Monday, January 31, 2005

Back with optimism

Just a real quick note to say that I'm back, and I'm back with a lot of optimism. Witnessing the elections in Iraq on TV was incredible. People here whine if voting is the slightest bit inconvenient for them; in Iraq, people literally walked miles and risked their lives to vote, and they celebrated that. It really makes a person take stock and look at how much we take for granted in the United States today. People can not be asked to make any effort to vote except to show up. Because of that, we undermine the credibility of our own elections. In another country half the world away, one that has not been as free as our own, the appreciation for and the effort put into voting truly puts us to shame.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Beer Blogs for Bush

As a Blogs for Bush member, I would be remiss if I did not point out this picture from the walls of the Leinie Lodge. That would be the president holding a signed Leinie's canoe paddle. I knew there was a reason I liked this guy.

Payola scandal hits brewery hard

Leinenkugel's is obviously a Jiblog reader, and they appear to be cracking down after the great Jib payola scandal. This is what I found when I made my pilgrimage today-a crackdown. (I still sweet talked my way into a third)


Okay, truck stop blogging sounded funny in my head at the time. Upon further review, not so much. Blogging has already proven I should never become a photographer. Let's now rule out stand up comedy.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The latest and greatest rage in blogging

As promised earlier today, in the spirit of tireblogging, oil change blogging, and cabbage blogging, I bring you the latest and the greatest blogging movement of them all, truck stop blogging. Yes folks, where else can you fill up your gas guzzling SUV, buy a slurpy, a hot dog, and a dirty magazine, even shower, and still blog at the same time.

Truck stop blogging 2

That's right, truck stop blogging. I was going to rest area blog, but then I realized that there are no side benefits to rest area blogging to a straight married guy like myself. Instead, I find myself with a full tank of gas and a handful of corn nuts. Make no mistake abou...uh, I gotta go. My car is being assualted by lot lizards.

An all new blogging rage

You probably think you've seen it all in the blogosphere by now. First there was Instapundit's tireblogging. Then there was Althouse's cabbage blogging. Watch this space early this evening for an all new style of blogging that surely will be the rage in the days and weeks to come, if I live to tell about it. (Cue dramatic music, fade to black).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I'm easy to amuse

I admit it. In a social setting, I can be as sophisticated and intelligent as anyone. In the privacy of my home, the simplest things amuse me. One thing that has amused me greatly since I started blogging is the topic of odd links to one's blog. I've discussed it here before. For a while, I received a number of hits from Google searches on a certain soft core p*rn star that I named in a satirical post. Today I have a new one which kind of takes the cake. I was watching the Badger Blog Alliance's traffic report today, and I saw a link from a site called d*min*tion-dot-com. I didn't dare click back to it at work, so when I got home today, I checked it out. Sure enough, there was the Badger Blog Alliance and a member or two linked to in a political forum on a site dedicated to d*min*tion. More power to 'em, and I'm glad that the Badger Blog Alliance is helping inform them, but I never thought I'd see that in the site's web stats.

* are in place because I don't necessarily want misguided hits to Jiblog now. Last thing I need is to wake up one morning tied to my ceiling fan with knots that haven't even been named yet. :-)

Maggie Gallagher

All joking aside (see post below), revelations that Maggie Gallagher was contracted to promote the marriage initiative is going to have a much deeper affect than the Armstrong Williams story. Williams was not really the mainstream columnist that Gallagher is. As an amateur political commentator, it is more than a little disappointing to see that Gallagher would do something that casts everything that she has written on marriage into doubt, even if those are legitimately her opinions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Flash! Disclosure by Jib of Jiblog

AP-In the wake of the news that Armstrong Williams was paid to defend the No Child Left Behind Act, and Maggie Gallagher's $21,500 contract with the Department of Human Health and Services to promote President Bush's marriage initiative, another conservative writer has come forward with another stunning admission. "Jib" of the weblog Jiblog came forward today with his own startling disclosure.

"The dominos are starting to fall, and I feel that I must come forward before some enterprising reporter begins to dig into my past. In the past, I have promoted Leinenkugel's as the greatest beer on God's green earth. I'm ashamed to admit that the Leinenkugel's Brewery has provided me with free beers at their hospitality center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin."

While Jib claimed that there was no direct association between these free beers and his support of the brewery, the AP has learned that a bartender at the old Leinenkugel's Brewery hospitality center once provided Jib with more than the publicly allotted 2 free beers. It has also been learned that Jib has frequently drank with Leinenkugel employees in the past, raising further suspicions of how deep his ties with the brewery really are. Rumblings out of the city of 13,000 are that Jib was even seen having a beer at the hospitality center with brewery President T.J. "Jake" Leinenkugel one afternoon in December 2003. More as this story develops.

Homeward bound, I wish I was...

...wait, I am! Jiblog goes on the road again this weekend, only this time I'll be blogging from one of my favorite places in the world, where the weather never gets me down-the Chippewa Valley. I'm excited about heading home, seeing family and friends, and arguing politics with my dad after a few drinks.

More news on Milwaukee election problems

After this is all said and done, and we've finally fixed the problems with Wisconsin's election laws, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Greg Borowski may be the expert to go to for any scholars looking to write a book on the issue. Borowski has been the Journal Sentinel's point man for this story, and he's back with another story on Milwaukee's election problems today. Let's skip the lede and go straight to the heart of the story:
The newspaper’s review, the most extensive analysis done so far of the election, revealed 1,242 votes coming from a total of 1,135 invalid addresses. That is, in some cases more than one person is listed as voting from the address. Of the 1,242 voters with invalid addresses, 75% registered on site on election day, according to city records.

This would be an example of the incompetence of Milwaukee's Election Commission, an incompetance that an earlier Journal Sentinel article shows may be occuring in other Wisconsin election commissions. Having said that, let's take a look at what the Mayor's Chief of Staff has to say on the matter:
Barrett Chief of Staff Patrick Curley said the newspaper’s findings underscore the need to improve the handling of elections, particularly large-turnout ones that strain the system.

Curley said he believes the problematic addresses - less than 1% of those who voted - are a sign of procedural problems in the Election Commission office, not widespread fraud.

“The process is what we’ve charged the election task force with,” Curley said. “Obviously, improvements are needed.”

Well, yes and no on that "not widespread fraud" part. There is a two part problem here, and I hope that individuals like Curley can follow the 'nuance', if you will. These 1200 votes are clearly signs of incompetence. So is the failure to verify 80,000 voter registrations immediately after the election. The fact that 75% of the 1200 bad addresses were same day registrants, that is an indicator of fraud. So are the bad addresses that were discovered prior to the election. So too may be the 8,300 (or 10,000, depending on the numbers your trust) same day registrations that were so illegible they couldn't even be mailed. For now, there is a clear line of demarcation: Election officials are guilty of incompetence, and possibly a large number of voters participated in fraud. Unless they have something to hide, government officials in Milwaukee need to stop dodging the fraud issue, because that isn't being leveled at them. Instead, they need to clean their house, because it is their incompetence which has made the fraud by voters possible.

(Cross posted at the Badger Blog Alliance)

Drew does creationism

Since I've put all of my time tonight into playing with a blog template, I have nothing prepared f0r Jiblog. I feel like I'm going before a teacher without having completed my homework. So tonight I take the easy way out. Drew at Darn Floor posts on the topic of evolution in a couple of posts. I'm not sure I could have stated my own opinions better, so check out his thoughts on the matter.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Minimum wage hike brings dignity?

The city of Eau Claire is now joining the 'in' crowd and looking at raising the minimum wage in the city. Not much of a new story their; since bleeding hearts in the city of Madison started looking at raising the city minimum wage, local politicians all over the state have started jumping on the bandwagon. What makes this story different, though, is this little snippet:
A higher minimum wage would bring dignity to some people’s lives, allowing them to earn enough to eat and find a good place to live without public assistance, said council member Kerry Kincaid.

What? This would "bring dignity" to people's lives? I don't think it will. Ignoring the ripple affect something like this would have on small businesses and the number of people they could afford to employ, let's look at it this way. This minimum wage employee will gross an additional $3848 a year. That's about $320 a month, gross. $320 (gross) a month does not buy a whole lot more dignity. What about the dignity of those people who started out in a minimum wage job and worked very hard to get themselves good job reviews and raises over the years. Suddenly they find that they are minimum wage employees again, or that all of their hard work means that they are $.15 above the minimum wage, above people who are coming into entry level jobs with no experience what so ever. I know a person who in the early 1990's entered the job market later in life, and she worked hard to get herself up to a nicer wage, and every time she started to feel proud of her work, the minimum wage was raised and she found herself making what entry level workers made all over again. There was no pride in that. It did nothing for her "dignity". It gave her no desire to work hard and get ahead.

There are some very principled arguments against raising minimum wages. This is not meant to be one of them. This was an argument against a stupid statement by a local politician.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

An ancient library lost to posterity is found?

In a story that is exciting to a history geek such as myself, the Sunday Times (of London) reports that a lost Roman library of Herculaneum may still exist under a layer of volcanic soot and rock from Mount Vesuvius. From the article:
All knowledge of the great house was lost until 1738, when workmen sinking a well shaft encountered a mosaic floor. It was too deep to excavate; instead, over the next 20 years under the supervision of Karl Weber, a Swiss military engineer, a network of tunnels was hewn through the debris clogging the great peristyle, the atrium and the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Cartloads of treasures were brought to the surface, destined for the art collection of the King of Naples.

Throughout this time, mingled with the sculptures and glassware, workmen retrieved what looked like lumps of coal which they unthinkingly dumped in the sea. It was not until 1752 and the discovery of an intact library lined with 1,800 rolls of papyrus, that the excavators realised that what they had been throwing away were carbonised books. The site has since been known as the Villa of the Papyri.

While the rolls of papyrus were unreadable due to the carbonization, modern technology, namely multi-spectral imaging, allows for us to see the words long lost to antiquity:

Booras’s tool was a digital camera sensitive to a far wider spectrum of light and which could range deep into infra-red wavelengths.

When he and his wife Susan, a fellow researcher, applied a filter that allowed only infrared light of 900-950 nanometres into the camera, the long-lost texts reappeared.

The ink had apparently retained a characteristic that made it absorb infrared light differently from the surrounding burnt papyrus.

The events of history have left huge gaps in Western knowledge. The burning of the library at Alexandria was a terrible tragedy for human knowledge. In this case, tragedy has preserved texts that otherwise would have detoriated by now, and modern technology allows us to read texts that possibly have not been read in 2000 years. May the Herculaneum society be successful in efforts to find a second library on the site.

A very Wisconsin weekend

As I sit here on a quiet Sunday, I'm thinking back on a weekend that I'm not sure I'd have experienced many places outside of Wisconsin. It started when the lovely Mrs. Jib and I went out on a triple date with a couple of her co-workers and their spouses. At 5:30 on Friday we drove to Madison for an evening of dinner, a comedy club, and drinking (with a DD), knowing full well that getting home was going to be a challenge. After an evening of plentiful laughs and beer, our trip home took double the time it normally would due to 6 inches of unplowed snow on highway 12. Saturday morning was all about digging out from 10 plus inches of snow. Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Jib and I entertained another set of our couple friends, and we whittled the day away with beer and board games because driving was out of the question. Today there is a second cleaning of drifted snow on the docket, and more beer.

Dealing with snow while drinking beer. Very Wisconsin. Possibly also the title of my autobiography.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I just haven't been myself over here lately. It has been forever since I've spoken on one of my favorite topics-beer. I'm sure my party of 7 enjoys God's nectar, and I just haven't been meeting my readers wants and needs of late. So here we go. I've always said that beer is good for you, as long as you don't over do it (frequently). I worked at the greatest brewery in the world, Leinenkugel's, and I learned that a cut from a broken bottle could be cleaned with fresh beer, and it seemed that it would heal faster than a cut that was left to its own. Still, liberals have been whining about beer and other alcoholic beverages for years (Binge drinking=4 drinks in one evening. I call that a good start). To liberal hand wringing, I always quote Benjamin Franklin: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." I'm also fond of this line from Cliff Claven on Cheers:
Well you see, Norm, it's like this...A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
A joke, right? Au contraire, monfraire. A recent study indicates that moderate drinking makes the mind sharper. This would fit well into Clavenism. That's why you should read more about this in my new book, "Booze, Cigars, and Gracie-Why George Burns Lived to be a Damn Old Man." (Nod to Kevin Nealon for my blatant theft of his comic stylings on that last line).

The battle for resources: man's past, man's future

The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at the growing likelihood that the world's major powers will soon butt heads over access to oil. There is a phrase that is bandied about frequently in this era: "the end of history." As much as I'd love to see it, I think we are going to learn in the near future that history may have paused for a little while, but it is back with a vengeance.

History is marked by battles for resources. Since World War II, most wars have been over ideology. It is easy to fool oneself into thinking that those days are gone. They aren't. China is a very hungry, very large nation which is going to be trying to secure oil resources to meet needs that one day could be much larger than our own. It is uncertain whether the earth's oil fields can meet the world's needs as former third world nations like China attempt to leap into the first world. What does this mean to us? Well, it could mean several things. It could mean that the world is facing terrible global economic crunch as demand rises much faster than supply. It could mean that major economic powers find themselves in armed conflict over petroleum resources. Or it could mean that the nation that pioneers an widely available, cheap form of alternate source of energy will be the leader in the world's future economy. If it is us, believe me, we won't seriously dedicate ourselves to it until we are in crisis, but once we get there, no one will do it better.

Which of these three paths will we travel down? I'm not going to venture to guess that. There are too many decisions to be made yet, too many variables that we cannot account for. Just don't think that we are anywhere near the end of history.

Before anyone starts to think I'm turning into an environmentalist or radically turning to the left, I will say that I'm still skeptical about our current alternative energy options. Take hydrogen, for example. Read this article in Popular Science for reasons why hydrogen is more hype than realistic option.

January 21st, back to basics

Here we are on the evening of January 20th. There is a certain euphoria amongst all Republicans, myself included. Our guy, George W. Bush, has taken his second oath of office. Hope fills our horizon. But I'm going to be the party pooper who begins the hangover. Tomorrow we revert to politics as usual. In fact, expect it to be worse than usual. Democrats know that if four years from now there are whispers about this being a great presidency, then they are almost doomed in '08. They are going to be doing everything in their power to bring down this President. They are undoubtedly going to try to slap some sort of scandal onto his Presidency. Quick, name the last two term President who didn't have a major scandal tossed at him in his second term. If you said Dwight Eisenhower, you would be correct. There has been a lot of speculation as to why second terms never seem to pan out the way they were intended, and one of the least played reasons is that the political opposition sees it as essential to destroy a second term President. If that President gives them a reason, they'll do it, too. I'd actually say that this may be a weakness of Presidential term limits. A second term President is like a game of whack-a-mole. The opposition can pound away without having to fear facing this person in an election again. The great Presidents can rise above the politics and leave a long term, positive mark on the United States and the world. The average or bad Presidents are consumed by it. We shall soon see which George W. Bush is. I'm betting on great, but I know that there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and they are going to be doing everything in their power to ensure it.

Innauguration Day and a cheesy congratulations

Today President Bush will be sworn in for his second term, and I was trying to think of a snappy way of congratulating him on his victory. I considered highlighting some of his most notable quotes from the first term, but anyone can do that. Instead, I want to highlight one of his lesser known quotes, spoken in Appleton early in 2004:
I read this and I wasn’t quite sure — it says that Wisconsin cheese is being sold in France. (Laughter.) That’s a good cheese.
No, Mr. President, you're "a good cheese". Congratulations, and may you help America achieve historic gains in your next 4 years.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Great Logo

I love this. A friend of Patrick from My View of the World came up with this as a logo for the Badger Blog Alliance. I'm now going to screw up my entire template by trying to work it into my sidebar.

Dirty bomb threat in Boston?

In a story that bares watching, officials are investigating a possible radiological bomb threat against Boston. This is an odd story which for now should be taken with a grain of salt by the general public, bit it is also a oddly fascinating story of a Mexican tipster, smuggled Chinese and Iraqis, and potentially serious terror threat.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A distinction between fraudulent and incompetent

With the Wisconsin blogosphere covering the Milwaukee same day voter registration problem very well, there is one important distinction I'd like to make between fraudulence and incompetence. The Milwaukee Election Commission-incompetent. It is inexcusable to send voter verification cards out two months after the election. Some (I stress some) same day registrants-fraudulent. And I direct you here for an example of that potential fraudulence.

(Cross posted at Badger Blog Alliance)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Muslims are, occasionally, terrorists? What?!

You had to see this one coming. Since 9-11, it has been very un-PC to even say Muslim and terrorist in the same sentence, even though Muslim terrorists are the highest profile terrorists in the world today. If you couldn't say the two words together, you certainly couldn't tell a fictionalized story where Muslims are terrorists. Hollywood has gone out of its way to avoid portraying Muslims as terrorists, instead portraying terrorists primarily as white Eastern Europeans, Germans, Irish, or Americans. 24, Fox's premier anti-terrorism series finally ran out of bad guys, and fictionally portrayed Muslim terrorists this year. That warm and cuddly group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) immediately got up in arms (no pun intended). To help assuage CAIR's concerns, Fox is making available to its affiliates PSA's which portray Muslims in a very positive light.

Here's a recommendation for CAIR: Work a little more on the "Islamic" side of things. Worrying about a fictional story accomplishes much less in the long run than ending the barbarism being perpetrated by immoral representatives of the Islamic faith who practice terrorism. Are terrorists a small minority of all Muslims? Yes. They are also just as dangerous to Muslims as they are to white, black, and brown Americans. Clean up your backyard, CAIR.

Time to 'move on' in Wisconsin?

Normally my stance on the comments section of this blog is "what happens in the comments stays in the comments." I'm going to make an exception today because RPM, a blogger who I frequently disagree with, but whose opinion I respect, made a comment which I think is fair but deserving of a response. In response to the post "Possible Massive Voter Fraud in Milwaukee", RPM had the following to say:
Aw come on, Jib. Get on with life now. Your guy won. No questions asked. Give up the whining already. I know you wanted W to win Wisconsin just as much as I wanted Kerry to win Ohio.

But none of that happened. So enough already.

Let's start thinking of what needs to be done by the President to make him 'legendary'. Not about the voting.

If anyone, it is Kerry and his supporters who should be whining about voter fraud and stuff. Not you and yours.
I can see how this can seem like a case of sore winnerism. Our guy won the election, and here we are complaining about the fact that we think he should have won in Wisconsin, too. That's really not what is going on here, though. There is probably nothing that can be done to change the results in Wisconsin at this point, no matter how loud the Wisconsin blogosphere is about this. I think most of us realize this. There are two things that are at play, though. First, a lot of us are concerned about the dramatic slide that is occurring in the legitimacy of Wisconsin elections. This started quietly in 2000 when a Democratic election worker was caught trying to buy the votes of Milwaukee area homeless people with cigarettes. There is also a great deal of concern about Wisconsin's very lenient voter registration laws. These laws, which make it excessively easy to register to vote in Wisconsin, also make it excessively easy to commit voter fraud. It would be nothing for someone from Illinois who has a summer home in Wisconsin (and there are a lot of these individuals) to register in the area of their summer home and vote in Wisconsin as well as Illinois. The laws also make it easy for anyone to show up the day of the election, register to vote at an address of a vacant lot or a business, and get away with it. On this count, I was sounding the warning bells before the election. Additionally, we watched as Milwaukee (heavily Democratic) allowed over 5,000 very questionable voter registrations to stand prior to the election. We watched as Milwaukee insisted that it needed over twice as many ballots as it had eligible voters. We've seen Milwaukee's disregard for justice when vans rented by Republicans to take voters to the polls were rendered inoperable with slashed tires, and no one was brought up on charges. Now we watch on as Milwaukee shows an utter disregard for its responsibilities, and does not verify its same day voter registrations, allowing the votes to stand long enough for the election to be certified, even though the ineligible votes could have been of a large enough quantity to swing the election. We cannot change any of this that is in the past, but we are beginning to feel besieged by what we feel is a corrupt Democratic establishment in this state. By trumpeting this story and applying pressure to the principles, we can help halt this slide towards corrupt elections that we've been watching. If we are quiet on this story, the Wisconsin media will not pick up on this story, and Wisconsinites will go to the polls in 2006 and 2008 ignorant of these issues, and nothing will be done to shore up our ailing electoral process.

A secondary issue that plays into this is a sense equality, of fairness. There is legitimate doubt about what is going on here in Wisconsin, primarily in Milwaukee and, to a lesser extent, Madison. Despite this legitimate doubt, nobody outside of Wisconsin is paying any attention to it. Instead, the story is a Democratically spun fairy tale out of Ohio, which is less than legitimate. We don't want the spotlight per se, but we do think that if the story was a legitimate one for the media to drone about, then they should be paying a lot more attention to what is going on here in Wisconsin than what happened in Ohio. But they're not, they are ignoring it. The results of the election in Ohio were never in doubt, despite efforts on the part of the left to find a Democratic vote under every rock. This story coming out of Milwaukee means that foul play may have very well turned the election results. Whether "our guy" ultimately won or not, it leaves a sick feeling in your stomach when you realize that foul play may have changed the results in your state. Even if you are one to believe that there was no foul play at all, you still have to be disgusted at the outright incompetence.

But given all that, RPM, if you would like to see me talk about what needs to be done to enshrine Bush in the legions of Great Presidents, I'll be happy to go to work on that, too :-).

Kerry Criticizes voting irregularities

John Kerry today criticized voting irregularities during a speech in Massachusetts. A key quote:
"In a nation which is willing to spend several hundred million dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that too many people here in America were denied that democracy," Kerry said.
Kerry must then support the thousands of voters created from scratch or raised from the dead to enjoy American democracy in Wisconsin and Washington, because he made no mention of those irregularities.

Rosemary Kennedy passes away in Wisconsin

When you leave town for 8 days, it's tough to keep up on the local news. On January 8, Rosemary Kennedy, eldest sister of John, Robert, and Teddy, passed away at a Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin hospital.

The story of Rosemary Kennedy is a rather sad one. It can be tempting to serve the story up as a condemnation of the Kennedys, but it is really a story of how the mentally disabled were treated poorly and hidden from society right up to the 1980's. Read the link above to learn a little bit about Rosemary Kennedy's life.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

No Stolen Elections?!

On January 5th, an organization called No Stolen Elections! presented the office of Russ Feingold with an 800 letter petition, asking Feingold to fight against voter fraud, most notably in Ohio. Now No Stolen Elections! does not pretend to be a bipartisan organization. In this article on Znet, founders Steve Cobble and Charles Shaw open by saying the following:
Let's start with the conclusion: We encourage people to work for regime change at home all day on November 2nd, Election Day, and then prepare to return to the streets on November 3rd (and perhaps beyond), at predetermined, symbolic, convenient locally-chosen sites.

So it is safe to say that Cobble and Shaw are not exactly Bush supporters. In fact, given that they went to the "People's Legislature" in Madison to collect signatures, it's hard to take them seriously at all. Just the same, in their ZNet article, Cobble and Shaw claim they were inspired to prevent another stolen election aka Florida 2000, stating:
A right-wing cabal stole an election, partly in the dark of night, partly in broad daylight.

If they were legitimately upset by Florida in 2000, then they should be down right outraged by Wisconsin in 2004, where in the dark of night, Republican rental vehicles were vandalized, and in broad daylight, large numbers of unverified votes were counted in Milwaukee County. Of course, they won't be, but one of their stated goals was that "We must also prepare to defend the vote." Here's their chance to "defend the vote". In fact, give them a little encouragement. Go to their feedback page and ask them to petition Sen. Feingold to open investigations on Capital Hill into voting irregularities and foul play in Wisconsin. After all, if their purpose is completely upright and honest, they should be even more outraged at election fraud here in Wisconsin as perpetrated by Democrats than they were by the "irregularities" in Ohio or in Florida.

And by the way, if you do not recognize Cobble and Shaw, I'll give you brief bios. Cobble has dabbled in writing, doing several pieces for The Nation, as well as working as a political director for the Rainbow Coalition and as an advisor for the Kucinich campaign. Shaw, on the other hand, is the Editor of Newtopia Magazine, which is self described as "A Journal of the New Counterculture." Well, now would be a nice time to see if the "new counterculture" holds consistent values or, if they are just like the mainstream culture they disdain, holding values of convenience.

Disclaimer: It is only with more than a little bit of indigestion that I give this organization any free publicity. I have no doubt that they will find nothing wrong with what has happened here in Wisconsin. I decided it was worth giving them the coverage only because they should be challenged to live up to their own publicly proclaimed desire to "defend the vote".

(Cross-posted at Badger Blog Alliance)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Possible Massive Voter Fraud in Milwaukee

It is becoming apparent that the election was not as clean in Wisconsin as we had all first thought. The vandalism of vans the Republicans had rented to take voters to the polls not withstanding, it now seems that there was huge problems with same day registration votes in Milwaukee County. For more detail, see the coverage at My View of the World and Boots & Sabers. In a nut shell, the election board must send out address verification cards immediately after the election to people who registered at the polls. Instead, they waited 2 months. On top of that, 75,000 people registered at the polls. Almost 10,000 of those had illegible cards which could not be verified. That does not include any of the cards which will be coming back from non existant addresses. Bush has won this election, but it now appears possible that Wisconsin really was a red state in 2004. He had a lead in some polls going into the election, and he lost by a little over 11,000 votes. The fraudluent vote count in Milwaukee could conceivably have more than made up that gap.

Journal Sentinel coverage of the story is here.

The election in Wisconsin was decided by a little over 11,000 votes, not 18,000 as previously stated.

(Cross posted at Badger Blog Alliance)

When Daunte needs a sta-p-ler, He's the rubber band, man!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Dirty Harry

Wow, I always knew there was a reason I liked Clint Eastwood:
Then, the Republican-leaning actor/director advised the lefty filmmaker: "But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you."

From the context, his tounge was firmly in cheek, but still, who dares cross Dirty Harry?

Free wifi at the OC airport. Woo hoo!

Should be an interesting day

It'll be interesting to see how much traffic hits the Badger Blog Alliance through The American Mind's links today, and also via Darn Floor's mention on the Charlie Syke's show. As for me, I've got to fly. Literally. I'm hoping their is Wifi at John Wayne Int'l airport, but if not, I look forward to a) getting back home, and b) reading the blogs of Sykes' panel to see their thoughts on their experience today.

Charlie Sykes and the Wisconsin bloggers

It was a great hour for the Wisconsin bloggers invited to talk with Charlie on his show on 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee. Big congrats to Darn Floor and Dummocrats for their on air "link". For live blogging notes on the show, check out Badger Blog Alliance. There are some great Wisconsin blogs, and I'm sure they'll be receiving more and more notice in the months to come.

Keep checking out Sykes Writes to see if Charlie ends up linking to additional Wisconsin bloggers.

Sykes on Wisconsin Bloggers

Again, head on over to Badger Blog Alliance for notes on Charlie Sykes' hour on blogging (AM 620 WTMJ).

Badger Blog Alliance live blogging Sykes' show

Badger Blog Alliance is going to be live blogging Charlie Sykes' segment on Wisconsin bloggers. Head on over there to see the live blogging, or go to the link below to listen to the webcast.

Black Sheep

Okay, I know others have made this comment, but I can't resist doing so myself. It is bizarre how much the 2004 Washington Gubernatorial election came to resemble the David Spade/Chris Farley movie Black Sheep, what with dead people voting and all.

Pain of Packer loss muted

I stumbled across this story while looking for news on the weather back home. I don't have the words to do it justice, so just read it for yourself. I can't feel as bad as I did about Sunday's Packer loss given Christopher's story.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sykes to host segment on Wisconsin bloggers

Charlie Sykes is going to be hosting a segment on Wisconsin bloggers Thursday at 10 am central time. The following is a repost from the Badger Blog Alliance:
Congrats to Blog General. He, along with the Owen at Boots & Sabers, Patrick at My View of the World, Kevin at Lakeshore Laments, Badger Pundit, and The American Mind. Give a good show everyone.

It sounds like the segment will begin at 10 am central. For a webcast, go here.

You have no idea how jealous I am right now.

Kid Rock to perform at Bush twins' Inaugural Party?

I'll be the first to admit that I've been too busy indulging myself in a nasty case of homesickness to be as up on the news as I normally am. This story about the possibility that the Bush twins invited Kid Rock to play at their inauguration party has has hit me from multiple sources, though, and I think any controversy around it is silly. I realize that I may be a touch more socially liberal than the median conservative, but not that much. It is not like Kid Rock was invited to play at the President's official Inaugural Ball; he was (supposedly) invited to play at the party being thrown by the President's 22 year old daughters. It is non-controversies like this that make many Americans feel that conservatives are stodgy, dull, and repressive. I have to disagree with the likes of Kathryn Jean Lopez.

Yes, I know all about Kid Rock's lyrics. Yes, I'm also quite familiar with the lyrics that refer to Barbara Bush (actually, quite a visual if you ask me, and I love 'Bar'). And I do understand how a portion of Bush's base could be offended by Kid Rock's lyrics. Sometimes, on some things, you just have to chalk it up to kids (Jenna & Barbara) being kid (fans).

California Dreaming, on such a winter's day

Okay, everyone's sick of me whining about California. I'm going to wrap up my California weather report with a few general thoughts.
  1. I walked out of my hotel room this morning to sunny skies. I was stunned to learn that I was looking at a snow covered mountain that wasn't all that far away. The skies had been so low that I didn't even know it was there until the skies cleared.
  2. This storm was weird. I showed up in Southern California as it did. The first stage had native Californians telling me to be careful on the roads because people slide around a lot in the rain. I was a bit stunned by this as it rains much harder than this during the Wisconsin summer, and handling a vehicle in those rains is not overly difficult.
  3. What made this unique was that it just kept raining steadily. If it weren't for the fact that this continued for 4 or 5 straight days, the rain would not have been a problem at all.
  4. Much of Southern California is little more than the rain gutter of the Southern Californian mountains. This is a very beautiful corner of the world, and I understand why so many people flock here, but when you choose to live in an area whose beauty is the result of its dangers, do you really deserve to complain when the worst happens? I'm willing to admit that Wisconsin, although beautiful, does not have the gorgeous vistas of Southern California. Outside of the occasional tornado, blizzard, or flood, Wisconsin is quite safe, though, and that's a trade out I'm willing to make.

Keith Olberman was great...

...back in his glory days on ESPN Sports Center. Now he's just a smug jag with a low rated show. Clearly, California is getting to me, because I was sitting in my hotel room tonight watching Olberman's show. In the rare instances that I watch Olberman, I anticipate that I will think he's an idiot, so he doesn't get me very riled. Tonight was different. Olberman was talking with someone from Time magazine about the Armstrong Williams issue when he began to ruminate on whether Williams was the only person on the payroll. It was then that Olberman wondered aloud how some of the better put together websites were able to stay afloat. Olberman's remark was anything but off hand. He was clearly taking a cowardly swipe at blogs, attempting to muck up a little mud from the Williams affair and then fling it at bloggers. I can agree that what Williams did was unethical, and that he deserves the fall out that has resulted, but to make an unfounded claim like Olberman did was just plain unprofessional.

I can almost feel sorry for Olberman. Here's a guy who thinks himself to be quite the Einstein. He's also a guy who was cutting edge and cool once upon a time-when he was teamed up with Dan Patrick on ESPN. Now here he is. The blogs are nipping at his heals. The blogs are cutting edge and cool, and he has a flailing talk show. I can understand where Olberman's bitterness comes from (especially if you add in the Kerry loss). That doesn't excuse him, though. I suspect that if I made an assertion that Olberman was on, say, Barbara Boxer's payroll, I could be open to a libel suit. Fortunately, Olberman's daily audience is about as big as Jiblog's, so that really shouldn't be an issue.

Monday, January 10, 2005

And speaking of dirty weather

When I get back to my beloved Wisconsin, it is forecast to be six degrees below zero. Lovely.

P.S. I love you

As a post script to my previous post about this nightmare of a trip, I miss the lovely Mrs. Jib painfully bad.

California Nightmare

Sorry for the lack of posting, but this has been the trip from hell for me. My flight in got all horked up, and I arrived very late and at the wrong airport. They initially lost my bag (quite the accomplishment given it was originally a direct flight). I was therefore shot on my first full day of the trip. Day 2 went reasonably well until I lost my cell phone. On Sunday I was not only frazzled because the lack of a phone was going to be problematic this week, but I start to feel under the weather. At the end of Sunday, I got good news, though. My cell phone was found. Now I'm getting meeting cancellations. Plus I'm sick. On top of that, it has been constantly raining out here. Unbelievable.

I am counting my blessings, though. I've seen video of a horrific landslide that has killed at least two. People's homes are being swept away. Their cars are being swept away. I still have my health, and my home is back in home sweet home Wisconsin.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I want the Daily Show canceled

From Atlhouse (I'm too tired to find the original link):

"I didn't know that if you wanted a show cancelled, all you had to do was say it out loud."

So said Jon Stewart, on last night's "Daily Show," about the cancellation of CNN's "Crossfire."

Really? If so, I want the Daily Show canceled. Or am I just not elite enough to effect that change?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Soggy Southern California

This is the California weather I hear people rave about it? It stinks! The weather for the next 4 or 5 days is comparable to Wisconsin in April, but worse. My weather jinx lives on.

I will be posting during my California trip, but I'll be posting when I can, so expect seeing posts pop up at the oddest of times.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ugh, O'Hare

I have thus far avoided flying out of O'Hare. Until this trip, that is. So knowing that my trips and and bad weather go hand in hand, Chicago got a mere 9 inches of snow last night, and O'Hare has gone heywire. Over a thousand flights have been cancelled. I somehow think my 4:40 is going to become a 9:40. Drat!

Away in manger, Jesus was...homeless?

From The Federalist Patriot 05-01 Chronicle:
"In the last [Bush] budget, we cut housing again, and that was Jesus' dilemma. In Bethlehem, his family ended up homeless. Rome was a wealthy country that left Jesus and Mary and Joseph, in a sense, homeless. He was born an at-risk baby. ... Today we are celebrating the wealthy and war, not the poor and peace." --"Reverend" Je$$e Jack$on

Ummm, Jesus was homeless? Wasn't it more a case of Mary and Joseph failing to call ahead for hotel reservations? Jesus was an at-risk baby, because a power greedy ruler was threatened by him and wanted him dead, but not because Rome cut housing. I mean really, how can the son of a carpenter during the period of Roman rule ever really be homeless.

The Reverand Jesse Jackson, buffoon.

California Dreamin'

I'm off to California later today. I'm going to piss off every libshit in site, and then maybe sip Cristal with Moxie. Okay, maybe I'll do the former. I plan to bring cigars and smoke them in public places, wearing an 'I love Jesus, but I voted for George W. Bush' t-shirt, flaunting my masculinity while taunting every feminazi in sight that their place is in the kitchen. Okay, again, maybe I'll do the most former item on that list.

Aw hell, who am I kidding. I'm going to spend my evenings dodging mudslides. Whenever I travel, I get button hooked by the weather (for the meaning of 'button hooked', please listen to "The Goat" by Adam Sandler). This week-plus looks to be no different than usual.


Good news! According to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, everyone in America will share in my weather misery next week as a "once-in-a-generation" storm sweeps across the country. Sorry, but misery loves company.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Isn't it ironic?

I'm going to pass on the opportunity to be a conspiracy theorist, but it is a bit ironic that Planned Parenthood, big time pro-choice organization, gives out condoms which were shown to be among the least reliable in a recent test. It is probably because the condoms are cheap and less well constructed, but still.

Environmentalists to put humanity on endangered species list

Several environmental groups today filed a federal lawsuit against big power companies today, stating evidence that shows that all electricity generation is harmful to the environment. In other news, in the event that they win their lawsuit, the environmental groups are planning a lawsuit against all people in order to prevent them from defecating, urinating, getting sick, or dying. The environmental groups plan to present evidence that this human biological waste is devastating to the environment, especially when there is no electricity to aid in safe waste treatment. They plan on asking the courts to ban the practice of human life immediately. Then they plan to petition the Federal Government to put mankind on the endangered species list.

Okay, none of the above is true, but it illustrates my point. Environmentalists fail to understand one simple fact about our environment: We are part of it. Because of that, we will always have an impact on it, for better or for worse. I am willing to give the environuts kudos for wanting to be good stewards of the environment, but too often they don't factor into their thinking that humans will always have the biggest footprint in our environment because we are the most advanced species on the planet. This short sightedness leads them to chase initiatives that sometimes can be more harmful than the status quo.

This post was inspired by a couple of items in the news recently. The first is this story from the USA Today about the carnage electricity producing wind turbines creates amongst predatory and migratory bird populations. The second is this story out of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where an environmentalist lawsuit has halted work on a new coal generator which is important to meeting Wisconsin's power needs.

The Chicago Tribune gets it

As I've said here on several occasions, the reason the violence level in Iraq has escalated is because the terrorists fear democracy, and a succesful election would be a major defeat for them. Give the people the power, and the support for their insurgency will begin to dry up. It's nice to see that the editors of the Chicago Tribune understand that. In an editorial today, the Trib tells us why they fear Democracy, why we shouldn't be demoralized by the increased violence, and why we should do everything in our power to make sure those elections occur as scheduled, with no delay.

Great articles for new bloggers

For any of you who are new to blogging, Evangelical Outpost has some great articles up that you should read. Your blog can be as little or as much as you want it to be, and they have some great tips.

How To Start A Blog:
Part I -- Before You Begin

How To Start A Blog:
Part II -- The Beginning Bloggers Toolbox

How to Start a Blog:
Part III -- How to Become an A-List Blogger

How to Start a Blog:
Part IV – The Art of Marketing Your Blog


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Al-Jazeera in Saddam's hip pocket

I don't really think this story should surprise anyone. In it we learn that former Al-Jazeera manager Mohammed Jassem al-Ali tells Odai Hussein that Al-Jazeera is his channel. While not surprising, it is disturbing. The media here in the states have allowed Al-Jazeera's reporting set the tone on many issues involving the war in Iraq, and also the larger Middle East, and here we have evidence that the managers of the network are not above cozying up with some of the most disgusting regimes in the region. Anything that comes to us from the U.S. Media via Al-Jazeera should be viewed with critical questioning and extreme skepticism. Unfortunately, is we the news consumers who have critical skeptics, because many of our media outlets have abdicated that role.

Feingold '08?

During the '04 campaign, I spoke many times on Russ Feingold. I personally like and respect the guy, even though I disagree with his politics. In the most recent election, I voted for Tim Michels, but had a RINO been selected as his Republican opponent, I would have likely broken my straight ticket and voted for Feingold (look back to the October archives for the logic on that one). Going back to '01, I thought Feingold might be in the Democratic presidential mix in '04. Today over at Badger Blog Alliance I discuss U.S. News & World Reports' Whisper that he'll be feeling things out for an '08 bid.

Free Iraqi

I've enjoyed the blogging out of Baghdad by the brothers of Iraq the Model since early on in my blogging existence. Recently, while two of the brothers were here in the U.S., the third brother Ali left a cryptic message on the blog. He now tells his story at his own site, Free Iraqi.

Still another Badger Blog Alliance update

Well, what is to my knowledge the first organized Wisconsin blogging community has breathed its first breath. Currently Jiblog, Darn Floor, and Wild Wisconsin are the founding members. For a month I dreaded going to work on the site, but now I'm getting jacked up about it. Still, the site is a little rough around the edges, but we're headed in the right direction.

Keep checking in on the site, and if you are a Wisconsin Blog that would like to participate, let me know.


There is a certain mystery to Ann Althouse, namely, where does she fall on the political spectrum? In my meanderings, I see that some people place her to the left. Other places place her to the right, although she herself seemed a little surprised that she was up for Conservative Blog of the years. It's amusing that you can read her blog for a long period of time, enjoy her work over there, and still wonder what category to put her in.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Another Badger Blog Alliance update

I played around a little over at the Badger Blog Alliance site tonight. It isn't pretty, but a blogroll and a Sitemeter have been added. Anyone who'd like to be added to the blogroll should let me know. Also, if you know any other Wisconsin bloggers, let them know what's going on. And if you are tight with any of Wisconsin's big bloggers, work 'em for us!

Beleaguered Tom DeLay does the stand up thing

Tom DeLay, the favorite whipping boy of Democrats since Trent Lott, did a stand up thing today. He convinced his fellow Republicans to reverse their decision to soften an ethics rule which requires leaders who are indicted on felonies to step aside, despite the fact that he could potentially lose his leadership position if indicted on fundraising charges. Ethically speaking, this maneuver showed DeLay actually is ethical. Politically, it was very astute, as it takes a couple of bullets out of the rhetorical guns his opponents constantly have aimed at him.

Note on Wisconsin Bloggers Alliance

Okay, via Darn Floor I came upon this column on blogs and Wisconsin Blogs at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. As I come upon more and more quality Wisconsin Blogs, I think that some of this state's blogs are ready to make names for themselves. Whether this little Alliance can play any part in that is yet to be seen, but I am doing my homework, trust me. I'm thinking small to start. Probably a blogroll of Wisconsin Blogs, daily links to posts of note at the sites, and perhaps open posting to all members. I don't think I'm going to get a lot done on that front until after I get back from California, though.

Back after a short absence

Thank you to everyone for your nice comments in the Happy New Year post. Mrs. Jib and I had a nice, subdued evening. We're getting too old for the drunken, wild New Year's celebrations, anyway. We tend to just get pissed off at the amateurs around us.

I'm excited about a new year of blogging. All in all, I'm pleased with Jiblog's first 6 months, however, like Drew, I have an obsession with my hit count and my links, especially after having the rush that comes with a Hughicane (my trademarked name for Hugh Hewitt's version of an Instalanche) right before the election. I'm looking forward to an even better 2005, and I hope all of you who are regulars are still regulars here 365 days from now.

Jiblog will be going on the road at the end of this week as I head to not so sunny Southern California for an 8 day business trip. I suspect I'll be listening to a lot of AM radio as I sit in gridlock, so hopefully the evenings will be bountiful in new posts. I just hope that airport security doesn't fondle my chest during a frisk. After all, what could be more terrible than that?