqi brethren can prevent the country from cratering. However, stability in Iraq depends on two other factors. The first is the commitment to national unity on the part of the ministries and political parties. On May 17, Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, "What I see is an awareness and focus on the part of the Iraqi leadership that reconciliation is key to Iraq's success." Obviously, Crocker has to be proved right in his judgment. To date, the top Iraqi leadership has been much weaker—and more selfish—than the bottom.
The second factor is U.S. steadfastness. There is no full exit or abrupt departure without serious adverse consequences. "If you leave quickly, we'll redistribute our units and go back to where we have local support," Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan, commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces, told us in a recent interview. Such consolidation, which seems logical, is the adjustment President Nguyen Van Thieu tried to make in South Vietnam in 1975. But once South Vietnamese units began to pull out of the more remote areas, panic set in and events cascaded out of control. South Vietnam had a very experienced army; for the Iraqi army to try such adjusting—meaning, pulling out of the tough Sunni areas like Qaim or Fallujah—risks total chaos.
This war will be fought for another 10 years because there is no central authority controlling the extremist groups among the dozens of gangs that compose the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. This is a bottom-up war that will be fought out in dozens of cities, towns, and farming communities. The core strength of the Iraqi security forces lies at the battalion level of the army, which is the least sectarian institution in Iraq. These battalions, paired with police departments, are the key to the war. Left abruptly on their own, they would fall apart. Like Afghanistan—where we have 30,000 soldiers fighting and advising—Iraq is a commitment for a decade.
Is West's proposal for advisers the best plan? It may well be. Although I'd argue for a significant U.S. base in the Kurdish region of the country as well, just to make Iraq's neighbors think twice before doing anything rash.
Never did I envision how challenging raising a stubborn and feisty toddler would be. Thankfully, I've now learned several great toddler-taming strategies that work quite well. Sometimes, I've found, you need to save the "I am the parent! Do as I say!" approach and try a little creative thinking.
Act like an idiot
"Even the most defiant toddler will take pity on us if we seem like total incompetents," says Harvey Karp, M.D., author of the DVD and book "The Happiest Toddler on the Block." The trick is to convince your child that you should be helped, not resisted:
• Be forgetful. If she's refusing to put away her toys, pick up a few and put them not in the toy box but in some other unexpected place, like the bathtub or a kitchen cabinet. When your child balks (she knows where things belong, even as young as 2), say innocently, "What? I'm putting your toys in your toy box!" She'll likely take pity on you and help you put her stuff where it really belongs. (Parenting.com: "I did it myself!" )
• Be wrong. Next time you foresee a battle getting your toddler in the stroller, try squeezing into it yourself. Chances are good she'll announce, "That's mine!" Finally her possessive streak is good for something.
• Be incompetent. Put your coat on backward and place your shoes on your hands. Say, "I'm ready to go, are you?" She'll laugh, straighten you out, and get her own shoes on for once.
Don't worry: Your child won't really think you're a boob, says Dr. Karp. This is just a fun tactic, like playing hide-and-seek and pretending you can't find her.
Actually, that is exactly what you are teaching the child, that you are an incompotent boob. Better to struggle and remain a role model, a parent, than to trick a child into doing something but begin to lose the child's respect.
I will offer up one tip. Mix things up in your ground beef. In other words, find ways to add flavor to the burgers. My patty recipe requires seven ingredients. You'll be surprised at what it does for your burgers without taking anything away from the traditional beef taste. Beyond that, do some hard thinking on your burger process (yes, process), experiment a lot, and you'll discover some secrets of your own that lead to great burgers.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It's a rare find for the Brown County Historical Society: A 143-year-old hand-written letter by General Ulysses S. Grant turned up in Green Bay.
A few weeks ago, a volunteer was cataloging old folders and boxes inside the Historical Society's library at the Historic Hazelwood Museum when he came across a letter.
"When he turned it over and looked at the back, the signature said U.S. Grant, and so he came out to my desk and said, 'I think I found something sort of interesting,'" the historical society's Wendy Barszcz recalls.
She immediately began research and discovered she had a piece of Civil War history. "I must say I was a little shook," she laughs, "but then very excited."
I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot of great historical nuggets that are 'lost' out there in poorly organized community historical societies.
A quick look at the lengths of children's index and ring fingers can be used to predict how well students will perform on SATs, new research claims.Call me a science doubting skeptic, but their hormonal causation seems just a little too simple and general to be accurate. A lot of things can go into aptitude besides just hormone levels experienced in the womb.
Kids with longer ring fingers compared to index fingers are likely to have higher math scores than literacy or verbal scores on the college entrance exam, while children with the reverse finger-length ratio are likely to have higher reading and writing, or verbal, scores versus math scores.
Scientists have known that different levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen in the womb account for the different finger lengths, which are a reflection of areas of the brain that are more highly developed than others, said psychologist Mark Brosnan of the University of Bath, who led the study.
Continued vigilance is necessary, of course, for a virus that has been as lethal as this one. Just the same, the world didn't come to an end yet because of the bird flu, and don't expect the media to remind you of that.
“In the first half of 2007, countries reported fewer deaths of wild and migratory birds, which could indicate the disease is coming closer to the end of a cycle. Reversely poultry flocks still continue to be infected in some countries and that shows the international community needs to keep up its high level of prevention and control measures of the disease in animals,” commented Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE.
The disease remains endemic in at least three countries ( Indonesia , Nigeria and Egypt ) and continues to appear in previously unaffected countries. These events offer valuable opportunity to further identify the complex issues in dealing with the disease.
Now visit twice as much so I get to 200,000 faster ;-).
I guess it just shows that, even when he's wrong, he's amusing.That one sentence is incredible. In it, Romney mute's McCain's comment about varmint guns. He also makes McCain look small for making the comment. Finally, he holds his ground respectably. One sentence does not a President make, but it was enough to make me at least consider Romney as potentially presidential. Still, Romney has a big weakness, and that is that he currently is as vulnerable to the flip-flop charge as John Kerry was in 2004.
The media really is vapid. ABC News doesn't understand the meaning of the word "covert."
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
Now I will say this much-I don't rule out the possibility that this little nugget is meant to be out there and to be seen by Iranian eyes. After, how many of us really have confidence in the CIA to pull off an operation such as this? It could be that a piece of information like this will add to any paranoia and power struggles in the Iranian government right now. At least that's what I'm really, really hoping it is, because otherwise ABC showed horrendous judgement in running with this.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.
"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned. "They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government]."
The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat. "We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus's report in September [when the US commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President George Bush's controversial, six-month security "surge" of 30,000 troop reinforcements]," the official said.
Logically, this only makes sense. With congress's vacillation on the war, and with key dates being bandied about, it would only make sense that our most significant state enemy in the area, Iran, would work behind the scenes to try to drive us out of Iraq and claim the country as another of its vassals (see Syria). If Iran does ratchet up the violence this summer, the blood of many U.S. soldiers and Iraqis will be on the hands of a congress which has done nothing but act irresponsibly in a time of war.
Jessica is a big girl...nobody likes to be fired, but as a high profile personality in a big city, it happens, especially when your job is to discuss contentious issues. McBride's skit, while perhaps not the best decision, was still sympathetic to the murdered young girl. She does not deserve what some of Milwaukee's biggest demagogues are brewing up-to lose her teaching job at UW Milwaukee. I would encourage everyone to show their support to McBride as Milwaukee's Mike McGee/Jackson tries to take her down out of his purely personal bile for efforts the right in Wisconsin makes to shine a light on the depravity of he and his father.
I've noticed a number of my fellow Wisconsin bloggers are showing their support for Jessica with a lot of indignation. That's fine...but you could also be showing your support by updating your blogrolls so you send people back to her old/new blog. I'm just sayin'...
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Oh, my kingdom for a Washington politician with a spine. And my kingdom for a Republican that learned a lesson from 2006.
Anecdotal reports of problems, from sluggishness to slow page loads and frequent crashes, have begun circulating in web forums, along with increasingly loud calls for Firefox to return to its roots. The alleged culprit: bloat, the same problem that once plagued Mozilla, the slow, overstuffed open-source browser spawned by Netscape that Firefox was originally meant to replace.
"Remember when (Firefox) was the 'light' browser, and if you wanted to load it down that was your choice? Let's go back to that," summed up one reader in a Wired News poll this month aimed at identifying the most urgently needed Firefox fixes.
Damn Netscape and its stupid IE/FF engine. That was my favorite bloated browser.
The CW network canceled the cult hit "Veronica Mars" and will try to pick up steam in its second year with series about the snobby rich, transplanted families and a bounty hunter for the devil.
The network, created out of the ashes of the former WB and UPN, had already ended the long-running family dramas "7th Heaven" and "Gilmore Girls." On Thursday the ax fell on "Veronica Mars," which starred Kristen Bell as a wisecracking teenage private eye.
I'm going to see her tonight and it is going be all, "The lovely Mrs. Jib ANGRY! The lovely Mrs. Jib SMASH!" Not pretty, folks. Not pretty.Update
I've spoken with her. She blames all of you out there for not watching Veronica Mars. Fortunately, I'm exempted as a member of her household.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
When it comes to guaranteed paid vacation, U.S. workers don't seem to get a break.
While the French get 30 days of paid leave and most other Europeans receive at least 20, the country with the world's biggest economy does not guarantee workers a single day, researchers said on Wednesday.
I'm not even going to touch the stupidity of the article and its preachy tone. That much is self evident. The most important point to take away from this article is the fact that the bar must be absurdly low on reaching "researcher" status these days. The U.S. government doesn't guarentee vacation time and holidays? Really? They must have done some extensive studies to uncover that fact.
Showers and thunderstorms likely after 1pm. Some storms could be severe, with large hail and hail. Partly cloudy, with a high near 63. Northwest wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
So look out for those storms today with large hail...and hail.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Just got off the phone with Ken Herrera, who's in pretty good spirits for a guy who just lost his job.
He's pretty philosophical, after 30 years in the business, and among the most interesting parts of our conversation is the fact that he and his wife really want to stay in Milwaukee. Radio jobs for a guy at his level aren't exactly in abundance, but he'd happily make the leap to p.r.,
I liked to listen to Herrera during my morning drive. Nothing against Jon Jagler and Gene Mueller, but I may just switch back to listening to Bob and Brian.
A teenage Japanese boy has been arrested after walking into a police station carrying a severed human head and claiming to have killed his mother.
The 17-year-old went to a police station in the town of Aizuwakamatsu, north of Tokyo, carrying the head in a sports bag, Japanese media said.
The beheaded body of a woman was later found at the boy's home, police said.
Japan has been in the news for a number of shocking murders recently. That's something you don't hear much of out of that country.
Monday, May 14, 2007
At Berkshire's recent annual meeting in Omaha, an investor asked CEO Warren Buffett for his thoughts on ethanol. Maybe because Buffett lives in corn country, he punted the politically delicate question to his right-hand man, vice chairman Charlie Munger.
Munger, never one to mince words, replied that it was silly for the government to plow billions of dollars into a making energy from a food staple, which might lead to higher prices of many foods.
"Running cars on corn is about the stupidest thing I ever heard of," Munger said. "Our government is under tremendous political pressure even though it makes no sense."
To which Buffett replied: "Well, Charlie, we'll be sneaking you out of Omaha tonight."
I recently wrote my first words ever that were sympathetic to ethanol, but those words came with a lot of caveats. And they in no way supported ethanol from corn. I think Munger hit the ball square on the sweet spot in Omaha.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
The squirrel has grey, bushy hair on its lower half and closely cropped, darker hair on its top half. Last year black squirrels innundated the town my parents live in, and their working theory is that this squirrel was the result of a black squirrel-grey squirrel union last year.
In my younger days, I had what I thought was an incredible idea. I was going to run an ad in the local paper, asking those in the city who had put their initials on the bridge to tell me the story behind them. I was then going to photograph those initials and compile all of these stories in a book. Life happened, though, and I never even started my plan. Still, eventually the bridge will be repainted and all of this rich, local history will disappear.
So after some time reminiscing, I headed through the rest of the park. I have posted many pictures of Irvine Park here over the years, but this particular Saturday I witnessed something I had never seen in person there before-a wedding.
Planning an outdoor wedding in Wisconsin is always a huge gamble, especially in May when you can get almost any weather. This young couple hit the jackpot. I left the park wondering if their initials were back on that bridge somewhere.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Thursday he believes President Bush's low approval ratings are hurting the GOP yet won't affect the party's 2008 nominee.
"I don't think there's any doubt that when the president's polling numbers are low that it harms the Republican Party in general, but I think that when it comes election time that the overwhelming majority of Americans will choose their candidate on the basis of that individual candidate's qualifications, vision and record," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press.
I'm not going to be as hard on McCain as I could be because the AP only gives that partial quote. I would, however, just like to remind the Senator that congress's numbers have typically been even lower, even when his party controlled both houses. And the 2006 losses for Republicans, while aided by the President's unpopularity, were driven in large part by voters' disgust with what McCain and his party accomplished and failed to accomplish during their majority. The Senator is just as much a part of the problem as the President. If he doesn't get that yet, then I seriously question whether he can woo the American people in November of 2008.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Established players in the lighting industry and a host of startups are now grooming LEDs to take on the reigning champion of residential lighting, the familiar pear-shaped incandescent light bulb.
Much of that reduction would be possible with today's technology, using compact fluorescents, or CFLs. But consumers haven't warmed to them. The light quality hasn't been satisfactory, most take time to turn on and aren't dimmable.
The LED has advantages over the CFL in most of those areas, and judging by this week's Lightfair trade show in New York, it could be a serious challenge to the CFL in a few years. What holds it back is chiefly price, but LEDs are already an economic alternative for niche uses.
I am much more sympathetic to LEDs than I am to CFL's. That doesn't mean that LEDs are better than incandescents, though, at least not yet. LEDs still do not give off a terribly warm light. In fact, many 'white' LED bulbs still have an eery, bluish hue because of the difficulties in creating white LED light. While some advances have been made on white LED light, that young technology is still very expensive, leaving most people with the cheaper blue-white light that will sour them on LEDs. Additionally, LEDs do not yet fan light out in the same manner that incandescents and CFLs do. I'm sure there will be engineering solutions for that problem, but until their are, LEDs will still fall third in line behind incandescents and CFLs in their ability to light up rooms. And I hold to my belief that incandescents have come to play a part in household climate that is grossly underestimated. LED's will not make up for that loss of radiant warmth, either.
The comments were the latest in a series of sharply worded Russian criticisms of the foreign policy of the United States — on Iraq, missile defense, NATO expansion and, more broadly, United States unilateralism in foreign affairs.
“We do not have the right to forget the causes of any war, which must be sought in the mistakes and errors of peacetime,” Mr. Putin said.
“Moreover, in our time, these threats are not diminishing,” he said. “They are only transforming, changing their appearance. In these new threats, as during the time of the Third Reich, are the same contempt for human life and the same claims of exceptionality and diktat in the world.”
The Kremlin press service declined to clarify the statement, saying Mr. Putin’s spokesman was unavailable because of the holiday.
Sergei A. Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies, who works closely with the Kremlin, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Putin was referring to the United States and NATO. Mr. Markov said the comments should be interpreted in the context of a wider, philosophical discussion of the lessons of World War II. The speech also praised the role of the allies of the Soviet Union in defeating Germany.
If one day Vlad Putin finds U.S. tanks on the doorstep of Moscow, then he can take that line. Until then, he should probably store away his Nazi boogeymen.
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
And some of you on the left wonder why people call you moonbats, unhinged, and detached from reality. You may be a perfectly rational and reasonible, but a lot of those you associate with are not or they're barely hanging on. Call it guilt by association.
After a successful blastoff from New Mexico's Spaceport America on April 28th, the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket and its payload nosed into space on a suborbital trajectory. As part of launch operations, the rocket was tracked by specialists at the neighboring White Sands Missile Range.
While all went well with the flight, the rocket components parachuted into rough and tumble terrain. Repeated searches within the landing zone have come up empty.
Jerry Larson, President of UP Aerospace, has told me that the general location of the rocket hardware is known within some 1,300 feet (400 meters) or so. But given the dense vegetation on the side of the mountain being searched, along with equipment available to the search team, pinpointing the exact locale has proven a tough assignment.
What, is it too expensive to include a quality GPS tracking device with the cargo when you are responsible for the cremated remains of more than 200 people?
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Michael McGee, Senior’s radio ’show’ has been on thin ice for a long time.
This is how his show works. He himself sells sponsorships and then he purchases the airtime from his station. That arrangement hasn’t been working out so well lately. It has been especially troubling since the easy flow of public monies via OIC was cut off to McGee. Sponsors just don’t want to be associated with his garbage.
But failing on the basis of the marketplace of ideas would be embarrassing. To go down as the Warrior, he needed to be the victim of a white backlash.
For several months on the radio and on this and other blogs I’ve commented that his schtick is victimhood. Now that he’s said something outrageous enough to lose his airtime, he can proclaim he is the victim of conservative rich white men, thus further cementing his position in the pantheon of people kept down by ‘the man.’
There is one diference between my thoughts on this and Brian's, and that is that I'm not sure he'll lose his airtime. And even if he does, he'll resurface. There is only one explanation for why McGee went on Fox 6 and continued his inflamatory line-because he stands to benefit from it. He doesn't care what most of Milwaukee thinks. He cares about what a small, hateful segment thinks. That's his target market.
It's out there, now. Continue to light him up, folks. The only hope for keeping him off the air is if his own listeners and supporters find him too radioactive and walk away from him. Unfortunately, I think this might just end up bonding them to him even tighter.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Well, I still don't think this was the right thing to go after McGee on, but it's out there now. Later I may comment on why I don't think this was the right thing to go after McGee on, but for the rest of the story, hit up my fellow bloggers or watch the Milwaukee news. As for me, I have some more anniversary celebrating to do, and I won't be on for the remainder of the evening.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
A U.S. man accused of raping his daughter and putting the video on the Internet has been arrested in Hong Kong, U.S. authorities said on Wednesday.
Kenneth Freeman, 44, a former sheriff's deputy from Washington state, was on separate lists of most wanted fugitives kept by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The video of Freeman and his young daughter was one of the most widely downloaded child pornography videos in recent years, U.S. law enforcement officials said.
The arrest, which took place on Tuesday, was based on a formal request by the U.S. State Department.
China and the United States do not have an extradition treaty but when the Chinese were informed about Freeman they agreed to help, the officials said.
Extradition? Why bother? Let's just ask the Chinese to handle it. I'm sure they could find a fitting sentence for this scumbag.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Ronald Reagan saved his most private and dramatic thoughts for a handwritten book -- a diary in which he recalled his running frustration with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, his fear that Armageddon was near and coughing up blood on the day he was shot.
Diary excerpts, released by Vanity Fair magazine on Tuesday, also reflect on the troubled relationship he had with his son Ron, his preoccupation with the "mad clown" Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his personal chemistry with Mikhail Gorbachev during arms-control talks.
Reagan hand-wrote diary entries every day of his eight years in office from 1981 to 1989 except for when he was in the hospital after being shot on March 30, 1981, about which he wrote, "Getting shot hurts."
The full version of "The Reagan Diaries" will be published on May 22 by HarperCollins, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Not too long ago, a lot of smart people were saying that technology was going to revolutionize business. The internet and video were going to remove a large expense for businesses-travel. Companies would be able to have virtual meetings with all of their clients, any time they wanted. Something funny happened on the way to that utopia. The technology got better, but face to face is still preferred. Many businesses have learned that the best way to make connections and develop relationships with people is still face to face. There is an impersonal nature to using to technology, and the relationships do not develop as well. If Thompson does this, he will not be your 2008 nominee. One of Thompson's advantages is his celebrity, but only if he puts in the face time.
Thompson, his wife and advisers in Washington and Tennessee also are drawing up plans for a new style of campaign that would rely heavily on technology and his celebrity status to avoid some of the slogging through the snow in Iowa and New Hampshire that is normally required of White House hopefuls.
The advisers say Thompson, who plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's "Law & Order," is researching ways to use technology -- including the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences -- to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists. The campaign also would rely on large events, such as those that have in part supplanted country-store campaigning for some in the Democratic field.
"Well-known candidates can do things a little differently," explained one adviser. "You show up, you're accessible, but you don't have to go to every county seat several times.
Originally, the idea of a late-start campaign for Thompson looked like something of a lark, but the phantom candidacy is accelerating.
(This is a You Had To Be There Blog Post Production)