Sunday, July 31, 2005

Blogs & Libel

Bell at leening Blu postd on a Mlwaukee Jurnel Centinel storey twoday that discuzes blogs and libel. Hear is one of the kee poynts:
The current state of the law protects them because right now, the less editing you do, the less liable you are.
I had red this one eraleir tdoay and had dimissesd it as starihgt fourward, but I am gontah taake it too hart. Frum now on, knot only will I not edit much, I will be az slopy az I kin to avoid a lbel case. That shud make this hole bloging tihng ezier, aneway. :-)

Current TV

Al Gore's new network Current TV debuts tomorrow. I'm not going to judge it until I see it, but I have a few thoughts preceding its debut:
-It is going to try too hard to be cool. We already know that it is going to be calling segments "pods." Ripping off terminology from Apple's iPod craze is a sign that we'll see plenty of this.
-This network is going to underestimate the capacity young people have for hard news, and the result may be a lot of dumbed down junk.
-No political leanings, Al? The news updates will be based off of Google News, which has a leftward tilt.
-Has anyone heard that their cable provider is picking this up, or will this be the exclusive domain of satellite subscribers?

Calatrava, Chicago, and a moment in time for Jiblog

Right now, this post of mine on the Caltrava designed skyscraper in Chicago is the #1 search result on Google for Calatrava Chicago. Welcome to everyone reading that post, and I hope that you share my thoughts on Chicago approving this addition to its skyline.

Ultra (Magic)

Next time you hear a liberal history professor or author criticize Truman and the United States for dropping two atomic bombs on a Japan they claim to be teetering on the verge of surrender, consider this story at The Weekly Standard. Documents on the U.S. program of reading radio dispatches, known alternately as Ultra (British) or Magic (U.S.) show that the Japanese leadership was anything but ready to surrender on Allied terms. Read the whole article before it goes into the Standard's pay archives.

Do I look fat? Classic male error

The Columnist Manifesto looked at the "Do I look fat?" question from a lawyerly standpoint earlier this week (HT Grandpa John's). It's a funny, informative post, but deeply in error. The occasion of "the question" is not a time for eloquence and wise word choice; instead, it is a matter of fight or flight. As a male, you really only have those two choices. You may gird your loins for battle or run like hell. I recommend run like hell.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The bizarre Bill Frist

Like many others, at one time I thought Bill Frist was a rising star in the Republican party and a potential '08 Presidential candidate. No more. Frist is proving to be looser on his positions than John Kerry ever was, and his latest flip on embryonic stem cells only proves that. If he runs in 2008, he'll only be wasting his supporters' money; he'll be out of the race by the time South Carolina's primary results are in.

My name is Jib, and I'm a Moleskine-aholic

Today was a Borders day for Mrs. Jib and I. Most people find this weird, but a Borders outing is our favorite date. But anyway, I came face to face with a painful truth while we were there; I'm addicted to Moleskine notebooks.

In the crummy picture above, please note the rectangular notebook in the foreground. It is a Moleskine Cahier. I already own two Moleskine notebooks that are the same size as this but have more pages. For some reason, I find them inconvenient to carry around, so both are barely used. The smaller Cahier only has 32 (64 front & back) pages, though, making it much easier to slip into a pocket. Today was the first time I've seen the Cahiers, and I was hooked. So I spent $5.95 for 3 of them. That's $5.95 for 96 (192 f&b) sheets of very small notepaper. It does serve a purpose. I've forgotten as many post ideas in the last 13 months as actual posts I've made. I also have tons of free floating sheets of paper with post ideas on them-if I could just find them back. But I spent six dollars on what is really $.99 in notepads. My name is Jib, and I have a problem.

Welcome, my fellow Moleskine users. I didn't realize that there was such and avid following out there. I'm already about a quarter of the way through my first Cahier, and I'm loving it. I hope you enjoy the post. Make yourselves at home and take a look around. Let me know what your think of the place!

Rain on my parade

I believe that I invented a new term today, and I had planned to use it here in a post this evening. The term was funny but crude. My conscience, also known as Mrs. Jib, nixed it though. Earlier in the day she had found it funny and much more tolerable, but I listen to my conscience when she changes her mind on things like this. Instead I am going to put the term in my pocket for possible future use. The only reason I bring this up is because I find the term quite clever, and it kills me not to use it. I promise, my loyal readers, that at some point I will use it to make a few of you chuckle and the rest of you revile me.

2005 a 'sweet' year

It may be, if you enjoy Wisconsin wines, and the weather holds. While the dry weather may have been tough on Wisconsin's main crops, the grapes apparently loved it. So keep you eye out for those 2005 Wisconsin wines.

The barbershop

No, not the movie The Barbershop. The actual place where you go and get your hair cut. The Baraboo News Republic has a piece up on barbershops, and it got me thinking a bit. I have 6 people cut my hair in my life, and only three have done it more than once, and all of them are barbers. Until I went to college, I took the barbershop for granted. I just assumed that every town had several good barbers in the old barber style. Once I got to school in the fall of 1994, I discovered how many men actually went to hairstylists, and what an endangered species a good barber is today. For several years, I drove back home, a 4 hour drive, just so I could sit in a room with yellowed newspaper clippings on the wall, listen to the chat of farmers and the latest town gossip, and get my hair cut by a man in his 60's who still used the straight edged razor for some of the fine work on the back of my neck. It was a place where you went to the bar next door to wait, and the barber pounded on the wall to let you know he was ready for you. It eventually became inconvenient for me to continue to travel 4 hours for the hair cut, so I found a suitable barber in my current part of the state. In the search, I discovered that not only are barbers becoming rare, their average age is getting pretty old. I challenge you to find a 35 year old barber.

So men, I have a challenge for you. Just once this year, give your over priced hairstylist a haircut off, and check out one of your local barbershops. You'll learn deep background on town politics, intricacies of the farm, and even a good joke. You'll meet some great people. If you go to the right place, you may even be able to enjoy a brew while you wait. Just once a year, give this fading piece of Americana your $9.

Side Note:
In the article, one barber says this:
"You can't be a Democrat, you can't be a Republican. You have to bite your tongue - it's the financial advantage," he said. "
Sadly, this barber has not learned an important lesson. It is the customer who must hold their tounge. My old hometown barber had a cartoon on his wall directly across from the chair. That newspaper must have been 25 years old. In the strip, the customer argues politics with the barber. The customer then leaves with a bald spot in the back of his head. It was his subtle, friendly warning to customers of their place in his shop. In the barbershop, the customer is the one to bite the tounge.

HuffPo: The online journal of limosine liberalism

Reading the Huffington Post is a little bit like prospecting for gold in a creek-you have to dig through a lot of crap to find the occasional nugget. The immodesty and self centeredness of some of the posters is downright stunning, whether it be Arianna talking about which exotic locale she has jetted off to now, or Jim Lampley being Jim Lampley, or Trey Ellis talking about why divorce is better for kids. If it weren't for Greg Gutfeld, I'd have probably given up reading the site at all by now.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Quiet day around these parts

There will probably not be very much new content here until Saturday morning. Mrs. Jib and I will be going to a wake for someone who passed away much too young this evening, and after that we will be offline for the rest of the night. Until then, please check out the quality blogs in the blog roll.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Scrap NASA

Back in the days before I knew what a blog was, I had written, for my own consumption, a passionate piece on why we needed manned space travel to Mars. One of my reasons was that I didn't think we were challenging NASA enough anymore. I've changed my mind. Manned exploration of Mars needs to be pulled off the table. In fact, now that the head of NASA has admitted that they may never be able to solve the problem of foam insulation falling off of the shuttle's external tank during launch, it may be time to rethink NASA all together.

NASA head Michael Griffin was on the Today Show this morning, and here are the words that concern me:
"We are trying to get it down to the level that cannot damage the orbiter," NASA administrator Michael Griffin told NBC's "Today."

"We will never be able to get the amount of debris shed by the tank down to zero," he said.

Never? The agency that figured out how to put a man on the moon in the pre-computer age can't figure out a way to stop foam from falling off of a fuel tank? I want to challenge this agency to put men on Mars and bring them back home to earth, and they can't solve the vexing problem of foam falling off of a fuel tank. Well shame on me for thinking the agency was still compotent. I'm not a rocket scientist, but I've already brainstormed a half dozen ways the keep the foam in place. I'm sure all of them would have some sort of problem with them, but I figure a good engineer could figure out a way to make at least one of them work. But here we have the head of the agency saying they can never get to zero.

I've been a big NASA a supporter over the years, but this disgusts me. With all the money it receives and all the supposed brain power it employs, one would think NASA could figure something out. Hell, wrap the damn tank in a highly durable chicken wire, spray a coating on it, and you're done! Maybe the NASA budget cutters were right. The challenge NASA needs is to figure out how to operate with less money.

Santa Claus World Congress

Is this like some sort of Shriner's Convention for Santas? Mrs. Claus is going to be p-o'd if she ever sees that photo. That is if Santa doesn't bring home some unpleasant "gift" for her first.


With big time bloggers hitting huge, significant traffic numbers like Captain's Quarters recent one hundred million-billionth visitor (okay, 10 millionth), I'm becoming sheepish about announcing my modest fun numbers, but I'll do it anyway. The visitor who stopped by at 8:55 this morning was Jiblog's 25,000th visitor in little over a year. Thank you to everyone who has linked to Jiblog over the past 13 months, and thank you to all of my readers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Avoid vacationing in New Hampshire

Planning a vacation? You may want to avoid New Hampshire. Not because New Hampshire is a bad place, mind you, but because it is east of Vermont, which seems to be having a lot of trouble with one of its nuclear power plants:
Gov. John Lynch said yesterday he has serious concerns about the lack of detail that Vermont Yankee nuclear plant managers provided when the plant shut down suddenly on Monday.

The outage was described Monday as an electrical problem, followed by shutdown and use of emergency stabilization systems.
The event is the latest in a series of events at the plant. Last year, staff lost track of segments of two spent fuel rods, had a fire inside the plant, mistakenly disconnected part of its emergency notification system and discovered cracks in a component that connects to the turbine.

Vermont Yankee makes Aruba look like a nice alternative to a vacation in New Hampshire.

Hey newspapers!

Hey newspapers, how are ya? Just okay? Well, I have a bone to pick with you, or at least some of you. I allow cookies on my machine for one reason, and one reason only-my convenience. I know you are placing cookies on my machine, so why do I have to log into your sites every single time I visit? Look, I'm the guy who will click on your ads, and I'm a sales guy, I know that you need those clicks when it comes to renewal time. But if you keep pissing me off by making me sign in every time I visit your site, I'm eventually going to eschew your site for newspapers that store my info on that little cookie. And I don't want to hear you whining about the market forces that are losing you readers when that day comes-it will be your own damn fault.

First impressions: Over There

We watched FX's Over There this evening. I guess there is only one first impression-the focus seemed to be on how victimized our troops are. Balance? Zip. I will hold out hope that this show has some positive, but only because I'm a second episode optomist.

Culinary blogging, installment 2

I think the lovely Mrs. Jib was a little sensitive about last night's culinary blog, so here I am to make ammends. Tonight we had a lovely steak dinner with spicy potato cubes, mushrooms, garlic cheddar rolls, and some nice wine. Yes, she does take care of me.

German kink. Really old German kink

I always knew you Germans were depraved. This just confirms how engrained that depravity is.

(The above was good natured joshing. Because I'm scared of you Germans, too. Particularly the one I married.)

Upon further review...
I've determined that the researchers in question are depraved. I think it is a pestle. Actually, I hope it wasn't a mutli-purpose device...

York turns Magnum into Derringer

Wow. Dennis York makes Dave Magnum look like a fool willing to part with his money. Mrs. Jib and I were always stunned by the Magnum commercial last fall where he uses the picture of his deceased wife as a campaign prop; we knew the first time we saw it that he had little chance against Tammy Baldwin. York shows the other reasons why.

Al Gore on step nine?

Last week, when asked if his new network was going to have a political bias, Al Gore said the following:
"I consider myself a recovering politician. I'm on step nine,"
I've never been on a 12 step program, so I looked one up to see what step nine was. This is step nine:
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
So, when is Al going to apologize to all of us for that politician-in-depression beard?

Embarrassing error Hall of Fame

This has to be embarrassing:
CHIPPEWA FALLS — A hunting instructor in Chippewa Falls accidentally shot himself in the leg Sunday while practicing his quick-draw technique.
Sanna Central points out that this guy is a real man. After laying down for a half hour after shooting himself, the hunting instructor went to the hospital, but not before he stopped to clean up his own blood. I guaranteee this is a house where the toilet lid stays down.

No comment

I offer this up without comment. May Harry's soul rest in everlasting peace.

Road kill!

Or is it air kill? Either way, this bird is still runner up in the "most creative way to die" category to the one Randy Johnson hit with a fastball a few years back.

Jiblog as living book

In response to concern over potential FEC regulation of blogs, I stated a few weeks back that I would not start calling Jiblog an online magazine. I do like the sound of "living book," though. The way I'm thinking, if the United States Constitution can be called a "living document" by some, then surely a blog is a vibrantly living document. I've been thinking of printing off a hard copy of Jiblog at some point, anyway, so what if I just say that once I reach a certain page level, I'm going to take Jiblog to a custom publisher and have this online document turned into an anthology of my political commentary which I plan to sell at a local book seller, and to wider markets if the local market proves that there is an audience for my book? The FEC regulating Jiblog would then be akin to the FEC regulating the manuscript of an author. The difference would be that I have hundreds (okay, dozens) of editors reviewing my work along the way.

On top of that, The Jiblog Anthologies (Vols I-?) would feed my ravenous ego, even if I only sold one copy. :-)

Blogs as historical records

This is a topic that pops into my head during those times when my brain is just peacefully meandering. Blogs one day will be a treasure trove for historians. Never before have so many people been "on the record" on so many different topic. Historians looking back at events that are current affairs to us now will be able to use blog activity as a barometer of what the public opinion was during these events. Also, sooner or later, a blogger will become an important leader in this nation, perhaps even President. That person's blog will be treated as personal papers by historians. There are just a couple of problems-where will historians go to access these old blogs, and will they be able to intrepret these old blogs full of dead, formerly context providing links?

First, where will historians go to find these blogs? Right now, historians access libraries, historical scoieties, and archives all over the country and the world to find the written sources that they are looking for. Right now there is no public resource of these types for electronic resources because there is no reason for them. Why spend public dollars on repositories of electronic media when they are all available to us online? Right now, Google is our massive public library of electronic media. Google's storage capabilities allow them to store virtually everything that's on line. Having one single source control the archives of the internet is asking for those sources to be lost to history, though. What happens as Google ages as a corporation in an aging market, and they decide that instead of investing in new servers, new storage, they are going to start purging older files in their 'cache' to save money? Blogs that have long since ceased operation, their hosts out of business, will be lost to posterity. And what happens as we move out of the digital age and into the next technological big thing? Will our digital blogs go the way of the 8 track, with files available to view, but scant little equipment to view them with? I don't have the answer. As I mentioned above, public monies for archiving electronic media is very difficult to justify, as it is all available to us right now. But there is almost no profit incentive for private money to archive electric media, either. Could historians one day look back on this era and lament all of the knowledge lost because we never had the foresight to save and archive our material on the web?

Second, would future historians have difficulty deciphering blogs? After all, blogs run on the assumption that the reader has some background knowledge on the topics discussed. Where deeper background is necessary, links are provided. Historians would surely have a good knowledge of the topic at hand, but what of the deeper background. Many links in what will then be old blogs will be dead by then. Will that make some posts useless to historians? This is problem is less significant than the first, but it will lead to a little greater need for interpretation by historians, and trust me, the less interpretation a historian has to do, the better the scholarship will be ;-).

I'd be curious if anyone out there has a good knowledge of electronic storage and would be willing to speak to this post in the comments.

Peg Lautenschlager & her July 17 speech

As I've tried to make time in my schedule and room in my brain to blog the last couple of days, Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager's decision to speak at the July 17th Gay & Lesbian Pride Rally in Madison immediately following a speech by the plaintiffs in a suit against the state has been on my mind. I've not commented on it, though, because it is just such an easy target. Anyone, supporter or opponent of Lautenschlager's, should be able to see how monumentally dumb this was, and I shouldn't have to chime in and say so myself. This story leads into a much larger point about the Attorney General, though. Most voters are forgiving types. One mistake, two mistakes, no big deal. Lautenschlager has shown a lack of good judgment over and over again during her term, though. Normally, if the state Attorney General is going to personally prosecute what should be an easy multiple murder case, I should be at ease that they are going to get the job done, regardless of political party. Lautenschlager, however, engenders no such confidence from me. She will be prosecuting Chai Vang in the Rusk County deer hunter murders case. After all of her missteps while in office, I can't help but worry that she will somehow find a way to make a circus of a case that touches a raw spot in the Northwest region of the state. Because of her pattern of poor judgment, I can't see how state voters can rationalize re-electing her. In fact, I can't see why state Democrats wouldn't throw their full weight behind unseating her in the primaries.

Humor from the ACLU

Okay, about 80% of the time I find myself in disagreement with the ACLU. I have to admit, though, that this flash movie is humorous. Realistic? I doubt it, but their concerns on national ID and the collection of personal information is not unfounded. Hat tip My Catharsis.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I've been watching Democratic opposition to CAFTA, and I am left with one question. We've been hearing from the left for years that because of our actions, the rest of the world, particularly the world's poor, hate us. So when they have the chance to 'right' that 'wrong' by extending free trade to Central America, something which would aide the economic development of those nations and raise their standards of livings, they stand in the way. Why? It seems they want to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

Willisms has a simple graph illustrating the extent to which Democrats have jumped off the free trade boat.

Calatrava Chicago

Call me old fashioned, but even in this post 9-11 era, I am a firm believer in man reaching for the sky with taller, more beautiful skyscrapers. It used to be that these buildings were symbolic of wealth and power for the building owners, while also symbolizing man's power over nature and physics for their creators. Now these buildings also represent the strength of the American will and spirit, and our natural defiance in the face of enemies. That's why I hope the city of Chicago approves plans for a residential skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava. Based on the artististic rendition at the New York Times, the building is very attractive. It would also be the tallest building in the United States at 2000 total feet. I love the spirit in the plan, and I hope the city of Chicago has the courage to approve it.

Naughty license plates


New Democratic strategy just as bad as previous strategies

Democrats desperately want to shed the perception that they are obstructionists who are bankrupt of any ideas of their own. If you watch, the foot soldiers of the party are trying turn the tide against Republicans by hijacking Republican talking points and using them against Republicans. The first place I really noticed it was in this article, which covers a Paul Begalla speech that accuses Republicans of being weak on defense and devoid of any new ideas. Now the party leader, Howard Dean is going down the same road. From this article at Town Hall, we see Dean claiming the Kelo decision was made by the "right-wing Supreme Court", staking a claim on the pro-life movement, that Republicans have bought the government (*cough* Soros *cough*), accusing Republicans as being at fault for Social Security's problems, etc, etc. Read the article for more.

I am going to offer a free piece of advise to the Democratic party because I am a fair and open minded type of guy. Claiming the other guy's ground can be a very effective policy, but only when you can back up your claim with evidence. Therefore, your strategy is not going to work for a very, very long time. Right now your claims sound ridiculous, and they make you look ridiculous. Especially when liberally mixed with the shrill accusations that only the nuts in your party and the conspiracy theorists believe. So stop with this strategy for now, build up some sort of positive legislative track record, and then give it another try down the road.

And I have one request for the Democratic party. Give it up with the Progressive label. You're still Liberals.

Congrats to Charlie Sykes

The libel case against radio host Charlie Sykes was dismissed today after Robert Miranda decided to take the settlement he had previously refused. Congrats to Charlie and to WTMJ. Miranda has done more damage to his own reputation by bringing this case than Sykes's post could have ever done. I'm sure that this is a load off of Sykes's shoulders, so I hope that he and everyone involved at WTMJ are enjoying their evening tonight.


What the hell was Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx thinking when he took this role? I think I'd rather watch Judge Dredd a half dozen times than go see this movie.

I just saw a preview for The Great Raid. That is a movie that might get my hard earned dollar this summer.

Culinary blogging

I've been inspired of late by the culinary blogging skills of several major league bloggers out there. So tonight I introduce the first ever Jiblog culinary blog. To celebrate her last night of work before an extended weekend, the lovely Mrs. Jib and I indulged ourselves in a luxurious meal of creamy sandwich a salade d'oeufs, crisp morceaux de mais, and spicy poppers de jalapeno. Please notice the presentation of the fine American brew, and what a fine vintage it was-2005!

The lovely Mrs. Jib and I (sans brew for Mrs. Jib) enjoyed this succulent meal while watching truly intellectual fare-South Park.

Gough Island: Kittie paradise

An island with flightless birds and monster mice? Sounds like the cat's ass:
Monster mice" are eating three-foot-high albatross chicks alive, threatening rare bird species on a remote south Atlantic island seen as the world's most important seabird colony. Conservation groups say the avian massacre is occurring on Gough Island in the South Atlantic, a British territory about 1,000 miles southwest of Cape Town and home to more than 10 million birds.
Delilah Cat (see pic below) has her bag packed and wants me to buy her a first class plane ticket to Gough Island.

Storm blogging, vol 2, #1

Today's round of Wisconsin storms is blowing through Jefferson County right now. Interestingly, the winds seem stronger than they did during Saturday's nasty storm-and Jefferson County is not under a severe thunderstorm warning (the person that was directed to knows who she is).

K. Sounds like something landed on my roof as I was writing that last paragraph. Hopefully I will be back later.

No holes in the roof. All is good here for now.

Interesting side note. Channel 12 in Milwaukee recently did a segment on Wisconsin's tornado alley, which extends through Fond du Lac, Dodge, Columbia, and Dane Counties.

Uninteresting Jiblog trivia. In the segment linked to above, meteorologist Mark Baden mentions that there is a lesser tornado alley north and west of Eau Claire. That means the two places I've lived in my life have each been just to the east of prominant tornado areas in Wisconsin. And I've still never seen one, which is probably for the best.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Unsweetened kitties

A new study by the Monnell Chemical Senses Center has found that cats don't have a sweet tooth because of faulty genetics.

In related news, a new study by the Jiblog Institute for Cat Scratches has found this kitty is missing the gene for a sweet disposition-unless she wants something.

Dog v. dog leg

If you are having a rough day, I highly recommend this video for a chuckle. (HT The Corner)

No history lessons

History Headline News looks at why history may not have any lessons for today's labor movement:
Perhaps the biggest difference between what's happening in Chicago and what happened in Atlantic City (in 1935) is in the workers themselves. In the mid thirties, the CIO could not hand out union cards fast enough. Workers were hungry for representation, voice, and a route out of economic misery. Armed with the new tool of the sit-down strike, the unions marched through major industry facing down goons, street battles, plant occupations, and court fights until they triumphed in nearly all of basic industry. Today's battles are clearly in the service sector, the hope is that similar upheavals might follow a breakthrough at the top of the labor hierarchy. Such a victory would, however, have to be a social movement of unimaginably gargantuan proportions that would have to overcome tremendous odds and work in close harmony with other social movements. The unions would have to enroll more than a million members a year in order to see a single percent up tick in union density. That would have to be achieved among workers who, however demonstrably unhappy they may be with the terms of their employment, seem only to have a modest interest in the vision put forth by the labor movement.
The rest of the article is interesting, if labor sympathetic.


From The Federalist 05-30 Brief:
"What would happen if all these neutral nations...were with one spontaneous impulse to do their duty...and were to stand together...against aggression and wrong? At present their plight is lamentable; and it will become much worse. They bow humbly and in fear to...threats of violence. ... Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear...the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely. It will spread to the South; it will spread to the North. There is no chance of a speedy end except through united action." --Sir Winston Churchill

Sykes libel case

Sean pointed out at the Badger Blog Alliance this morning that, quite quietly, a libel case has been brought against WTMJ 620 AM talk show host by Charlie Sykes, and he asked to hear the opinions of the Wisconsin blogosphere. Or at least the conservative Wisconsin blogosphere, which Sykes has benefited greatly this year. The topic was taken up very ablely here, here, here, here, and here. So once again, the inability to post during the day leaves me sucking hind...nevermind. Rather than contribute to the chorus too much, I'm going to post the notes that I jotted down quickly this morning for posterity's sake, but recommend those 5 links above.

-Sykes made a quick, good faith effort to remove the offending post.
-Sykes was not personally responsible for any link that remained alive after the post was removed. Companies like Journal Communications have webmasters, IT people, or producers who are responsible for that.
-Standard for libel would seem to extend beyond that for newspapers, which frequently make factual errors, but which are allowed to print little noticed corrections, and TV news, which also makes errors but rarely issues a retraction or correction.
-It does seem that Charlie Sykes and 620 WTMJ were slow to react to the situation after removing the post, but legal advice likely had a lot to do with that. The slow reaction would also play no part in the libel charge.
-While I personally find it a very weak libel charge, it is a good reminder for all bloggers to review and confirm our leads, even if given to us from a reliable source.

Souter's property

I think everyone had a chuckle when Freestar Media proposed a hotel on Justice Souter's property after the Kelo decision. It sounds like the idea is actually picking up steam in New Hampshire, though.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Good marriage story

It seems like every marriage story out there these days is about divorce rates, fewer people marrying, funky vows that refuse to use the words "til death do us part", or wedding bands that are incomplete circles. So today I do my public service and pass along a positive marriage story:
An 82-year-old man who went clamming in the Long Island Sound says he made the ultimate catch: the wedding ring he lost two years ago.
After his wife, Mary, scrubbed it with jewelry cleaner, they were able to read the inscription: "MPS to SJP 9-10-67." Her husband's eyes began to tear, she said.
One story like this can cancel out a week's worth of the negative stories.

Wisconsin Weather

It has been a fairly tranquil summer so far here in Wisconsin, so I've largely ignored it until today. I just knew that I could rely on it being in the upper 80's to lower 90's with plenty of sun. But with the storm that blew across the state today, I was a little more in tune with it. So when I saw that the forecast low overnight was 78 degrees, I was a little surprised for two reasons. One, that is a very high low temperature for Wisconsin. Second, shortly before sunset, it was 72. So I scoffed at it, as I do so many weather forecasts. Then late tonight I decided to start a camp fire (I've been blogging fireside-we've been having a fireside chat of sorts) as an excuse to get rid of some of today's storm damage. It was windy, and in the couple of hours I've been outside, it seemed to get stickier. I chalked it up to being next to the fire until I checked the thermometer-the temperature had risen to 79 degrees. 79 degrees at 1 a.m. It is going to be hotter than Hades tomorrow.

Revolution or World War

Spurred on by this article on Japanese and Americans opinions on the possibility of another World War, I've spent a lot of time tonight thinking about global conflict. My thought process can be a sinewy path, but bear with me.

Not to long ago, in the comments to one of his posts, I told Owen at Boots & Sabers that I would not be surprised if the United States faced some sort of second Revolution late in my lifetime, or during the lifetime of my as of yet unborn kids or grandchildren. I'm not the type who lives in a bunker and arms myself to the teeth; I can just see our general discourse in society taking us down that path. I think that there is a greater likelihood that we will find ourselves in a painful, difficult global war during that same time period, though, and if so, I think that our general tendency to draw together when attack from the outside would eliminate the possibility or need for revolution.

My true concern is that we are in a pre-global conflict stage similar to the one the major powers found themselves in during the late 19th century and early 20th. A time where military powers began to head towards something of an equilibrium, when small skirmishes and new technologies where the general rule, and nobody was really able to put it all together to see where the world was headed. That's what I see now. The information age means that we can only maintain technological superiority as long as we are constantly developing awesome new weapons systems. It doesn't take long for everyone to figure out current weapons systems and develope their own, and it doesn't even take much money to buy the last generation of weapons systems anymore. As the Chinas of the world, or the North Koreas, or the Irans, think that they can challenge us to at least a draw, they will use those weapons systems. And the second they do, there will be a huge chain reaction of sides being taken. If we do head in that direction, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific nations will be where the action is at, with Russia being a huge wild card for Europe.

I think I've discussed this before, and I'll say again, I sincerely hope that I'm very wrong on this. I like my nice, comfortable, peaceful life (and that's why I support the war on terror). I don't want it upended by total war. Just the same, as an amateur history buff (and I stress amateur), I don't really like the signs I'm seeing. We could be in for a bumpy 50 years.

Roberts as Souter

I'm seeing a lot of bloggers trying to calm the nervous Nellies who are afraid Roberts will be another Justice Souter. I hope they fail to calm the nervous Nellies down. Frankly, I wish Souter had been looked at a little harder by conservatives than he was. Having a cautious group of Senators and bloggers is only a good thing right now. I for one am not going to call my Senators to encourage them to confirm Roberts until he's gone through a little more of the process and I myself feel comfortable with him. And I'm not going to encourage anyone else to do so, either.

Oops. Looks like I was beaten to the punch on this one.

Common sense during time of war

It is sad to hear that the man who ran away from police and ended up being shot and killed in London did not have a bomb on him (or, if you are the Tube that day, a good thing). Although I've yet to see anyone play the race card on London police, rest assured someone will. Which leads into my main point. The war on Terror, the war in Iraq, these are not total wars for the West. Because of this, many people mistakenly think that society is business as usual. It isn't. If you joke around about bombing something, you are probable going to face a rough arrest. If you are the subject of a terror investigation, and police try to stop you, you best stop. And if you run, you had best not run to the place where acts of terrorism have been occurring, because you are going to face worse things than a rough arrest.

Subjects of official investigations are not the only ones to blame. We have not been in total war since World War II, and society has forgotten that times of war require a different decorum than peace times. Every loud mouth politician or opponent of our current wars, people who plan their rhetoric around the sad deaths of soldiers, may end up through their very words costing more soldiers lives, or even the lives of hundreds or thousands of citizens on the homefront. I don't know if it is because we are that ignorant, or if because of political correctness the government refuses to give us reminders that things like "Loose Lips Sink Ships," or if we are just that arrogant. All I do know is that after 60 plus years of small wars, we seem to have forgotten that wartime is a very different thing from peace time.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Tire fire from space

An satellite image of the smoke from the fire at a tire recycling plant in Watertown, WI, has been released. It is impressive to see the amount of territory that smoke covered.

July 15, 1980

Unless you were in the Chippewa Valley on that date, it has little or no significance. But for those of us who can remember it, it is a date that is burned into the memory-even those of us who were mere 4 year olds at the time. That evening a storm blew through the Chippewa Valley that had straight line winds over 100 miles an hour, damaging homes & businesses to the tune of $115 million in damage done, and 10 continuous miles of a main powerline to the area was knocked down. For me, it lead to an absolute and complete terror for strong thunderstorms that would last another 12 years or so, even though my home did not see the worst of the storm. Portions of that day are crystal clear in my mind 25 years later, which is impressive because I usually can't remember what I had for lunch.

WEAU TV-13 was the only major television station in the area at that time. To a certain extent, the Chippewa Valley was a bit of a media oasis. 1 major TV station, one small station, and 2 newspapers. An afterthought to the nearby Twin Cities market, and not even on the radar of down state media markets. 25 years later, they have put together a special looking back on their coverage of the July 15, 1980 storm. It is a great little special to watch if you are from the area, if you enjoy weather disaster shows, or if you just enjoy looking back on the inhabitants of an area cursed with terrible clothing.

Economies of scale?

Hmmm. Can anybody tell me what is way out of scale on this sculpture? If it were a real mermaid (yes, I know, there is no such thing), it clearly would have only been able to float on its back, and thus been vulnerible to predators from below.

Storm blogging, Vol. 1, #1

Below are a few pics from today's storms which swept across Wisconsin. My apologies for the quality. I was taking most of my pics with a film camera, and used a crummy digital cam for some shots I could get up here quickly. As always, do not storm blog at home. Wait-do storm blog at home, don't storm blog on the road. As Mrs. Jib will tell you, I''s just plain dumb to drive into a severe storm.

Storm blogging, Vol. 1, #2

I ended up seeing much more of the storm than I had anticipated. I had watched the storms on radar since about noon, as they had pummeled my old stomping grounds, the Chippewa Valley in Western Wisconsin, with strong winds and half dollar sized hail. When I went out to take a few pics, I figured I would get no closer to the storms than 5 or 10 miles. The storms had other ideas. I took this picture looking northwest. I understood what I was seeing, but I thought it was going to slide north of my location. Instead, those clouds were over me within 10 minutes. All in all, the storms were strong but not devestating here. Just some downed branches and power outages.

Storm blogging, Vol. 1, #3

It was interesting but not necessarily frightening views in the sky such as this that led to this storm catching up to me in a hurry. I would end up being less concerned about pictures and more concerned about looking for shelter.

Storm blogging, Vol. 1, #4

As everyone who experienced these storms knows, they were very fast moving. When I left my house, I didn't even think we were going to see these storms. My goal was to take a few pics from a safe distance. After 10 minutes of driving north, things were getting dark. After 10 minutes of taking pictures with my Canon EOS Rebel, it became apparent that I was going to be part of the storm. Within a minute of this picture (with a cheap digital Vivitar), it was as dark as it will be at around 8:30-9:00 tonight.

Storm blogging, Vol. 1, #5

This was among the first shots I took. This is from Highway 18 just west of Jefferson, WI. When I left my house about 8-10 minutes previous, this storm seemed quite a ways off yet. By the time I got to Jefferson, it was looking pretty close.

Friday, July 22, 2005

American diver hits face on board

Argh. This is an uncomfortable photo to look at. U.S. diver Chelsea Davis was making a dive at the World Swimming Championships when she hit her face on the diving board. It's one of those photos that cause instant empathy for the subject. Ouch.

Reading the french fries

In an early post, I describe my growing squishyness on John Roberts.  There is one thing in his judicial record that is keeping me from jumping off the boat, and that is the french fry case.  To the uninitiated, my support of his decision to uphold the arrest of a girl who ate a french fry on a train in Washington D.C. makes me look like an ogre, but if one understands the role of lawmakers, police, and judges, then it becomes hard to say he made the wrong decision.


If you are unfamiliar with the case, here’s a brief synopsis.  It is illegal to eat food on the Metro in Washington D.C.  When the girl ate her french fry, she was cuffed and put into jail.  Clearly, lawmakers passed a bad law.  And law enforcement officials fulfilled their duty under that bad law, although they showed a little bad judgement as well.  So this case ends up in front of Roberts’ court.  As a judge, it is not his responsibility to right the wrongs that may have been committed against this girl.  It is his job to apply the law, and that is what he did.  This is hopefully a telling sign of the kind of Justice Roberts would be.  He did what a judge is supposed to do-he applied the law.  He did not go looking for a reason to right a wrong.  While it is admirable for someone to try to right a wrong, it is not the job of the judiciary.  Justice is not something applied from the heart, but rather from the laws on the book.  Sometimes justice is not just, but in those instances the pressure belongs on lawmakers to improve the laws that they have passed, not on judges.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Concern about Roberts

I am cautiously optomistic about Roberts as a Supreme Court Justice. I have one concern, though. Roberts seems (sorry, no cites at this time) to have carefully crafted a life that would allow him to attain high levels of the Judiciary. It seems he is on the record in support of both conservative and liberal causes (and on Roe, both sides of the same cause). That could mean two things. One, that he is an eminently fair human being. Two, that he's a guy that has lived his life with his finger in the wind of public opinion. Part of the problem with Supreme Court right now is that it seems to take into consideration things like foreign law and public opinion. I'm hoping number one is the case. But I'm afraid number that two might be.

Actually, there is a number 3-that I'm way off base with this analysis. But I heartily doubt that could be the case. :-)

Jessica McBride gives me more reason to get squishy on Roberts.

7/20 London bombing attempt

This is a bizarre story because of both the seeming failure of the bombing, the facts slowly trickling out of the UK, and a lot of assumptions being made in all media, even if cautious assumptions. Therefore, I'm taking Michael Ledeen's advice today in The Corner and keeping my judgements to myself until we have harder facts. No more on London 'til then.

Random thought on judicial activism, Constitutional amendments

Bear with me on this post. This falls into the random brain storm category, and I'm curious to see if there is any agreement/disagreement with this thought.

Judicial activism is changing the nature of our Constitutional amendments. There was a time when the people approved new amendments in order to protect rights or to confer upon the Federal Government unenumerated rights of governance previously reserved to the states. As the Federal Judiciary has found more and more meaning in the Constitution, meaning not clearly reflected in the text but divined from it, our proposed constitutional amendments have become more about reigning in the Judiciary than protecting rights or conferring powers from the states to the Feds. Take the idea of a Flag burning amendment-it is a reaction to the courts deciding that flag burning is constitutionally protected free speech. Take the marriage amendment. In this case, it is a reaction to the expectation that the courts will somehow find in the Constitution the right to same sex marriage.

May the link be a little tenuous right now? Perhaps, but I expect it will become much more common. And the reason is because the creation of law has slowly moved from Congress to the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional amendment is one of the few ways to check the power of the Court.

Great war reporting

Michael Yon has a post up at his online magazine regarding the explosives factory/dump found recently in Mosul. Glen Reynolds linked to the post and said, "...this is war reporting of a caliber not often seen these days." He wasn't kidding. It is an excellent dispatch from Iraq.

James Doohan, "Scotty", 1920-2005

I doe'n have the words, Cap'n. RIP, Scotty.

Netscape 8.0

Okay, I've had my fun jousting with you Firefox users in the past. I'm one of 7 Netscape brand loyal users out there, and I excitedly anticipated the release of Netscape 8.0. When it was released, I put it on both of my machines and I used it full time. Then I started having the occasional crash, so I started opening up my old Netscape browser for sites that I knew were problematic. Then I had problems with my Bloglines RSS reader, namely i couldn't get the links in the frame to the left to open up in the main frame. Since I always have Bloglines up when I'm working on the net, this was problematic. On one machine I was able to resolve it, and I continued to use Netscape 8.0 about 90% of the time. On the other machine, every time I shut down Netscape, I seemed to lose the setting which allowed Bloglines to work correctly. So on that machine, I began using my old Netscape almost exclusively. Since I'm a bit of freak about continuity between my two machines, I began to use the old Netscape exclusively on both machines. It's probably been a month since I even opened Netscape 8.0

8.0 needs work. There were a lot of bugs that Netscape should have worked out before they released it. In addition to the crashes and the frames problem on Bloglines, I found the RSS reader built into the browser less than user friendly, which is too bad because that was one of the main advantages I thought 8.0 had over the 7.X browsers.

I'm still not a Firefox convert, though, and probably never will be as long as I have a stable Netscape to use. When I open up my browser, I don't want to spend time customizing it. I want it to have a bevy of features that I like, and those I don't need I just won't use. Firefox is fine in it's bare bones version, but I just don't feel like adding the additional features I want. When I open up the browser, I go to town surfing. Fiddling and customizing is not and will not be part of the equation.

No taxation without respiration!

I love that line. I've obviously had my head in the sand, as that line has been in circulation as an anti-estate tax slogan for a little while now. As I dosed off to sleep last night, I heard Steve Forbes say it on the O'Reilly Factor. Great line.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jeff Jarvis admonished by his readers

Earlier today Captain Ed had posted that Bernard Goldberg had been ambushed on Donny Deutsch's "The Big Idea". Goldberg is an entertaining read, so it perked my ears up a little, but not enough to waste my time watching Donny Deutsch. Then I read the update at Captain's Quarters, and from that post headed over to Jeff Jarvis's Buzz Machine. Jarvis was one of 4 panelists brought on to oppose Goldberg and his book, even though none of them had read it yet. Jarvis's readers have been beating him up for his performance on "The Big Idea". Even if you could care less about Deutsch and Goldberg, go to Jarvis's post and then read the comments. The commentors even take time to slam James Wolcott, who stopped into the comments and shoved his foot down his throat.

And sadly, I'm going to watch the rebroadcast on CNBC at 12:30.

Ugh, now I remember why I don't watch Donnie Deutsch. I'm also reminded of why, although I was thrilled he mentioned one of my posts on MSNBC, Jeff Jarvis irritated me so on that particular day. You'd need a diamond tipped blade to cut through his smugness.

Iraq-al Qaeda link

Looking for links between al Qaeda and Iraq? Try reading Stephen F. Hayes.

Heaters in Summer

If you work in an office with good air conditioning, I guarantee you know someone who does this.

Food Supply worries

Reuters has a story on a Senate hearing today about the vulnerabilities of the food supply. This winter I gave Tommy Thompson a Loose Lips Sink Ships award for blabbing about this topic at a high profile event. In this case, Reuters is just as deserving. I swear we are begging for an attack on our food supply-Reuters goes so far as to say one way it could be done. It's just more proof that we've divorced responsibility from the freedom to say what we want in this country. As much as has been written on this topic this year, and the details that have been included in the stories, I wouldn't be surprised if the al Qaeda manual on this consists of published news articles.

No beauty in Canada

Toronto authorities forced the Canadian Miss Universe to remove her sash at a recent event. Why? Because it it is illegal to sexually stereotype in Toronto. So, next time you are fit to be tied over out of control regulation here in the U.S., take a short trip to Canada. Here's a synopsis of the law:
...a regulation against activities which degrade men and women through sexual stereotypes or exploit their bodies to attract attention.
I guess that's why the Toronto Blue Jays suck it up every year. If they actually made the playoffs, they'd be "exploiting their bodies to attract attention."

Google Moon

In honor of the 1st lunar landing, Google rolled out Google Moon today. Pick one of the landing sites and zoom all the way in for the amazing detail of the images.

On the other hand...

In an update to a post below on John Roberts, I stated that I felt he would end up being closer to his 1990 statement than his 2001 statement. Ann Coulter seems to disagree, and she's done her homework (From a Drudge Flash, will post Coulter column when available):
Coulter continues: It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:

“In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-93 Term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States.”

This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, "hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job."
Maybe Roberts won't have the wiggle room on the right that I thought he would.

Great Roberts links

I can't bear to have that crude cell phone post at the top of the page until whenever I get to post later today, so instead I will direct you to the always tasteful Michelle Malkin, who has a great file of thoughts and links going on Roberts.

Cell phones in obnoxious places

Two recent media stories got me thinking about cell phone usage. The first was Jeff Wagner's show on 620 AM WTMJ last Saturday. He was talking about how obnoxious it would be if the FCC and the FAA would allow cell phone use on planes. The other was this Mike Adams article, Cell Phone Sociopaths. Together they brought to mind my biggest cell phone pet peeve-cell phones in public restrooms.

I can't speak for the ladies out there, as I make it a habit to avoid your restrooms, but in the men's room, it seems the use of cell phones is an epidemic. It is a habit that seems to be exacerbated by alcohol, but common even at the local mall. I'll be standing there at a urinal, and in will walk a guy and stand next to me. His cell phone will ring or worse yet, he'll dial it, and hold a conversation right there with all of the attendant bathroom noises. And 9 times out of 10, the guy is talking to a woman. Why!? Can someone please tell me why?! Do you think it will impress her to think of what you're doing at that moment? The handy thing about cell phones today is they have two handy features-caller ID and voice mail. Call them back when you're done! I do not like to have you peeing next to me with your phone cradled between ear and shoulder, one hand free and gesturing wildly, and the other trying to control the business at hand. Makes me a touch nervous. And what does the person on the other end of the line think? They must be able to hear toilets flushing and all of the other disgusting sounds which I will not catalog here. Damn, guys. The call can wait.

If I had ever done this to the lovely Mrs. Jib, she would never have agreed to become the lovely Mrs. Jib. If I did it today, irreconcilable differences would be the talking point around our dinner table.

(Apologies to Jeff Wagner and Mike Adams for my having lumped them into this horrifying post)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Roberts wonderfully muddy on Roe

Well, everyone is going to have a field day with Roberts on Roe. He already has contradictory statements on the topic which will allow him to take the "will not overturn" track and still not scare the living hell out of the President's conservative supporters who are adament about overturning Roe. To wit:
"The court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution," the brief said.

"Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."
Prediction: He passes.

HT NY Times

I think a small clarification is in order on my part after reading Beldar's comment and Sean's post. Based off of the two quotes above, I personally have no idea where Roberts' will fall on Roe, and I wouldn't expect him to tell the Senate how he'd rule on a hypothetical case. And that's the beauty of those two quotes-it gives him wiggle room on Roe. Could the 2001 comment mean that he'd follow precedent in his role as an apellate judge but have no bearing on his decision as a Supreme Court justice? Perhaps. Could it also mean that he wouldn't touch Roe as a justice? Again, perhaps. Personally, I think that, as a Supreme Court Justice, he would probably be closer to the 1990 statement, which is why I welcome the seeming contradiction-with it he has the ability to assuage potential enemies on both sides of the aisle.

John Roberts

Wow. John Roberts is your first George W. Bush nominee for the Supreme Court. A lot of people's sources were very, very wrong today.

Northwestern women & flip flops at the White House

I'm getting search hits for this, so I may as well toss my two cents. The flip flop wearers showed bad etiquette, nothing more or less. They are atoning for this nicely by auctioning the the flip flops and donating the money to a child with cancer. Textbook case of making the best out of a bad situation.

Stand by our British Bretheren

We need to stand tall, side by side, with our British bretheren, upper lips stiffened. Why? Because Britain is facing the greatest threat in its long and glorious history-the invasion of unattractive, lily white, nude people.

America, shudder in private, but put on a brave face for your staunchest ally to see.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Takes all kinds

I find it interesting that I'm currently in an off the record pissing contest with someone over whether or not Chippewa Falls' FATFAR event is PG-13 or R rated. Who the hell cares? I said to leave the kids at home in my review of the tube float.

And she could wear the "I'm with stupid" shirt

Joe Wilson has hardly been discrete about his wife's super dooper, double ultra secret identity, so I was thinking about making about turning this into a t-shirt. Problem is, I'm pretty sure only about a dozen or so people would actually get it.

Thanks to Nathan's Community Lunch for the photo.

Spurlock watch

Let me start by saying that I loathe Morgan Spurlock. I watched Supersize Me with the lovely Mrs. Jib (at my resistance) and picked it apart in my head. I was hoping Spurlock would end up crawling back into the whole he crawled out of, but now that he has a weekly TV show, which I'm loathe to say I've watched, the Morgan Spurlock Watch is an indispensable website for those of us who see him for what he is-a propagandist.

Looking at 30

I’m sitting here with a little bit more than 5 months of my twenties left, and I’ve been thinking about aging. Here are a couple of my random thoughts.

-Graying hair is a pretty appealing prospect when you grow up expecting to be bald by 29. Having a full head of gray hair becomes a worthy goal.

-Skinny 16 year olds are not immune to weight gain later in life. 40 pounds in 14 years is not terrible for a former pencil neck geek, but it definitely takes a couple extra fractions of a second to get down to first base. My goal? Split the difference between then and now at about 20 pounds. Heh. At least I still have my sense of humor.

-As an aside to the above, be careful what you wish for. At 16, I wanted to weigh 195 pounds. 195 pounds of muscle, not 195 pounds of beer by-product.

-Even though there is more around the middle than I would like, 195 does not look all that bad on a 5’11” frame. A dressed 5’11” frame.

-I’m looking forward to that day when my body naturally wakes me up at dawn. Currently, my body wants to naturally wake me up somewhere around, well, never.

-I may be saying goodbye to my twenties, but I’m still in that “all important 18-35 age range.” Boo yeah!

-Twenty year olds look younger every day. At this rate, I’ll want to put diapers on them by the time I’m 40.

-Aches. Where the hell do these mystery aches come from? I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING YESTERDAY!

-You start to find yourself squeamish about hanging out with a bunch of 20 year olds. Not that there is anything wrong with it per se, you just feel like the old dude who doesn’t belong because he’s been there before. A decade ago.

-The idea of going out and having home run derbies all day long still seems appealing. Problem is, gathering up all of those baseballs doesn’t seem appealing at all anymore, so you just end up sitting down and watching a game instead (hence, 40 pounds).

-You begin to develop the patience for things that you didn’t have the patience for before, like fishing or golf.

-You begin to lose patience for things you used to have all the patience in the world for, like standing in line at a bar, or being crammed shoulder to shoulder in a crowd of drunk, underdressed college students.

-You begin to take a perverse pleasure in mowing the lawn (pretty much guys only).

-Yeah, my clothes don’t match today. I ain’t here to impress you anyway.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Begalla Unhinged

Add former Clinton aide Paul Begalla to your Democrats Unhinged list:
"I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit" on Sept. 11, 2001. "I had friends on that plane; this is deadly serious to me," Begala said.

"They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit," Begala said. "That is bulls*** national defense, and we should say that."
Ummm, yeah. If you read the entire thing, it is clear Begalla is trying to change the perception that Democrats are weak on national defense, anti-American, and devoid of new ideas. Unfortunately, if you look like a duck, and more importantly, quack like a duck...


Hello, my name is Jib, and I am a lip-balmaholic.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bad 'Cop'

Is this really news?
Victor Edward Willis, the original policeman in the 1970s music group the Village People, was arrested by real police who allegedly found a gun and drugs in his convertible.
Wouldn't this qualify more as "dog bites man"? Or is it news because that's the only thing he was arrested for?

More Cowbell!

If anyone out there loves More Cowbell as much as I (and based on my search results, I know you do), tonight is the best of Christopher Walken on Saturday Night Live.

The Madison Paradox

Madison "progressives" currently find themselves with a paradox on their hands, and I don't think they even realize it. City progessives want two things which end up being diametrically opposed to one another.

The first item is the ban on tall buildings downtown. City progressives want to preserve the view of the state capitol building. Therefore, new developments which could bring big businesses, residential space, and retail downtown are stymied, because often their building needs exceed the height limit. Instead they build a facility out on the west side of town on the belt line, or they build east of Interstate 90/94/39 near Highway 51. What this accomplished is both spreading the city out over long distances, and also spreading the distance between people's homes and their jobs. This results in more traffic as people travel greater distances between work and home.

The second item is to supposedly remedy the first: Public transportation. In their very simplistic view of things, Madison progressives think that if they offer more public transportation, then they can deal with the greater traffic congestion on Madison roads. There is a huge flaw in this logic, though. Public transit is more successful the greater the population density of an area. In highly dense areas, you need less track and less energy to transport the same number of people as in less dense areas, and this is what makes public transportation economically feasible. People in highly dense areas are also more likely to use that public transportation, because it is more convenient for them to ride 10 blocks in an elevated train or a trolley than it is for them to drive. But in areas of lower density, it is more convenient for someone to drive 2 miles than it is for them to ride in public transit, because they may need to travel 7 blocks just to get to a stop. So in less dense areas, you get fewer customers for the public transit because it is less of a convenience.

So here's Madison's paradox. If city progressives continue in their refusal to allow the downtown to be developed upward, then they are going to see continued growth outward. If they allowed skyward growth downtown, then they would have a lot of residents, a lot of retail and entertainment, and a lot of business offices in a smaller area, and people are going to prefer to use public transit over using their cars. But as long as they refuse to allow this skyward growth, the city will continue to grow outward, and it will be less and less economically viable to maintain public transit, as it will be less convenient for riders (which means fewer riders) and it will be more expensive to transport each individual rider, because the distance they'll need to travel will be further.

Madisonians, you can have your beautiful view and clogged roads or you can obscure your view and have fewer cars on the road, but you are a big city now, and you can't have both.

(Cross posted at the BBA)

Fitting nickname

Owen Wilson apparently likes to refer to himself as the butterscotch stallion. Fitting nickname. Butterscotch makes me nauseous, and so does Wilson.

Dog bites alligator

In an interesting twist on the old man bites dog bit, the AP is reporting a story of a Golden Retriever surviving and encounter with a gator:
After it was all over, Cooper had lost a few teeth and had flesh and muscle torn from a front leg and chunks of skin missing from both haunches. The gator suffered bites to its snout.
I think it would be fair to say Cooper kicked the Gator's ass, as the gator now resides in the freezer of Cooper's owner, even if Cooper did not deliver to fatal blow himself.

Women used as political pawns

Here's why the left so ardently supports women in combat. It isn't an issue of equality, it's because they know they can use the death of women during war to turn opinions irrationally against it.

Kirsten Dunst working at Hertz

I'm pretty sure she is, anyway. I use a local Hertz when I need to rent a car for business travel, and the woman who received the car back from me was a dead ringer. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that Kirsten Dunst is originally from Eastern Europe, given her accent. She must be anxious for Spiderman 3 to start filming.

Just thought I'd give all of you celebrity gossip lovers a little morsel.


A few months back, I stated my goal of hitting .600 in beer league softball this year. I fell well short at .515. Going 0-3 in the last game of the season didn't help.

Soldier does what Jib could not

The Army Times has a story and video of a U.S. soldier taking a round in chest from an insurgent sniper (Tip o' the hat to Brainpost). The soldier not only lives thanks to his vest, he gets back into the fight. And he shows the ultimate in humanity:
After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before.
I can't say that I would have been able to do the same if I were in his shoes.

I'm back

And better than ever. This week was an extremely busy and exhausting week for me, but it should be the tipping point for the rest of the summer. More free time, more rest, and more blogging. I'm pleased about this, too, because clerks at the local grocery stores have taken to asking, "paper, plastic, or under your eyes?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The trend towards amateur photography

I am an amateur photographer. And I'd say that I'm a serious one at that, even if I'm not particularly talented. Once I get my (for the moment) dream camera, a Canon 6.3 megapixel digital SLR, I would love to happen upon an unfolding news story and get the pics of the event. But I'm getting concerned about the media not only relying on amateur photography for unfolding news events, but also soliciting it. Last week, after the London bombings, it became very apparent that digital cameras and digital phone cameras were phasing out the professional photographer a bit in favor of on the scene eye witnesses. That makes all the sense in the world, because unless a pro is tipped off or in the wrong place at the right time, they are no going to get the gripping photos that on scene witnesses will. But there could be a dark side to this.

I say this because I was reading the Janesville Gazette today, and they had the story of a fire here in my hometown. On the homepage, they had a picture of the aftermath, and beneath it this request:
Do you have photos of the fire?
Send your digital images to, and we'll post them online.
Below that was a link to a gallery of the pics they had received. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but here is my concern. As people become aware that the media is willing to use their amateur pics, more and more people are going to rush to the scene of these events to try to get "the" picture. Emergency services personnel do not need that. In emergency situations, they have their hands full enough without having to worry about idiots trying to get money shots of the event. Unfortunately, I see a future where every fool with a camera rushes to a scene where they aren't needed, making the situation worse for everyone.

Rove-ian fun

Since the left is frothing at the mouth over Karl Rove, I've decided to have a little fun. Below you will find Rove's alter egos and top schemes. Enjoy.

Top Twelve Karl Rove schemes

12. The break up of Herman's Hermits
11. Children's pajamas that weren't flame retardent
10. Measles, mumps...and ruebella.
9. He planted Donna Rice on "Monkey Business" and Monica Lewinski in the Oval Office
8. All hurricanes since 1993. (All hurricanes from 1952 to 1992 were that damn Nixon's doing).
7. The unholy union of Cruise and Holmes.
6. David Hasselhof's death like grip on the imagination of the German people.
5. Whitesnake's pyrotechnics. And that human ball of rage, Tawny Kitaen.
4. The Corvair.
3. Can you say, "The Spanish Flu"?
2. Two words: Cop Rock!
1. Two more words: Monkey Pox!

Top Ten Karl Rove Alter Egos

10. Death, aka, the Grim Reaper.
9. Skeletor
8. Gargamel
7. That lion that bit Roy...or was it Sigfried?
6. Ted Nugent. Admit it, you've never seen them together in the same room.
5. Hannity
4. Colmes, too.
3. The devil on Bill Clinton's shoulder.
2. Howard Dean's speech writer. Yeeah!
1. The firefighter at your local Chippendale's.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Major League Soccer in Milwaukee

I was on the road in Wisconsin for much of today, and I had the opportunity to listen to a lot of WTMJ 620 AM, and this story about luring Major League soccer to Milwaukee received a lot of play. Major League soccer cannot succeed in Milwaukee, and there are a host of reasons why.

#1 Wisconsin is a regional state.
What does that mean, you ask. Well, Wisconsin is not a rural area dominated by one or two major urban area like many other states are. Wisconsin actually has 15 urban areas. Because of this large number of urban areas, Milwaukee does not have the statewide influence and draw that Chicago does in Illinois or the Twin Cities do in Minnesota. For any professional sport team to be successful, they must draw from a large portion of their home state. A professional soccer team in Milwaukee will not be able to do that. A Major League Soccer team in Milwaukee will need to rely on Milwaukee alone, as it will not draw people from even Jefferson or Dodge counties to downtown, let alone far flung counties such as La Crosse, Eau Claire, or Brown Counties. The Packers draw statewide. The Brewers are starting to. The Bucks do when they are winning. A soccer team will not be able to draw enough people from the Marathon counties of the state to fill a 20,000 seat stadium 15 or 16 times a year.

#2 Soccer is not a party sport
I'm going to dip into stereotype on this, but Wisconsinites like to party with their sports. Soccer is not a party sport. The reason you drink during a soccer game is because for 58 of the 60 minutes of the game, there is nothing else to do. That's part of the reason soccer hooligans are such a problem in Europe. Drinking from boredom is not a party, it is an anesthesia.

#3 A stadium in the city is a huge error
As proposed, the stadium would be in the city of Milwaukee, at the site of the Pabst facility. Soccer is not a city sport in this country. It is a suburban sport. Many suburbanites will go into the city, but just as many live in the suburbs because they hate the city. How are you going to draw those people all the way to downtown to watch the fifth most popular sport in this country?

#4 Participatory Popularity versus fanaticism
This is my final point, but likely my most divisive. For any professional sports team to survive, it needs a large, fanatical base. Its profit is then made off of the casual fan. This would be problematic for soccer in Wisconsin. Soccer is a very popular sport for kids to play in Wisconsin. I have a large number of relatives who a younger than me, so I am familiar with the participatory popularity of this sport. Here's the problem for soccer, though. The best athletes are fanatical about football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, and they play those sports. While Wisconsin soccer has the occasional top tier soccer athlete, most kids who play soccer in Wisconsin do so not because of an all abiding love for the sport, but because they can make a go of it in that sport. They would not be a star in the big four sports, but in soccer they can get a good amount of playing time. So, while soccer is a very popular participatory sport, there are comparatively few soccer fanatics. Therefore, there is no strong base. There is just a strong casual interest, and that is not enough to make a team profitable, especially a team that wants to build a stadium that is going to cost $300 to $500 million-as much as an MLB or NFL stadium.

Unrelated side note
The Brewers future financial success depends on them drawing the statewide fans, and I think they are making strong motions in that direction. Miller Park has made that possible in ways I didn't think possible. I know of people who previous to Miller Park would have made the trip to Wrigley rather than County Stadium, and today they are planning trips to Milwaukee to see a ball game instead. I know some people have soured on the Brewers because they feel Selig lied to them about the stadium. I cannot defend Selig the owner, but this new stadium is making a huge difference in finally making the Brewers Wisconsin's team and not just Southeastern Wisconsin's team.

You paid a dollar for this post, and I just gave you a bonus two cents.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Police support

If you are a supporter of Police and the thankless job they do, then you must read this post by Michelle Malkin. If you claim to hate the police, maybe you should go and look at the picture, because nobody defending public order deserves this.

Holding Bush's feet to the fire

I don't like the fact that I had to write that headline, but while Bush's war leadership has been fairly admirable, his conservatism has begun to look more like his Dad's than Ronald Reagan's. Bush made a promise to his voters that his judicial nominees would be constructionists. It is dubious to say that Alberto Gonzales will be a constructionist, and the rumors have him not only being nominated as a justice, but as Chief Justice. Bush voters must hold his feet to the fire on this promise. If he goes back on it, it will be his "read my lips". Fortunately for him, he will have gone back on his promise in the second term rather than the first term like his father. But in this instance, he will not only find himself a lame duck, he will find himself as ineffectual as a dead duck. His only political capital will be in giving Democrats whatever they want, because Congressional Republicans will be 'moving on' to their own agendas.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Established media about to jump the shark on blogs, podcasts

The established media (that means major, mid-major, and smaller) is about to jump the shark on blogs and podcasts. Take that as a statement of fact. The stats read that hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people are blogging, and that a significant number of people are reading these blogs. Old media executives are looking at these stats and licking their chops, even though only a few hundred blogs are doing major traffic, maybe a thousand after that are doing moderate traffic, and a thousand of us after that are doing regular, lower traffic. Unfortunately for them, I think in many areas the mainstreamed blogs and podcasts are going to fail. Too many in the established media do not understand what makes a blog a blog or a podcast a podcast. They think that merely having the content is enough. It isn't. Part of the attraction to blogs and podcasts are that they are alternative media. For established media to succede with blogs and podcasts, they need to be somewhat free wheeling and un-politically correct with their productions. Unfortunately, I see few being willing to upset their advertisers or readers with their blogs or podcasts. That is almost an immediate death knoll for these ventures. Secondly, I don't think most established media either understand the true nature of blogs and podcasts or are willing to follow their models. We'll be seeing a lot of boring, staid blogs and podcasts which may seem exciting at first, but which quickly lose the interest of their readers. My concern is what impact these "mainstream" blogs and podcasts will have on those of us with more traditional blogs. Most things become fads once the mainstream players come in and screw it up for the rest of us. Have the government fiddling around in the regulation of an endeavor makes it even more likely there will be a negative impact. I'll be intrigued to see what the blogosphere looks like in 2008 once the established media and government have gotten their fingers deep into it, and once more and more blogs try to evolve into established media themselves with advertisors to answer to. It is easy to say advertisers don't have very much impact on you until you have major advertisers yourself. Once you have a big, unhappy contract staring you in the face, things change a bit-you either adjust your view or give up that big chunk of money you've come to rely upon. Don't think for a minute that traditional blogs are immune to the forces facing the big, mainstream media. We're not, especially the bigger our individual blogs get and the more money that is involved with them.

Don't get me wrong, if you can make money as a traditional blogger, do so! But what I am saying is be prepared for some uncomfortable decisions between principle and money. And be prepared for the fact that established media will almost always chose money over principle, and that will reflect poorly on all of us.


It appears that Rove was a source for the Valerie Plame story. The Dems are going to pound this story for all it's worth (expect a lot of "jail" and "impeachment" talk), but even Rove critics David Corn and Lawrence O'Donnell admit this is probably not a jail worthy event for Rove. There is probably even more to come out on this, further muddying the water for going after Rove. While the Dems will try to exact revenge on Bush for the Clinton impeachment over this, the best they'll, get-the very best-is a Rove resignation, with Rove getting a chip in the big game and $25,000 on the ruber chicken circuit. And that's if they're lucky.

Pot for my men, acid for my horses

Heh. I'm going to let this stand on its own without comment:
Willie Nelson is so prolific that sometimes even he forgets he has another record coming out. At a recent show here with Bob Dylan, Nelson performed a long list of hits, but not a single song from his new long-awaited reggae album.

"I keep forgetting," Nelson said a few days later by telephone from the road, which he's called home for most of the last 30 years. "The set is so short."
While the music on "Countryman" might raise the eyebrows of country purists, so will the cover. With green marijuana leaves on a red and yellow background, the cover art makes the CD look like an oversized pack of rolling papers.
Pot for my men, acid for my horses.

Global warming prediction

Okay, quick global warming prediction. We will see an above average number of hurricanes this year. Historically speaking, the number of hurricanes and their severity will not be a statistical outlier, just above average. Still, we will hear wailing and gnashing of teeth over it, and it will all be claimed to be a result of global warming. But no one will cite the lack of severity of this year's tornado season. I believe the United States has still not seen a tornado fatality this year, a record.

Brewers thoughts

*Mike Maddux is worth every single penny the Brewers pay him and then some. Greg Maddux may be the professorial pitcher, but Mike Maddux is the true teacher. The Brewers trade Dan Kolb? No worries, Kolb becomes a setup man in Atlanta and Maddux turns Derrick Turnbow into a harder throwing Kolb.

*Jeff Jenkins is going to be the key to the second half. Jenks is spanking the ball going into the All Star break. If he can continue this in the second half, he makes Carlos Lee an even more potent clean up hitter and Jenks will be the linch pin in a offensive juggernaut, along with Brady Clark, Ricky Weeks, Lyle Overbay, and Bill Hall.

*Prediction: Ben Sheets wins 12 games in the second half.

*Prediction: The Brewers finish the year at 80-82.

*If Jenkins does start to pick up the pace in the second half, it is going to be very interesting to see if Bob Melvin sticks with him or tries to trade him. Jenkins is a helluva a defensive outfielder. He is also a guy I consider to have a winner's attitude. That's tough to get rid of when you have a young club you are trying to infuse with a winning attitude.

*Overbay could end up being the bigger trade bait in the second half. The problem is, who is going to be looking for an Overbay type guy?

*Ned Yost is going to be a successful big league manager. I just hope it will be here and not somewhere else.

*Bill Hall will not be in the long term future of this club. He is a very solid utility big leaguer, an asset to any team. With the infield talent this team has growing at all levels, though, I don't think he'll ever have the offensive consistency necessary to beat down the competition.

*Prediction: J.J. Hardy will struggle through this entire year offensively. Hardy has hit a lot of balls very hard this year right at people, though. Next year, Hardy will be a .280 hitter with 15-20 homers.

*A note from today's game-the Braves' Sunday jersey's are hideous.

O'Connor as Chief Justice

Apparently, she would be if Arlen Spector had his way. Despite her retirement, she's apparently been approached about the idea of taking over for Rehnquist. All the more reason for Rehnquist to stick around for one more term.

God help us if and when Rehnquist does retire. In the current environment, Thomas seems almost a non-starter for Chief Justice (although my personal favorite), and who knows if Scalia would be a possibility, either. I can just see John Paul Stevens or Ruth Bader Ginsburg being a compromise choice for Chief Justice. The only good thing about either of those choices would is they would certainly be short termers.

If I were President Bush, and Rehnquist does retire, Janice Rogers Brown becomes a must nominee for the Supreme Court and Clarence Thomas the nominee for Chief Justice. They are both constructionists and highly qualified minorities. I'm extremely pessimistic about this fight, though, because Bush is much, much more like his father than he is like Ronald Reagan. I see expediency being chosen over principle.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Responsibility for London bombings

In near record time, apologists for the 7/7 attacks in London are already clinging to the simple nature of the bombs in order to try to divorce Al Qaeda from the these attacks by claiming it is the work of 'home grown terrorists'. Let us not forget that al Qaeda of Europe has claimed responsibility for this attack. Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda is the body of the octopus, but each one of these "of" groups is a tentacle, and chances are the body had some complicity in what the tentacle has done. Don't let terror apologists tell you otherwise. If not planning, they provided people. If not people, training. If not training, it was money, the very thing al Qaeda loves to throw in the face of the West as the very root of evil.