Thursday, March 31, 2005

Berger pleading guilty

Stealing classified documents is only a misdemeanor? Hell, no wonder Sandy Berger couldn't keep his hands out of his pants.

Ice Rocket

There is a new (at least new to me) search engine out there call Ice Rocket. I hadn't heard of it until Sandi from Vista on Current Events mentioned it in the comments section earlier this week. I meant to try it out right away, but work intervened. Well, this afternoon I received an email from Blake Rhodes at Ice Rocket, letting me know that this site is represented in Ice Rocket's blog search. It was a personal email, not a form email, so I made it a priority to check it. At first blush, I like it, particularly the blog search function. I haven't had time to dig real deep into it, so all I'm going to do right now is pass the word and let all of you come to your own conclusions.

As an aside, on Sunday I commented on the fact that Yahoo seemed to do a better job finding this site than Google. Then I received a small flurry of Google searches, and I joked that the Google servers must be self aware and out to prove me wrong. I'm not jocular about that statement anymore. I'm pretty much positive the Google machines have become self aware. This week has seen a healthy increase in the number of people coming here via Google.

Terri Schiavo, 1963-2005

Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies
A child, the darling of her parents' eyes:
A gentler Lamb ne'er sported on the plain,
A fairer flower will never bloom again:
Few were the days allotted to her breath;
Now let her sleep in peace her night of death.

by Thomas Gray (1716-1771) (with slight edit)

May God bring solace to the Schindler family, and also be with the Schiavos and the Greers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A couple of tardy thank yous

I've been on the road for almost the entire day, so this will be a short post. I'll be back to posting tomorrow, though.

I have a couple of thank yous to give out. The first is to Owen at Boots & Sabers. I have a lot of respect for what you're doing over at Boots & Sabers, especially your tendency to break news. I'm rather honored that you make Jiblog a regular read, and thanks for the mention and the addition to the blogroll.

The second is to SI's Josh Elliott. A few weeks ago, I wrote this post in which I disagreed with Elliott's analysis of the Packers' near term future. Today he left a comment on the post which left me taken aback by his graciousness. Josh, thanks for stopping by and reading the post, and I think that your graciousness just made me a new fan of yours, even if I disagree with your Packer analysis. :-)

Terri Schiavo

She is still alive after 13 days without food or water. This is one strong and resilient woman. One might even say she has a pretty strong will to live.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lovers leaving their initials

In his Tuesday Quick Hits, Kevin at Lakeshore Laments points out a story from the OpinionJournal Political Diary. It seems Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis left their initials in a slab of concrete at a home that they shared 50 years ago. The real estate consultant who found it donated it to the Reagan Presidential library.

That story brought back a memory for me. In my hometown there is a large park. Deep in that park is an old bridge that locals call the Rumbly Bidge. It has been closed to traffic for as long as I can remember, but for years young couples have been carving their initials into the paint on the railings. There are thousands of initials on this bridge. When I was in college, I had what I thought was a great idea: To photograph these initials, track down down the people who carved them, and convey their stories in a book. Alas, I never followed through (lack of time, funds, etc.), but my and Mrs. Jib's initials are on that bridge. I even proposed to her in front of them.

Now, if I can just defy the odds and became President...

There ain't no pleasin' me

Some of you will remember how much I whined about the weather when I was in California for the mudslide season. Well, I'm going to wine about the tranquil weather here in Minnesota now.

Ya see, somewhere around my 16th birthday, I became a bit of junky for severe weather. I'm not total weather geek about it, but I do get out my cameras and try to get in a good spot to view it. I've had lightening strike the road near my car while I was driving. I once was waiting to pick up the lovely Mrs. Jib from work, lightning striking trees all around, when I noticed a wall cloud with rotation uncomfortably nearby (another sign I'm not a weather geek-I got scared and ran inside her place of employment for cover). In other words, I'm a damn idiot.

How does that relate to the tranquil weather here in Minnesota? Well, I head back to Wisconsin tomorrow. I probably won't get home until well after midnight. What are they forecasting for Southern Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon, before I get back? Thunderstorms, possibly severe.

I'm a weather flip flopper.

I'm a great big sucker

This morning I was early for an appointment, so I parked in a Target parking lot near my appointment and read the paper while I waited. About five minutes before I had to get going, there was a knock on my window. I rolled it down to a nervous woman in her late 20's-early 30's. She told me that she had driven her husband to work and left her wallet at home, and her truck was on empty. She asked if I could help her with gas money (there was a gas station across the street), and if I could, she'd mail me the money back. So I did, and I gave her my business card. After that, she thanked me, saying that she was originally from Canada, and amazed at how nice Americans really were.

I told the lovely Mrs. Jib. If she could have slapped my head over the phone, she would have.

Time will tell. I'll let you know next week whether I was a nice guy who helped out another person in a jam, or if I'm just a dup. I'm leaning toward dup.

In a similar vein, I'm a sucker for a left of center site that blogrolls this well to the right of center web site. Tonight, I'm a sucker for The Vast Dairy State Conspiracy. It is now on my blogroll.

Bravo Jesse Jackson

This is the first time this headline has ever appeared at Jiblog. I'm willing to set aside the past and just say that Jesse, you are on the right side of this issue.

Naked man killed in Kenosha after endangering child

HT The American Mind. This story is messed up and disturbing. Unlike Shawn, I fully support the use of deadly force. The guy put a knife to one of the childrens' necks tried to break another's neck. Would it have been best if the stun gun had been used? Probably, but these things happen so quickly that it is difficult to fault an officer in that position. Deadly force is justified in this scenario.

Very quick hits

-I saw 5 continuous minutes of American Idol tonight (a first, btw). Carrie Underwood sang Martina McBride's "Independence Day," and she nailed it. I'm now a Carrie Underwood fan.
-From the "too much time behind the wheel" department: Why do we hear about cancers of all parts of the body, except the heart? Nobody ever dies from a case of heart cancer.

Hannity & Colmes

Heh. They had on a couple of Michael Schiavo supporters tonight. One wore a communist revolution t-shirt. They were a couple of marks for Hannity, no doubt about it. And I like Hannity.

RIP Johnny Cochrane

"If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." Say what you will about the man, he did his job. Johnny Cochrane, RIP.

JIblog travel update

Sorry for not posting yesterday. After a 6 hour drive and a late afternoon meeting, I was pretty whipped. The weather is great here in Minneapolis, but I'll be driving into rain later today as I head west into a storm system, so consider my jinx partially broken.

I am about to head out to start a full day of appointments, but I'll be staying in a pretty small town tonight. If I'm not exhausted, I hope to be posting this evening. Until then, check out the blogs in the side bar. A lot of them had some great stuff over the past 24 hours.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Mr. Peanut

I just saw a Mr. Peanut commercial. I've been noticing for a few years that Mr. Peanut is getting a little bit more flamboyant. I'm patiently awaiting the day that Planters allows this FDR wannabe to finally come out of the closet. Rumor is that he's been carrying on a torrid affair with Mr. Potato Head, who is currently pre-op.

Oh yeah, and you don't need to shed a tear for Mrs. Potato Head. She left Mr. Potato Head a few years ago for Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales.

(Good night all. I know, I'm getting goofy-weird with this post. Blame it on the silliness that sometimes accompanies sleepiness. Ugh, and I can only imagine the search hits I'm going to get now.)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Jiblog on the road

I'll be blogging from the road this week. The first stop will be Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. After a brief pit stop at home, it will then be on to the Big Apple. There will be new posts this week, but they may be of a more sporadic nature.

And by the way, the weather looks good so far. Hopefully that bad weather jinx of mine will be broken and all of you won't have to dread me coming to your town in the future.

Give Michael Schiavo this...

...after much stubborness, he finally allowed Terri to be given communion.

Great Season, Bucky

It was a heck of a year and a heck of game. Thanks for a great season, Bucky.

Google and blogs, politics

This'll be a two part post, so bear with me.

First, Captain's Quarters comments on the drop that his large blog has seen in search results on Google. My impression of Google is that it is not nearly as blog friendly as Yahoo is. I speak from a limited point of view, namely my own site stats, but Yahoo searches find Jiblog much, much more often than Google-unless the search is a dirty search. Then Google finds Jiblog, even though the words in the search term aren't found together on this site. I find this trend a little strange given that Google owns Blogger. Logic would say that Yahoo shouldn't be as blog friendly, and Google should be very blog friendly.

Second, there has been some talk around the blogosphere about Google's corporate politics showing through. This has generally revolved around who Google does and does not allow as a source in Google News, but it also shows itself in the fact that Google has chosen not to recognize Easter today with one of their stylized logos at the top of their search page, but they did choose to recognize World Water Day earlier this week. Google has every right to recognize whatever special day they choose, but I have one word of advice for them. As a business, they have a mass market. When you have a mass market, don't wear your corporate politics on your sleave. Only companies with niche markets can get away with that without losing customers. I'm sure Google feels invincible right now, but I've already started to turn away from Google a bit and back to Yahoo. It is possible that many others are as well.

Well there have been a couple of interesting developments on point one. First, Captain's Quarters had been yanked from Google's listings because a sponsor of his site was link farming (See here for more if you host ads). As for Jiblog, there have been a flurry of Google search hits since I originally posted this. Which leads me to only one possible conclusion-Google's machines are self aware and out to make me look like a fool. :-).

Bird flu in North Korea

This is scary. The way North Korea doles out internal information, there could be 20,000 dead of the bird flu and we wouldn't know it until the flu was a pandemic.

Demonizing the Iraqi police/national guard the next media fad?

I saw this little story in the New York Times about Iraqi police opening fire on protestors, and I had a flashback to when every error by US troops, and even some non-errors, led to the media demonizing the troops. This story is more or less a dispatch of all that is going on in Iraq right now; The Times leads with the shooting and headlines the story with "Iraqi Guards Fire on a Groop of Protesting Workers," even though that is only two paragraphs of the entire story. Additionally, they offer no facts on the circumstances of the shooting. Given that these workers had come "to collect their wages and ammunition," it is entirely possible that they opened fire at the Iraqi Guards first. A headline scanner would never know that. All they are left with is the perception that Iraqi guards did something bad, and we don't really know that, given the few details in the story.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone. I hope you are all enjoying your Easter. As for me, I'm enjoying my day in a somewhat unconventional way. Since traveling to visit family was not in our cards this year, I am sitting outside on my deck, watching the Badger game, having a beverage, and doing a little blogging. And maybe getting a little tan.

Wisconsin is tied with NC! And I'm smoking a cigar. Probably prematurely.

Time to sell real estate?

Probably not for the majority of the country. But as a general rule, when investing you want to buy low and sell high. Simple concept, right? Ah, but how do you know the difference between what is high, and what is low? Well, if you own investment property in red hot regions of the US like California, Florida, the Northeast, etc, read this article. I think it may be time to get the hell out, because you may be at that high point. There are too many investors holding properties (and a lot of debt) that they're going to want to turn in the next five years in these regions. Tag team that with slowly rising interest rates that may cap demand, and there is a strong likelihood that sellers will out number buyers in a few years.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Remember the families of 9/11 victims in your prayers this Easter

We are 3 1/2 years removed from 9/11, and for many of us the pain of that day has numbed significantly. For those who lost a loved one, Easter can bring back a flood of memories and a fresh feeling of loss. I know that the family and friends of Kewaskum's Andrea Haberman are thinking of her this Easter, because this website has seen a number of visits from searches on her name. As you enjoy time with your loved ones tomorrow, say a little prayer for Andrea's loved ones, and for all of the victims' families.

A very basic primer on Underhiem-Burmaster

There is an AP story by JR Ross (shout out to a former softball teammate) in several Wisconsin papers today that is a very basic primer on the State Superintendit race between Gregg Underheim and Elizabeth Burmaster. Read it. Then go to Underheim's site, which is linked to in the sidebar. Make an informed decision, and vote April 5th.

A peak at Ojibwe (Chippewa) burial tradition

The La Crosse Tribune has a small article today on the traditional Ojibwe burial that several of the Red Lake shooting victims will receive. It is an interesting read, if only to learn about a tradition that is not common in modern America.


In what is becoming a Friday night tradition, I'm cracking open a brand new DVD and falling asleep on the couch so I can wake to the lovely Mrs. Jib coming home from work in the morning. Tonight's movie is *61, which is one of my favorite baseball movies. There is a little extra excitement for me in watching *61 tonight because next Friday I'll be flying into New York for a weekend business trip. On my way to my destination, I'll be driving past Yankee Stadium. I have no love for the Yankees, but it is tough to not get excited if you get to see one of the most history laden stadiums in baseball history.

As for *61, I've always been a heavy Maris sympathizer, going back to my pre-teen, baseball card collecting years. The movie is a wee bit more painful to watch now given the emotional role Mark McGwire plays in it. Especially considering that I was a McGwire fan, too.

There is some talk going around about whether McGwire and Bonds deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement. I believe the latest polls had people in favor of it for Bonds, and not in favor of it for McGwire. Right now, I support enshrinement for both, although I reserve the right to change my mind. Both were Hall of Fame caliber players without the steroids; McGwire hit 49 homers as a skinny little rookie, and Bonds was an elite player as a skinny little outfielder. In fact, I'd be willing to say that McGwire's career numbers were stunted due to steroid related injuries, and that he cut his career short because he saw the steroid writing on the wall and wanted to avoid the spotlight of a chase of Hank Aaron. After this week's news from Bonds, we may see him hang it up before he gets to 755 in order to avoid the glare as well.

Their numbers will forever be tainted, and I think that is punishment enough given that steroids were technically legal in baseball. This entire controversy is baseball's fault (players and owners) for not having the backbone to outlaw the damn things and test for them. Baseball has to live with the tarnish. And that includes having these guys in their Hall of Fame.

"Large Aircraft Down"

Don't get excited or worried, this is *not* about a current plane crash. Instead, it is the headline of an article about Jim Oliver, who was the editor of the Somerset Daily American in Somerset, PA. Oliver is retired and now lives in Eau Claire. The Leader Telegram looks the Somerset Daily American during a year under his leadership that saw the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11 crash in the local area, and a mine flood trap 9 miners in Somerset county. It is a light but good read.

Congrats UWM and UW

Congratualtions to UW Milwaukee for a fine season that helped put the university on the national map. To the Badgers, congrats on your victory over NC State, and good luck vanquishing that other team from North Carolina.

Bush and Rice announce aid to Krygyzstan

President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice today announced an aid package highlighted by 3 vowels. Bush said that the American people needed reach out a helping hand to the freedom loving Krygyztanis.

"We are seeing freedom bloom across the world this year, and the American people stand by all freedom loving people. This includes those who live in Krug...Krik...Krukzis..."

"Krygyzstan, Mr. President."

"...Yeah, what she said. Anyway, in our initial aid package, we are sending an a, an i, and an e to Kri-well, what the Secretay of State said."

Opposition groups immediately decried the aid package, saying the message was sponsored by a, e, and i, which are actually subsidiaries of Haliburton. They demanded that Bush send two of the more independent u's and respect the sometime vowel y more.

(Just a little silly satire)

Social Darwinists! Join us on April 2 for a hunt of the least fit!

Your local chapter of the Social Darwinists would like to invite you to an open hunt on the least fit of society on Saturday, April 2!

This is the first edition of what will hopefully be an annual event. The rules are simple. Survival of the fittest is nature's way. On April 2, we Social Darwinists, who are society's smartest and fitest, will help streamline the human race by thining the herd of the weakest humans, furthing human kind. Don't like guns? Don't worry, you don't need one! Once you get your hunting permit, you will be free to encourage women to hate the little humans in their wombs for what the 'fetuses' have done to their lives. You can also fill your tag by getting medical treatment withheld from those incapcitated persons who never legally made their end of life desires known.

There are regulations on this hunt. You cannot harm any individual who is or may become a voter who supports social darwinism. Well, actually, that's the only regulation. If they can't speak for themselves, they're fair game.

Check your zone when registering for your permit. In some zones we are holding an "earn the infirm" hunt. To fill your tag for the one of society's weakest and most vulnerable, you must first bag a voter who believes that all life has dignity and that it should be given every chance and any benefit of the doubt. These individuals are weak and need to be thinned out as well.

(The above is rather mean spirited satire. Sorry, but I'm disappointed in our society right now. It had to come out. Please note that I did not choose to make this a partisan piece. I don't think this is a partisan issue.)

Three good Schiavo pieces

With the debate of the past week over Terri Schiavo, I've open to the possibility that I've been unfair. So I've read more and more on the topic from a variety of sources. I've not really changed my mind on my position. But I don't want to force my opinion on you, my much appreciated readers. Instead, I offer you three links that I think are pretty good. The three pieces appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and USA Today. I will leave it with this: Unlike National Review's John Derbyshire, Michael Schiavo is never welcome to my house for a beer. Especially after I read the end of the New York Times piece.

We've reached the point where not much else can be done for Terri. This story will quickly fade into the background. I dare say it won't even produce much in the way of precedence for future cases. It won't lead to a schism of the Republican party. If anything, it will subtly affect the sides of the continuing pro-life v. pro-ending life debate, a debate which is not really right vs. left except in the case of abortion. If you want to make a diference going forward, you have to work to make sure that your state's end of life laws are just and that they side with life when there is legal doubt.

May God bless Terri and her family. May he also be with Michael and his.

Friday, March 25, 2005

SARS is back in the news

And this time it may be airborne. With SARS, ebola, and the bird flu in the news, pray for your local hypochondriacs.

Are the Brewers a third place team?

They are according to Fox Sports. As for me, I'm not positive we are going that great of a drop off from Houston, but it certainly stokes my fire for the upcoming season when I see a major sports outlet say, "The Brewers could take a step forward this season."

Gov. Bush and forcibly taking custody of Schiavo

A growing stream of voices are asking Florida Governor Jeb Bush to take custody of Terri Schiavo forcibly with either law enforcement or National Guardsmen. This piece in National Review even advocates it as his duty if he believes "Terri's Law" to be constitutional. Those who are asking this of Bush are asking him to commit political suicide for something that probably won't even save Terri's life.


If Gov. Bush were to move in and take custody of Terri Schiavo by force, he would almost certainly face impeachment. After that, he'd also likely be removed from power. Why? Because public sentiment in Florida would bolster the Florida legislature's attempts at impeachment and removal. Too many people do not know this case very well. At the first site of National Guardsmen or police officials swooping in and taking Terri, many people would start yelling about Bush abusing his power. Even people marginally sympathetic to Terri's plight would have this opinion. Bush's efforts would save Terri's life long enough for him to be removed as Governor of Florida. After that, she'll be right back in the position she is now-in a managed care facility, dehydrating and starving to death-because the next Governor of Florida probably wouldn't stick his or her neck out on the chopping block.


I want to see Terri Schiavo's life spared as much as anyone. Don't ask Jeb Bush to make a sacrifice that ultimately won't change Terri's fate, though.

Florida Governor Bush and forcibly taking custody of Schiavo

A growing stream of voices are asking Florida Governor Jeb Bush to take custody of Terri Schiavo forcibly with either law enforcement or National Guardsmen. This piece in National Review even advocates it as his duty if he believes "Terri's Law" to be constitutional. Those who are asking this of Bush are asking him to commit political suicide for something that probably won't even save Terri's life.

If Gov. Bush were to move in and take custody of Terri Schiavo by force, he would almost certainly face impeachment. After that, he'd also likely be removed from power. Why? Because public sentiment in Florida would bolster the Florida legislature's attempts at impeachment and removal. Too many people do not know this case very well. At the first site of National Guardsmen or police officials swooping in and taking Terri, many people would start yelling about Bush abusing his power. Even people marginally sympathetic to Terri's plight would have this opinion. Bush's efforts would save Terri's life long enough for him to be removed as Governor of Florida. After that, she'll be right back in the position she is now-in a managed care facility, dehydrating and starving to death-because the next Governor of Florida probably wouldn't stick his or her neck out on the chopping block.

I want to see Terri Schiavo's life spared as much as anyone. Don't ask Jeb Bush to make a sacrifice that ultimately won't change Terri's fate, though.

Proposed FEC regulation of the internet

I have not yet read the FEC's 45 page draft of new rules regulating speech on the internet, so fo the time being I am going to defer my analysis and refer you to Redstate. If their analysis is corrected (I will be reading and making deciding on that later today), then McCain-Feingold is moving from "slippery slope" status to ice covered and hazardous moutain side status. The FEC's determination is that any internet communication that reaches more than 500 people is public communication which should be regulated. If that standard were applied to the real world, you best hide your soap box and microphone away, because speaking to 501 people in the wrong way (as determined by the FEC) would get you in trouble.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ashland Daily Press covers Underheim

Wisconsin readers, it is high time to start thinking about the spring elections. As you can see in the sidebar, this humble blog supports Gregg Underheim's candidacy for State Superintendent. The state of Wisconsin is currently the plaything of the teachers' union, and that isn't a good thing for our kids. In fact, it really only is a good thing for beaucracy and inefficient spending of your property taxes. The Daily Press way up in Ashland, Wisconsin, takes a look at the Underheim candidacy. Go there and learn a little about Underheim. Then, if you like his ideas, make sure you vote on April 5th. Remember, if you have kids, this race is important to you. If you don't have kids, but you don't like high property taxes or high rent either (yes, you renters subsudize your landlord's property taxes), this is also an important race for you.

Searches for Jenna, Barbara, Maxim

Since I'm getting a lot of searches today for Jenna, Barbara, Maxim, I'll give you all a link to what you are looking for.

Federalism & Schiavo

I am a person who identifies myself as a Federalist. I also supported Congress’s decision to bump the Schiavo case to Federal jurisdiction. If you care to call me a hypocrite, that’s fine by me. I’d rather be called a hypocrite for supporting something that I believe in than be someone who is using Federalism as a shield to deflect criticism of the fact that their real motivation in this case is that they feel Terri should be dead. After much reading, I am convinced that there are a number of people on the right who are using this tactic, people who in certain other cases would also abandon Federalism if the case fit with their political beliefs. I’m disappointed in them, and my respect for a few of them is greatly diminished.

If you are a true, ardent, in all cases Federalist, you may disregard this. But there are very few “in all cases” Federalists out there.

I've decided to soften this (without prompting, I might add). It is possible to have Federalist objections here. My problem is that far too many people on the right really are hiding behind that when it is clear that their main motivation is that they agree with the decision to pull Schiavo's tube.

The next step

<>Of late, the focus for many of us has been on saving the life of Terri Schiavo. That should continue as long as necessary. We need to start taking a peek at the next step, though. Much anger has been directed at the courts (or at Congress if you are on a certain ‘dehydration’ side of this). The courts can only get away with what the laws allow them to. Many blogs have recommended that their readers look into living wills. While I second that, I think it is just as important for everyone to start looking at their state’s end of life laws. The way to prevent this from happening to another Terri is to work to tighten your state’s end of life laws. There are a lot of ill defined terms out there-like what is life support and what is life sustaining-so talk with your state representatives about better defining them. Also talk with your state representatives about making sure that mandatory second opinions are built into prognoses of persistent vegitative states. Most importantly, make sure that law in your state requires documentation when it comes to the admissibility of an incapacitated patient’s wishes for their own care. As the Schiavo case shows, a witness to an off handed, undocumented comment is pretty thin gruel. Always make sure that your state’s laws give life the benefit of doubt.

I’m not a lawyer, so my recommendations for what to look for are somewhat vague. I welcome input from those who are better versed in law than I. We can all help make a difference for future Terri’s by taking a look at and changing (if necessary) our own state’s laws on end of life issues. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for Terri right now.

Ebola back, sort of

Ebola is back. Or at least an ebola like virus.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

PETA's obsession with the running of the bulls

PETA this year is trying to replace the running of the bulls with "the running of the nudes." The running of the bulls has long been a sore spot for PETA. I'm not sure why. The bull fights I kinda get. The running of the bulls is the animal world's chance to thin humans of their dimmest and dullest. Ya think they'd cheer it. Hell, I do. It improves the human gentic pool. But then again, maybe that's why they hate it so.

Global Dimming

Back when I was an underclassman at UWW, I had a physical geopgraphy course with Dr. David Travis. It was one of the most fascinating courses I've ever had, mostly because Dr. Travis would get off topic and start talking about some of the things he was interested in, notably meteorology and climatology. I'm pretty sure that the passage of time has caused me to mangle the details of some of his theories in my head, so instead I'm going to direct you to one that he didn't discuss with us, but in his own words: global dimming.

Well spoken words on Schiavo frustration

Over the past couple of days, I've mumbled a few times about my frustrations with people across the political spectrum with regards to Terri Schiavo. I've chosen not to get into the who's and why's of it. If you're curious, JunkYardBlog pretty much nails it (HT The American Mind). I've seen sides I dislike of many people I otherwise like and respect, and that only adds to the frustration.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Sigh. Blogging is light today because I'm a bit spent. The Terri Schiavo case has been at the forefront of my mind, and the last 24 hours have been discouraging to say the least. I have plenty of grievances with both certain Conservatives and Liberals, but I just don't think that now is the time for airing them. Maybe someday, maybe never, but now accomplishes nothing for Terri Schiavo.

Many lawyer run blogs have been discouraging to read so far this week. If you'd like a small breath of fresh air from a lawyerly blog, head over to The Hedgehog Blog. The Schiavo entries are limited, but it has been one of a few small highlights around the web for me today.

A quiet, simple thought

Conservatives and Liberals alike have said over the past few days that they would not want to live as Terri does, and therefore she should be allowed to die. Perhaps on another day I will address that. Today I find it too repulsive to write about responsibly. Instead, I say this. If I have one fear it is this: That I find myself in Terri Schiavo's shoes, and inside that shell of a body is a lucid brain that fully understands that others have given up on me, and that there is nothing I can do but come to terms with an end that I can see and feel, without anyone to confide in as that day comes but God.

The Journal Sentinel editorial board: A study in incoherent thought

The Journal Sentinel editorial board today takes a look at the problem of felons voting in elections. They have three solutions. Better lists, more poll workers (at least they're consistent), and to scuttle voter ID.

I ask you, of the three, which one of those things is not like the others?

That's right, scuttling voter ID. I'm not really sure why they felt they needed to bring voter ID into this editorial. Their argument is this: Felons voted, and that is bad. With better inelligible voter lists and more poll workers, we can end this problem. Oh yeah, and since these people voted under their real names, voter ID's wouldn't have stopped it, so we should just scrap the idea of voter ID's.

That would be like airport security at General Mitchell International Airport saying, "Well, we really need to protect against plastic explosives being smuggled on board airplanes. So we need bomb sniffing dogs and explosives detecting machinery. But since metal detectors won't solve out plastic explosives problem, let's just scrap 'em."

The Journal Sentinel editorial board finds itself in a poor position on election safeguards. They want a partially effective system that only protects against some sources of voter fraud, but not all. Their system of safeguards shuts the door on felons voting, but it leaves it wide open to those who may wish to misidentify either themselves or where they live in order to vote multiple times. To bring the analogy back up, they want elections that are like airports without metal detectors-secure against one or two things, but as a whole, utterly unsecure.

Progessive v. Liberal

I've talked about this before, but I still haven't found a satisfactory answer. It is also turning into a massive pet peeve of mine. When the hell did liberal Democrats become "Progressives?" The Progressive label seems to have sprung up out of nowhere in the last 6 to 8 months. It irritates the living hell out of me, especially when those on the right side of the political spectrum use the term. Democrats have been out-marketing the Republicans for over 75 years now. The "progressive" label is just another example of it. Most Americans remember nothing of the real Progressive Era, so the term progressive becomes a positive word to replace liberal, which has taken on a very negative connotation.

Simple words have a powerful place in politics, and most people don't even realize it. There is nothing progressive about that which was liberal just 12 months ago, and the use of 'progressive' helps liberals mask that fact. In fact, it helps them re-brand the Democratic party as a party of vibrance and forward motion, when in fact it is the opposite. Republicans, please stop using that word!

The Democrats should campaign in 2006 with this slogan: The Democratic Party! Brand new Progressive packaging! Same old crummy ideas!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Wisconsin's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights

As is my M.O. today, everyone in the Wisconsin blogosphere is beating me to everything I wanted to post about. One of those items would be the new blog by state Assemblyman Frank Lasee. I have linked to it in the blogroll, and you can also go to it here. Lasee's blog is primarily dedicated to the Tax Payer's Bill of Right's (TABOR). If you do not yet know much about the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, head on over and learn.

John Giese on giving life every chance

John Giese, father of the young woman from Fond du Lac who survived rabies, called into the Charlie Sykes show today to discuss giving life every chance. This was brought up in the larger context of the Terri Schiavo situation, and Giese gives a powerful testimonial via his daughter's experience on why Terri should be given every chance to live. Listen to it.

Michael Schiavo snaps

From the St. Petersburg Times:
"To make comments that Terri would want to live, how do they know?" Schiavo said of the members of Congress who want to keep his wife alive.

"Have they ever met her?" Schiavo said. "What color are her eyes? What's her middle name? What's her favorite color? They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves."

Well, let's turn that one around. How do we know that she wanted to die, Michael? You and your family are the only ones who have ever heard her say so. There is also quite a bit of benefit for you if she does die. You can finally marry the woman you've been sleeping with for years. There is also that little matter of money that you may inherit. There is no reason any logical person should believe you without at least a little doubt (but more likely a lot of doubt).

Schiavo also challenges Jeb Bush and President Bush to come down and visit his wife. I know they won't-the vocal liberals out there would charge that it was all political, and neither Bush would want to make a difficult situation worse. I think if either did visit Terri, it would be one of the greatest moments of their term of office, though. But that's just me.

Tammy Baldwin, feminist

You would think that if there ever were a case that feminists would be worked up over, it would be the Terri Schiavo case. After all, here we have a disabled woman whose cheating husband is trying to put her to death, despite evidence that she is far from being brain dead. They aren’t worked up over it, though. Why? Fear that there may be repercussions for abortion if they stand in the way of medically killing anyone? Sacrificing the one in order to sacrifice the many? Who knows. I guess we’ll have to ask one of them ourselves.

So Tammy Baldwin. Why aren’t you in Terri Schiavo’s corner? (Scroll down to the nays).

Kevin at Lakeshore Laments has filled me in on Baldwin's answer to the question:

“I believe that Terri Schiavo's wishes should be respected. And I believe the Florida courts have done a thorough job of determining what those wishes are. Congress has no business inserting itself in the middle of this family tragedy.

Now every American family has cause to fear that their most private decisions might be reviewed or reversed by Congress. Terri and her entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.”
Though I'm choosing not to go into the "why" in this particular post, I can actually see the reasons why this might be a consistent position for Baldwin. That still doesn't mean that I think it is right.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

House passes Schiavo bill

I know that there is a lot of debate going around even conservative circles about whether this congessional action is a good thing in the long run, but it has passed the House 203-58. The fight for Terri Schiavo's life is by no means over, but Congress did the right thing here, IMHO.

All the more reason to cheer for UWM on Thursday

UW Milwaukee is the Cinderella team of the NCAA tournament, so it isn't too tough to cheer for them. A current Fox Sports poll has them leading as the most surprising Sweet 16 team with 61% of the vote. Well, there is more reason to cheer for them against Illinois. 15 years ago, UWM coach Bruce Pearl, then an assistant with Iowa, reported recruiting violations on the part of Illinois. This story is already getting plenty of media play, and expect national media to pick up on it. Because of that, Pearl and UWM may face a very hostile crowd at the AllState Arena on Thursday.

If Pearl and his UWM Panthers do receive a hostile reception on Thursday, I'll feel terribly for them, but I would expect nothing less of Illinois fans. It will make it all the sweeter when the Panthers send the Illini home for the school year and advance to the Elite 8, though.

It's going to be a wild week of accusations (See also comment from Underscorebleach below).

Drudge's Terri Schiavo audio

If legit, and I'm assuming at this point that it is, this is difficult to listen to knowing the fate cast for Terri Schiavo by her husband Michael Schiavo and Judge George Greer. She can audibly interact with people, even though she cannot communicate per se.

In the name of fairness, Drudge is leaving the authenticity of this tape open for listeners to decide. I've been very tentative to endorse the reports that Terri tried to say "I want to live," and I'm hoping Drudge puts this audio up at his site so more people can decide because if legit, I'm willing to believe those reports now.

My opinion is becoming more and more solidified. Florida is perverting "right to die" in this case. Badly. Very badly.

My View of the World, reliable as always, has the audio. Go listen. Now.

Drudge audio of Terri Schiavo responding to father

Drudge is reporting that he'll have audio of Terry Schiavo responding to her father after her feeding tube was removed on Friday. To listen live pick a feed off of the top of Drudge's site.

The House of the Rising Sun-found

One of my favorite songs is the House of the Rising Sun. The LA Times reports that the Rising Sun, that famed New Orleans house of ill repute, may have been found beneath a run down parking garage.

Schiavo and the money issue

From the transcripts of Larry King Live, March 18, 2005:
KING: You're not -- it didn't cost you anything. This is not something where you're looking to save money?

M. SCHIAVO: No. There's no money involved. We need to move on from that question. That question has been asked me 50 million times. There is no money!
Well, actually, there is a money issue here, and it may play a pretty significant role in Michael Schiavo's decision. Unfortunately, there has been little or no investigative reporting that I've seen on how the money from Terri's medical malpractice suit has been spent and how much remains. Clearly, if there still is money remaining, it would become Michael's upon her death. It would not be his if she died or recovered. Additionally, if there is no money remaining, that also could play a part in Michael Schiavo's efforts.

If anyone knows of any investigative reporting on this, please send it to me. This ($$$) seems to me to be the keystone in this entire issue.

The Straight Dope Message Board-grab the pulse of your local Liberal

A few years ago, before I became aware of blogs, I used to cruise about a few message boards to get my fix on political issues. One of my favorites was the Straight Dope Message Board. In fact, it was the SDMB that helped me realize that my beliefs were not at all in line with that of the Democratic party. Sadly the SDMB went to paid subscriptions. Since I did not really feel like paying to get tag teamed by liberals, who have a 5 or 10 to 1 advantage over conservatives at that site, I gave up on it. As a conservative blogger, I do enjoy going back and viewing the "Great Debates" board from time to time, though. When I get into a rut, that board always does a great job of firing me up and giving me new sources of inspiration.

The slogan of of the Straight Dope, which is a column in the Chicago Reader by Cecil Adams, is "Fighting Ignorance Since 1973." Unfortunately for Cecil, the SDMB "Great Debates" board does more to propagatee further ignorance than it does to fight. While not nearly as far out there as places like the Democratic Undergound, I'm sure the two share something of a common audience.

John McCain, America's arbiter of trust

This morning on ABC's "This Week," John McCain said the following:
"It just seems to me they can't be trusted...What do we need to do? It seems to me that we ought to seriously consider ... a law that says all professional sports have a minimum level of performance-enhancing drug testing.''
McCain may or may not be correct, and that's not what I'm here to debate. My problem is that he seems to view himself as America's self proclaimed judge of who is worthy of trust. Add into that his overly healthy ego, and you have a Republican that I don't trust myself.

My name is Jib, and I am a Netscape user

I've had some nice conversations with people about browser preferance via Jiblog. Despite all efforts by some, I think I shall remain a Netscape man. About two or three years from now, when everyone is bitching about IE and Firefox, and Netscape becomes "cool" again, I'm swatting y'all off the bandwagon. (Inspired by this anti-Netscape thread).

Jiblog reading list

My parents have done a lot for me in my life, but I think that one of the most important things they did was to foster a love of reading in me. The way they did this was by telling me that if I wanted a book, they'd buy, period. I'm sure that at times this was a bit of a sacrifice for them because while we had all the necessities, there were times when I know there wasn't much left over for things above and beyond that. I'm amazed that they still fortify that love of reading in me today. Every year Mrs. Jib and I receive Border's gift cards from my parents (as I've referenced below, Mrs. Jib is an avid reader as well).

So far this year, work and blogging have backed me up on my reading. Since this has been a somewhat quiet weekend, I'd like to share my book backlog with all of you. If you've read any of them, I'd love to hear your comments.
  1. Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day, Joe Scarborough
  2. Because He Could, Dick Morris
  3. "When is Daddy Coming Home?": An American Family during World War II, Richard Haney
  4. Blog, Hugh Hewitt
  5. Reagan's Revolution, Craig Shirley
  6. We Blog, Paul Bausch
  7. Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader, (cut me some slack, they're entertaining!)
  8. Life and Times on the Mighty Santeur, Clara Anderson. (No link, published by a small Northern Wisconsin press after the author's death)
I've just finished 4 by Brett and Bonita Favre, which is an excellent read if you are a Favre fan. I'm also "in progress" with Colossus by Niall Ferguson. It has been an airplane book for me.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lefkow murders solved in West Allis?

It seems that during a routine traffic stop in West Allis yesterday, the man who murdered the mother and husband of US District Judge Joan Lefkow committed suicide. A press conference was just held on the topic, and authories gave few details. The Chicago Tribune has more.

Holy crap! When posts get lost, they really do continue to exist! This post is obviously over a week old. It got hung up in Blogger the morning that West Allis police first announced they thought they had cracked the Lefow case, and it just kicked out tonight. Wow. Blogger must have re-opened email posts.

Congrats UW-Milwaukee

Congratulations to the UW-Milwaukee men's basketball team. Color me impressed. Next up, number one Illinois.

Jiblog note to certain liberal readers (not all)

Hello liberal Jiblog readers. This is a message for some of you, but not all of you. Those of you that I can actually have an intelligent conversation with are off the hook.

Here's my issue. I am not a big music fan. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy music. Every karaoke bar that's ever heard me belt out Piano Man knows that much. I just don't seek out music, or make the time to listen to it. Because of this, this whole iPod craze is making me feel very left out. I believe that I am a member of the minority group of musically disinclined Americans. Because of this, I cringe at all of the iPod discussion that I see and hear. I feel that my civil right to be "part of the in crowd" is being violated by all of this iPod talk. Will you help out an oppressed minority by banning the iPod, or maybe just outlaw any discussion of iPods (they are sold by fat cat corporate America, after all). And hey, ACLU? Message me. Let's talk lawsuit. Trial lawyers, you too. I see a big class action, punitive damages award that you can collect 70% of. After all, iPod is clearly taking advantage of our young. They are put out by Apple, for cripessake! Kids love apples! If you can score on tobacco, alcohol, and fast food, I know you all can score on iPods.

(This post is written with tongue so firmly in cheek that Jib may not be able to speak for a week.)

Best of luck, Mr. Kasparov

I read last week that Gary Kasparov was retiring from chess to become more involved in Russian politics. I had two thoughts-he's either 'in'' with Putin or "watch your back, Gary." It appears that "watch you back, Gary," is the proper advice (from Opinion Journal, HT Lakeshore Laments):
This is a time for ambition. Victory in Ukraine and the reshaping of the Middle East are only the latest symbols of how democracy is dominant in the world today economically, militarily, and morally. We must leverage this ascendancy to set a global agenda and end the era of complacency and concession that is embodied by the United Nations. In politics as in chess, or in the military or in business, when you have the advantage you must press it quickly--or lose it. For the first time in history, we are in a position to checkmate tyranny. Momentum is largely on the side of democracy.

This is not yet the case, alas, in my home. Russia is in a moment of crisis and every decent person must stand up and resist the rise of the Putin dictatorship. Russia boasts too many generals and colonels in politics and too few thinkers. (Even Russia's chess players are in decline, a symptom of the larger malady.) I hope my vision and ability to think strategically can be of help to my native land. We must act now to unite and to create real democratic opposition to the Putin regime. I can now offer not only my name and my advice, but my active participation.

I hope that Kasparov is as deft a political tactician as he is at chess, because Vlad Putin plays KGB style.

Reagan audio

I have a small collection of historic audio. Among the files I have are FDR's speech to Congress following Pearl Harbor, George W. Bush's speech to Congress on September 20, 2001, and Bush's impromptu speech at Ground Zero. The one file I've spent literally hours looking for was Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" I finally found it. It seems that actually has a nice collection of Reagan soundbites.

The money behind campaign finance reform

I'd be remiss if I did not link to this good article at Tech Central Station on Friday. To make it short and sweet, I think most people who supported Messrs McCain and Feingold's campaign finance reform bill did so because they did not trust the big money behind a lot of political campaigns. If you are one of those people, it may also be useful for you to take a look at and question the big money that pushed this bill with $123 million dollars.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Perhaps I am just too simplistic of a man, but it seems to me that if you are unhooked from medical machinery and it takes a week for you to die, then that medical machinery is aiding a physical process, but not keeping you alive. What's next? Do we start unhooking people from their dialysis machines? Maybe shut off people's pace makers? Close the valves on the oxygen tanks of emphysema sufferers? I honestly don't have the words for what Judge George Greer and Michael Schiavo are perpetrating in Florida. This is a disgusting, slow, cruel murder.

Geopolitcal maneuvering in Southeast Asia

It appears that Condoleeza Rice will be endorsing Japan for a permanent spot on the UN Security Council. Japan is certainly deserving, but in the big picture this would seem to be part of a giant chess game going on in Southeast Asia right now. China is starting to feel their oats, and everyone is starting to maneuver themselves in order to protect themselves/reign China in. Ultimately, how this plays out is completely dependent on China. I sometimes can't help but feel that the world is slowly hurdling towards war in Southeast Asia. This is one of those posts I hope I'm wrong about. I just hope that history students hundred of years from now look back on the events of today and say, "why couldn't they see it coming?"

Not so banner

Capital Times cartoonist Mike Konopacki, whose politics have been discussed here before, recently helped Tom Link with his newest banner (photo at link) in Madison. You see, Link, like Konopacki, is out there on the lunatic fringe of the Democratic party, and he is known for hanging banners protesting the war and George W. Bush on a building he owns in the city. Together, Link and Konopacki crafted a yellow ribbon banner. At the top and bottom of the banner, it says "God Bless Torture." They are trying to be cute. I'm waiting for their first attempt at substance. Where is the banner protesting honor killings? Where is the banner protesting UN soldiers raping women in third world countries and sexually harassing their own female employees? Where is the banner protesting China's attempts to subjugate free Taiwan?

You won't see them. Those who loathe their own nation have trouble seeing beyond that to some of the bigger problems in the world. It is unfortunate that some old hippies never grew up like most of their friends did. That's why their rhetoric sounds like it was written by a 15 year old.

Iraqi Anger

This is, in a way, encouraging:
More than 2,000 Shiites marched Friday through Baghdad, with some breaking into the Jordanian Embassy and raising the Iraqi flag atop it, to protest the alleged involvement of a Jordanian in Iraq's single deadliest suicide bombing — a Feb. 28 attack south of Baghdad that killed 125 people.
The breaking into the embassy is disappointing, but the fact that Iraqi's are identifying foreign suicide bombers as a big part of their problem, and making their voices heard by the governments ruling the nations those bombers come from can only be a good thing for the Middle East. It puts pressure on the governments of the region to stop their subtle support for the terrorist groups that back these misguided suicide bombers.

Argh!! Frickin' frackin. $%#& Blogger!

Had to get that out. Of course, this will be the first of several posts Blogger won't eat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An apology and a toast

Sorry posting has been light the last two days. Life has intervened on blogging. I'd like to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day by offering you a green beer, on me. If it looks crooked, it's because you've already had one too many. I'm hoping to be back en force later Thursday. Earlier if this little rumor of a coup in Syria turns out to be true (HT Brainpost)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Senate slow down

Heh. Harry Reid says that he'll slow down business in the Senate if Republicans choose the "nuclear" option and amend Senate rules to allow court nominees a full floor vote after a simple majority in committee.

Our Senators, doing less, getting into our business less.

What's the downside here? Give 'em hell, Harry!

(For the record, I know the downsides. A guy can fantasize, though, can't he?)

Mrs. Jib, book reviewer

Mrs. Jib is generally leary of the internet. I also know that she would not be interested in the vigorous debate that most blogs partake in (including this one). Not because she couldn't do it, because she can be quite feisty, but because that kind of thing just doesn't interest her as much. I'm determined to get her to blog, though. My latest tact is to try to get her to become an amateur book reviewer. She is an avid fiction reader. So avid that a few years ago, she gave up on buying books because she read 'em faster than she could afford them. Instead she has made liberal use of inter-library loan, reading 90 books last year (yes, 90).

If you see me start pumping a new blog that reviews books, I beg, nay, plead, go there in spades!!!

The Big Dig... a disaster waiting to happen. This is one item I hope I'm very wrong on, but I'd do everything in my power to avoid driving in that thing. Everything about that project in Boston reads like a History Channel documentary on engineering disasters.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A final look back at MSNBC inspired traffic

First, I'd like to thank MSNBC for one final time for the attention. As a stat watcher, I'm still kind of mesmerized by the bell shaped curve created by an MSNBC link. It went up on Wednesday. It didn't peak until Friday. If we treat 50 visitors per day as a Jiblog average, then MSNBC contributed to approximately 1000 hits to Jiblog. No small feat, and better than the early returns predicted. Just the same, it is interesting to note that a MSM entity venturing into the world of blogs has a smaller impact than a big blog like Instapundit or would.

I had invented a word, mesmeric, on accident. Spelling is now correct. The only reason I note this is because "mesmeric" makes me giggle, so I'm preserving it.

Advice to Capital One-drop the superheroes

Capital One currently has a commercial featuring superheroes who come to the aid of a woman who lost her credit card. Spiderman snidely comments to the woman that with Capital One she's protected from fraudulent charges. Problem is, Spiderman sounds like a snively little @#$%. The lovely Mrs. Jib and I both want to kick the crap out of the little wussy. We now rush to turn the channel whenever this commercial because Spidey grates on our senses. We are also developing a bit of anger towards Capital One for subjecting us to him. For the love of God, Capital One! Can this commercial!

Congressional hearing on steroids, baseball

I've been holding off on criticizing the House's hearings on the use of steroids in baseball because I can't actually believe they are moving forward with it. Now I don't have to criticize it, because National Review sums it up nicely:
The hearings would come after the horse has left the barn and the barn door has already been closed behind it, since the steroids scandal had been building for years and now has finally been dealt with by baseball in the form of a stricter testing policy.

You're a day late and a dollar short on this one, kids. Give it up before you make fools of yourselves.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Don't be lulled to sleep, Democratic blogs

Senator Russ Feingold's post at MyDD is up at the Daily Kos as well (HT Boots & Sabers). After reading the comments, I'm concerned that blog readers on the left, if not blogs on the left, are willing to be lulled to sleep by Russ Feingold on the issue of the FEC regulating blogs. This is one issue on which the left and right in the blogosphere needs forge some sort of a common front. If one end of the blogosphere's political spectrum goes wobbly on this, it'll give the FEC cover from which they can clamp down on the political speech of bloggers.

By the way, if you haven't done so already, head over to the Online Coalition and sign the letter.

Around the horn, 3-13-05

Boots & Sabers has a full day of good posts on FEC regulations, university diversity, UW's University Health Services offering the morning after pill via phone prescriptions, the Wisconsin Future Conference, concealed carry, and the latest from Greg Borowski.

My View of the World has audio of this morning's Brookfield press conference as well as a synapsis of Sunday Insight.

For those of you who enjoy NCAA pools, check out the Dummocrats pool.

The World According to Nick has two good posts on a James Sensenbrenner town hall meeting in Wauwatosa, and the conversation he had with Sensenbrener afterwards.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Welcome MSNBC readers

Lullabye (Goodnight Dan Rather) can be found here. For regular Jiblog readers, this post will remain at the top of the page all day. New posts can be found below.

Gunman opens fire at church meeting in Milwaukee suburb

There is not much out there on this story right now. A gunman killed 4, wounded 8, and killed himself at a church meeting at a Brookfield hotel. See more here. Any further posts on this story will be at the Badger Blog Alliance.

A solution for Ikea

As some of you have probably read, Ikea found itself in between a politically correct rock and a hard place this week over the lack of women in their illustrated assembly instructions. For a small fee, I have a solution for Ikea that I guarantee will offend no one.

Notice the lack of distinguishing features. This is an androgynous, culturally bland, boring stickperson. It cannot even offend the Amish (no face) or people with disabilities (does it have one leg or two?). And it is at the peak of my drawing abilities, so Ikea, for a consulting contract, I'll update all of you manuals.

I've been sent a cease and desist letter by the National Association of Green Stickpeople (NAGS). Apparently, this illustration may be found offensive by their members. Sorry Ikea.

Update II
Oh yeah, forgot something.


Rather inspired

I must be the biggest dunce in the world. The genius of Dan Rather's 'Courage' sign off just struck me! If I want to be a perennial undercard to the big blogs, I need a catchy, one word sign off to every post here at Jiblog! Look out Instapundit, here I come (to forever be in your shadow).


Yet another case for concealed carry

Let me start by saying that I'm whispering this post, as Mrs. Jib and I do not see eye to eye on this topic.

The Journal Sentinel editorial board on Friday ran this editorial in which they assert that government needs to do more to protect judges from those who "menace" the system. The two solutions they offer? The Federal Government paying for security systems at the homes of judges and security improvement at court houses. I agree with government being responsible for better security at court houses, although that would not have prevented what happened in Atlanta today. I disagree with the Feds paying for security at the homes of judges, as a security system is a cost that judges should be able to sustain on their own with their salaries. The Journal Sentinel misses the obvious third solution, though. Legalize concealed carry. And not just for judges, a thought that Charlie Sykes raised on his show Friday. Legalize concealed carry for all who meet the legal requirements.

Mrs. Jib believes that this would make police work more dangerous, and one of the last things she wants is to worry about her officers more than she already does. Her concern falls through a crack in logic, though. The person who jumps through all of the government hoops to legally carry a concealed weapon is not going to be flippant about it and risk losing their ability to do so. The people that police would need to worry about are the ones they already have to worry about-those who illegally carry guns. At least with concealed carry, law abiding citizens, including judges and their families, have a chance to protect themselves at the time they are assaulted instead of becoming a part of a police murder investigation later.

The most unfortunate thing about the Journal Sentinel's suggestions and mine is that none of them would have likely prevented the murder of Judge Lefkow's family or the murders in Atlanta. Both were exceptional events. Even a security system would not have prevented Bart Ross from gaining access to Judge Lefkow's home; it would have only given her husband and mother a few moments of warning, and unless they had guns in their home, both would still have been vulnerable to an armed intruder. In Atlanta, the suspect took the gun off of a deputy, and the only solution to that is compromising courtroom safety by taking guns away from those responsible for protecting those in the courtroom, making everyone vulnerable to the individual who can sneak a firearm into a court.

Blogger Beer has more on concealed carry in Wisconsin.

Fuming at SI's Josh Elliott

Let me open with the closing line of Josh Elliott's latest at CNN-SI:
And as I shudder at the thought of the collective fury of Wisconsin's Internet-savvy citizenry, I bid you farewell until next Thursday...
Shudder you should, Josh.

For those of you who aren't big link clickers, I'll summarize. Elliott pushes the panic button on the Packers while taking a look at Brett Favre's decision to play another season. I calmly read Elliott's column until the next to last sentence of the article:
Because the fact remains: Favre last led the Pack to the Super Bowl in 1997, and there's increasingly little to suggest that he'll ever take them back there again.
Frankly, Josh, I'm not sure that I'm confident of your NFL analysis skills.

Now, before Jiblog readers get their hackles up, I will say this-no diehard Packer fan believes next year will be an easy season. This team has problems that can be directly attributed to Mike Sherman's decisions as GM. But I still think Elliot is wrong, at least for next year. So I will now take up my soapbox and refute what I see as the weaknesses in Elliott's thought process.

Elliott focuses on two major points-that the loss of Rivera and Wahle on the line will further erode Ahman Green's effectiveness, and that the loss of Darren Sharper will render the defense impotent. Let's look at what he has to say about Green and the line first.
Indeed, Green took a major step backward last year (1,163 rushing yards, 4.5 yards per carry, 10 total TDs) from his '03 star turn (1,883 yds./5.3 ypc/20 TDs), despite running behind one of football's three best offensive lines. Having lost starting guards Mike Wahle (Carolina) and Marco Rivera (Dallas) and center Grey Ruegamer (who started 11 games a year ago) to free agency, it's folly to think Green's numbers will improve.
There is no question that no team would want to lose guards of the quality of Wahle and Rivera. It is a bit of a stretch to think that there is not enough talent left on the line to get Green back over the 1200 yard mark, though. Back in the days when I was a kid wondering if I'd ever see a Packer run for 1,000 yards in a season, 1,183 was an impressive number. These days, it's almost pedestrian. A big part of the running game's problem last year was injuries to the running backs. I don't think Green was full speed for much of the year, and Najeh Davenport was never 100% all season. With a healthier Green and (hopefully) his heir apparent Davenport back and healthy, this offensive line can still produce a healthy running game. What we are looking at is replacing one guy on that line. The Packers have two good centers in Mike Flanagan and Scott Wells. Flanagan can probably move back out to tackle if Clifton or Tauscher can move inside to guard. Kevin Barry can pick up the slack at the other guard position, leaving the team looking for a passable right tackle. While you want every guy on your line to be an all pro when they are protecting Brett Favre, this is still a very manageable situation. As long as Green stays healthy, his productivity should improve this year, meaning that there will not be a collapse in the running game that Elliott uses to predict dangerous Favre risk taking.

The second issue I have with Elliott's article is the importance he places on the departure of Darren Sharper:
Meanwhile, Sharper's departure only sinks an already-bad Green Bay D further into the muck; last year, the Pack had the NFL's 25th-ranked defense in total yards allowed and against the pass, and gave up 23.8 points a game (up from 19.2 ppg allowed in '03). Their pass rush is terrible, their linebacking corps is middling, and their secondary is in tatters.
It pains me to criticize Sharper because I liked the guy, but losing him is not going to be the end of the world. Sharper was at his best when he was in the defensive backfield with a likely future hall of famer, Leroy Butler. After Butler retired, Sharper became the default leader on that defense. Problem is, I never saw him lead. The quality of his play steadily declined after Butler's retirement, and his tackling got worse and worse. Last year was a good preview of what this defense would look like without Sharper. Elliott makes the mistake of looking at Sharper as the two time Pro Bowler. That isn't the Sharper the Packers lost. The Sharper the Packers lost was an injury prone guy with a tackling problem who was at best an average safety. He's a hole to plug and nothing more. The Packers now have a defensive coordinator who is a known, quality talent. While this defense won't scare anyone in 2005, I actually think it will be marginally better than it was in 2004.

Now, if we assume that my analysis is correct, then the Packers are a team that will have maintained the status quo from 2004 to 2005. Normally, that'll get you killed in the NFL. The Packers have the luxury of playing in the NFC, though. Last year they were the number 3 team in the conference. With the departure of Randy Moss from the Vikings, they will probably remain the number 3 team in the conference. In today's NFL, if a number 3 team in a conference catches fire late in the season, they become a serious threat to win the whole thing. If Elliott wants to run this article back out before the 2006 season, I might not disagree with him. As for 2005, he's flat out wrong as long as this team stays reasonably healthy.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Churchill plagiarized? Who'da thunk?

At the risk of over using this, if it looks like a skunk, walks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, it's probably a skunk.

I know I've said this before, but the real scandal about Churchill being invited to campuses to speak is that if the students at these universities academically conducted themselves as Churchill does, they'd get tossed out of school. Churchill's speech certainly is hateful, but the actions of schools like UWW are irresponsible.

Condi v. Hillary in '08: Making my head hurt

The consequences of a Condi-Hillary Presidential battle royal in 2008 is starting to make my head hurt. Hillary is David Copperfield to Bill's Harry Houdini; already she's begun to triangulate, moving to the President's right on some issues like immigration, and towards the center on issues like abortion. Now we learn this at Drudge tonight about Condi: "...mildly pro-choice on abortion."

If (and this is a big if) we see a Hillary-Condi matchup, we could be in for a redefination of politics not seen since the 1960's. Can you imagine the possibility of Hillary giving lip service to the religous right on abortion and Condi going after the feminist vote with some mild pro-choice rhetoric? I'm not sure if the reshuffling of the political spectrum would be permanent, but it would make for a wild election.

If Drudge is correct on this, Condi's "mildly pro-choice" stance will either torpedo her chances of making it through the primaries, or we are watching these two women playing politics at a very high level at a frighteningly early stage in the presidential election cycle.

Here is the Washington Times article that Drudge's flash referred to. In the article, she defines her view on abortion as libertarian. I'd say "Federalist" might be equally appropriate. Libertarian probably scores her more political punch, though.

Hep cat Jib a trendsetter...

...or so I'm claiming. Captain's Corner has another lyrical ode to Dan Rather, this one set to Oh Danny Boy.

MSNBC redux, or Odd traffic patterns

The other day I briefly discussed the surprisingly low amount of traffic a link at MSNBC brought here. Now that the link has been up for its third day, it is time to review this issue.

I stand by the fact that an MSNBC broadcast and link do not lead to a lot of traffic. I'm sure that there is a wide variety of reasons for this, including MSNBC's lower viewership, the disconnect that still exists between television and the web, etc, etc, so it would be unfair of me to expect this to be equivilant to an Instapundit link. I am noticing an odd pattern, though. Usually with a link from one of the major blogs, you see an immediate spike of traffic. The first day is always the biggest, and by the 4th or 5th day, you are almost back down to your normal traffic level. This MSNBC link has behaved differently. Since the Connected Coast to Coast site acts like a blog, with content sliding down the page as new content is added, you'd expect a similar pattern. Instead, on the first night when the link to 'Lullabye' was timely and pertinent, traffic was disappointingly slow. Yesterday traffic picked up, which could be considered normal given that the original link was placed on Wednesday evening. Today the traffic should have begun to slow again, but it is actually a little heavier than it was at this time yesterday.

MSNBC, you have me baffled.


Interesting. US Senator Russ Feingold does a little blogging (HT Righting Wisconsin). What better way to quell the blogstorm than to say, "hey, I'm one of you," which is patented Feingold. I'm still not buying what he's selling. I intend to remain fully riled until the FEC has settled on its new rules so no one is even tempted to over extend their regulatory power. Senator, while I appreciate your attempt at calming words, I am going to retain my healthy skepticism of what is going on here. If it looks like a skunk, walks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk...

Heh. Looks like I'm not the only one who is riled up. Although I think Paul does 'riled' better than I do.

Digital camera bleg

I am a camera manufacturer's dream. I am convinced that there is a fine photographer deep down inside me if I just get the right equipment. So this is what I'm thinking. I own a Canon EOS Rebel. I actually do take pretty good pictures with it, but then again, it is tough to screw up with that camera. I'm thinking about buying a Canon EOS 6.3 MP Digital Rebel this summer. I've narrowed down on this camera because I can use my existing lenses with it and it is within my price range. Anybody familiar with this camera? I'd like to hear your opinions.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


It's good to have ya back for another go 'round.

UW Whitewater fundraising

I received a phone call tonight from a pleasant young woman at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. From the moment I picked up the phone, I could tell she was nervous. She started by asking to confirm information about Mrs. Jib and I. Once we finished that, she broke into the pitch that I knew was coming: The read off a script, will you donate to the University pitch. I felt bad for her, so I went easy on her. My response?

"Due to the recent Ward Churchill speech, I will not be donating to the University for the foreseeable future."

At the mention of Ward Churchill, she could not get off the phone fast enough, even stumbling over "Thank you." I'd have to speculate that she's gotten an earful multiple times about him.

I have mixed feelings about saying no. She was specifically asking me to donate to the funding of the new College of Business building as well as to scholarships. Since I'm a grad of that college, I'm happy that future students will not have to attend classes at Carlson. Just the same, I did not see anyone from the Business College standing up and saying, "Why are we hosting a man who is trying to legitimize the killing of 3,000 people who are just like the kids we are trying to educate?" Given that, saying no was my little way of expressing my displeasure with my alma matter.

Witnessing what one has wrought

It seems that Judge George Greer is going to see to it that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube comes out and that she dies a slow, inhumane death of starvation. If all efforts are exhausted and the Judge is successful at ensuring Terri's death, I hope he stops by her room daily to see the consequences of his actions. Of course, we all know that he won't.

Sorry for the silence

I tried posting several times today, but Blogger wasn't playing ball with me. One, which I emailed, is lost somewhere in the etherworld. In the last week I've convinced Mrs. Jib that we should get DSL and set up a wireless network. I'm not sure I can convince her that I need to move off of Blogger. Yet.

Good luck, Cards!

Good luck to the Chi-Hi girls' basketball team tomorrow at state. As a former Cards athlete, I'm rooting for ya.

Where's the bounce?

Sean at The American Mind brings up a good point that I originally wasn't going to mention out of the fear of being ungrateful. Namely, after a mention on MSNBC, where's the traffic bounce?

That's okay, though, because it was cool to get a mention on a cable news network. It is interesting to note that an Instalanche or a Hughicane or Sykesclone (sorry, that's the best nickname I could think of for a Sykes link) all result in a bigger traffic bounce than a mention and link from the nation's number 3 cable news network.

Good luck catching up to CNN and Fox, guys. Meanwhile, I'll be sitting over here in a corner trying to get over my John McEnroe complex.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Lullabye (Good Night Dan Rather)

To the tune of Lullabye (Good Night My Angel) by Billy Joel

Goodnight, Dan Rather
Time to leave your desk
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been getting at
I doubt you know what we've been trying to say
I promised I would never watch you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
Blogs never will be far away

Goodnight, Dan Rather
Now it's time to quit
And still so many things you want to say
Remember all the lies you spun at us
When we were choosing our next president
And like a dog who’s gotten rabies
They’re putting you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside the ancient book
Lies’ll always be a part of hist’ry

Goodnight, Dan Rather
Now it's time to leave
And dream how you’ve damaged your legacy
Someday your eyes may cry
And if you sing this lullabye
Then in your heart
There will always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on...
They never die
That's how your
Big lie
Will be

Welcome Connected Coast to Coast viewers. I'm keeping this post at the top of the site tonight for all of you, but feel free to look around.

Jiblog on TV

Much thanks to Jeff Jarvis and Connected: Coast to Coast for mentioning Lullabye (Goodnight Dan Rather). I guess it pays to have a song stuck in your head. And to have the annoying habit of making up new lyrics to songs. But one thing, guys. It's Jib-log. Short i. Heh. Jibelog. Mrs. "Jibe" got a kick out of that.

To see the video, head on over to Jackson's Junction.

Mount St. Helens cam

With Mount St. Helens getting getting ornery again, don't forget to check the volcano cam. The cam shows a static image which is updated every 5 minutes.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Goodbye dial up

Hello DSL! This is nice!

Last night the lovely Mrs. Jib hosted a little gathering here at the homestead. She's a fine hostess, which is good because I was itching to play with my new service. The spread she made and the bevy of hoppy goodness took the edge off. I'm back now to discuss the topics you all come here to read about. Like duck necrophilia. If you have the courage to click that link, make sure read all the way down to the squirrel necrophilia, and try to not envision it. And try not to laugh.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Social security, private accounts, et al

I'm going to venture into a topic about which I am uncomfortable with my knowledge-social security. So, having said that, I fully welcome a good fisking if I'm wrong.

Ann Althouse wrote twice in the past two days about Mitch McConnell's failure to answer Tim Russert's question, "What does private personal accounts do to fix the solvency problem?" She notes that no one has a short answer. Well, I'm going to take a crack at it.

Private personal accounts don't fix the solvency problem. They are a preperation for the invariable insolvency of Social Security. That is the 800 pound elephant in the closet that no one wants to talk about.

It seems clear that there are two ways to keep the pay as you go social security system solvent. Jack up social security taxes and/or raise the retirement age so you have to pay fewer people. The private account plan assumes that doing so would be a difficult burden on seniors, on the economy, etc. So what do you do? You plan for the day when social security isn't there anymore by getting people to save/invest. By starting private accounts now, you allow for a healthy tansition period before there is an actual crisis. During this transition period, you allow people to build the alternate means of their retirement.

Now, why will Republicans not flat out say this? Because Democrats can use it as a massive scare tactic. They'd be screaming in the streets, "The Republicans want to destroy social security and take away your retirement!" Those who would be most frightened would be those that will be long gone by the time Social Security reaches insolvency, though.

Given that, why won't Democrats go on the offensive? Because they fear the plan may actually make sense, especially to younger voters. They can't use the facts as a stick to bludgeon the Republicans. They need Republicans to present the 800 pound elephant to the public so they can bludgeon them with rhetoric.

Okay fair readers, give me your criticism.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Means to an end

I have a quick question here. Let's say I were to print a weekly tab of Jiblog's posts, and I sold those for a nickel. Would I then be a 'legitimate' print media outlet?

Wisconsin: An open hunting season on domestic cats?

This hasn't exactly been a hard hitting weekend at Jiblog. That isn't going to change with this post.

It seems a hunter in Lacrosse wants the state to have an open hunting season on domestic cats:
The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an "unprotected species" that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license.

Now I'm no cat fan, despite being a cat owner. I'm also a supporter of hunters. But this is just a bad idea. I know that it isn't uncommon for hunters to take a shot at a feral cat when small game hunting, but opening small game hunting up to domestic cats is going to create an all new set of problems as people sue hunters over the destruction of their animals, or the first time some little girl watches a hunter obliterate her beloved pet and her dad gets in an altercation with the armed hunter.

I so beat The Corner on this story

The New York Times and sports psychology

The New York Times, in an apparent effort to shore up the hometown Yankees, takes a look at sports psychology. Their conclusion? Loose knit teams (Yankees) are able to better handle tough times than tight knit teams (Red Sox). Heh. Well, that's good, because it seems the Yankees have the adversity of choking against the Sox last year to overcome.

Just the same, you have to admit the Yankees are a threat to win it all every year. As Bill "Spaceman" Lee said: "You take a team with 25 assholes, and I'll show you a pennant. I'll show you the New York Yankees."

Andrea Haberman

Today's column by Mike Nichols in the Journal Sentinel is a must read (via Sykes Writes). I commented last week on a Nichols column on Haberman, along with a link to the heartbreaking story in the 9/12/01 Journal Sentinel on Andrea. Her father's letter to Nichols is heartbreaking as well.

Sgrena story in the European press

If you are inclined to believe the dispatches in the European press that claim that US forces intentionally went after Giuliani Sgrena's car because she writes articles critical of the war for a communist paper, you may want to stop for 30 seconds and check out Captain's Corner and Little Green Footballs. Tough to believe that vehicle was shot at 300 to 400 times.

Okay, scrap all of that. Per My View of the World, the image of the vehicle isn't really the image of the vehicle.

Update II
Okay, I need something of value added to this post. The Christian Science Monitor looks at military checkpoints in Iraq from both sides.

Jib finally joins the 21st century

After much hemming and hawing, the lovely Mrs. Jib and I finally decided to rearrange our phone arrangements. This will allow me to drop my dial up and go with DSL, so today is my last day on that wonder of the 1990's, dial up internet service. Posting on Monday night may end up being a little dicey as I fully expect technical difficulties. I may have more difficulties on Thursday when my new Wi-Fi router comes into the local Best Buy and I go wireless. How sweet it is! (Envision a 2 foot tall wooden Jib running through the grass with a laptop. Fade to black).

If you need help trying figure out what a Jib looks like, add one part Topher Grace, one part Kevin Bacon, and one part Tom Glavine. Mix, strain, and serve on the rocks. Or so says Mrs. Jib.

Overheard about town

I've overheard variations of this around the area a half dozen times this week: "Ya know what? When you really listen to him, what he says makes sense." And what is this in reference to? Ward Churchill's speech at UW Whitewater. All I can do is shake my head.

Beware the Ides of March

Not every March 15th is bad of course, but as a former superstitious baseball player, I wish there were more readers of Shakespeare in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is promising (via GOP Bloggers)a new government by the 15th. All in all, positive news. I believe Rich Lowry said at The Corner shortly after the elections that Iraqi politics were probably going to be rough and tumble, with a lot getting hammered out right at deadlines, when no one thinks a consensus is possible. Hopefully those words will be prophetic come the Ides of March.

Lowry on Iraq (from The Corner).

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bizarre Reuters headline

Captain's Quarters discussed this topic this morning, but I can't help but comment on it. Reuters was beyond sloppy this morning in their coverage of the Giuliana Sgrena story. Not only did they spell reporter wrong, they also got the entire story factually wrong in the headline. Sgrena, the reporter, wasn't killed. An Italian secret service agent was. Odd.