Friday, September 29, 2006

Tragedies in Cazenovia, Wisconsin

This morning the small Wisconsin town of Cazenovia (see green arrow above) suffered a double tragedy as a student was killed in a car accident and another student shot the Pre-k through 12 Principal. This blog will not be breaking any new information on the story. The best place for updates will be and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

*Cough* *hack* *cough*

It seems that I've been punished with an upper respiratory illness for ripping on Hugh Hewitt's bird flu post. After reading this post, I suggest you spray a little Lyesol, just in case.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

To whom it may concern

Dear Rosa-

I read your article in the Mirror. I thought I'd pass along a suggestion. You are trying too hard to impress Mr. Clinton. Just introduce yourself and bat your eyelashes next time. That should suffice.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The flu & Hugh

You can change the man's URL, but you can't take his finger off the panic button. Hugh Hewitt's Tick...Tick...Tick posts are back. I really wish he wouldn't add to the unfounded fear component over the avian flu, but I'm sure he's doing what he thinks is the right thing. Just the same, after the elections the media will probably be bored and jump back on avian flu scare-wagon. I guess it is time to bone up on the science again.

Terrell Owens attempts suicide

Most of us who are football fans have lamented TO as a head case over the years. The guy has enough talent that if he just put all of the other stuff aside, he probably could have made the world forget who Jerry Rice was. Now that we learn that TO attempted suicide last night, perhaps all of this was more than TO just being arrogant. It is now conceivable that TO has had a mental illness for a while now that has contributed to some of his odd behaviour. I hope he gets well from his attempted suicide quickly and also that he gets the help that he needs.

Why the NIE report debate will carry on (and on and on)

From an email posted at NRO's The Corner:

Ms. Lopez,
I am the former CIA analyst whose email was posted by Mario Loyola yesterday on the Corner. I'm not surprised by your reaction (and the reaction of your readers) to the NIE. The CIA long ago stopped trying to provide top-notch analysis to policymakers. Instead, the focus is on not being wrong. As a result, the analysis that comes out of Langley tends to be nothing but mush that can be interpreted to mean almost anything to anybody, or, if you prefer, means absolutely nothing. That is why I am no longer at the CIA.

That former analyst is correct. That's one thing that struck me when I read the NIE. It is highly open to interpretation, and it is easily excerpted so that anyone can make it mean whatever they want if they don't mind cherry picking.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NATO in Afghanistan

Am I the only out there getting a little nervous about how much responsibility we have turned over to NATO in Afghanistan? NATO is a more capable organization than the UN, certainly, but anytime America hands even partial responsibility off to Europe it makes me nervous.

The declassified NIE report

The National Intelligence Estimate that was declassified today is an interesting read. One thing is clear. The New York Times was being "fake but accurate" with the article that started this all. Not fake but accurate in the sense of Rathergate, but fake but accurate in the sense that I could claim that the this NIE blames terrorism on the internet based off of this small statement:

We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support.

The New York Times was either used to push an agenda at the CIA or they are just as guilty as the leaker in cherry picking information to say what they want to say. If the former, their only alternative is identify the leaker that burned them.

This editorial makes it pretty clear that the New York Times wasn't used by the leaker in this story. They were and are an active participant in the cherry picking.

Friends, we attack Canada through the border crossings

Call me Ghenghis Jib if you must, but I think I've figure out a way that about two dozen well armed bloggers could conquer Canada. We attack through the border crossings.

Canadian border guards at four crossings in the Lower Mainland of B.C. have walked off the job in response to a security scare.
The situation started in the afternoon when U.S. Homeland Security officials told the RCMP that a suspected killer from California, who should be considered armed and dangerous, might try to cross the Canadian border.
Canada's border guards are currently unarmed -- the Conservative government has promised a 10-year program to change that -- and have the right to walk off the job if conditions are dangerous. The guards exercised that right.

I've always had a masochistic urge to visit Winnipeg. I think I shall rename it Winnijib. I also like the sound of Jibmonton.

Flying over Iraq

This weekend, over German beer and polka music, I had the pleasure of listening to a pilot in the Air National Guard tell some stories of his time in Iraq. I hope to have another chance to hear more stories this week sometime. If possible, I'll pass some of these stories along over the coming weekend. I can say this much, it was fascinating stuff. I found myself remaining largely quiet and soaking in as much of the information as possible. If you get the chance to listen to a soldier tell of his or her time in Iraq or Afghanistan, block out as much time as you can and then just listen.

Death to the line item veto

I've waffled on whether I like the line item veto or not. I've decided that I really do dislike it and I wish to see it go away, although a push is on to get the Senate to consider the version the House passed.

The idealist in me says that this is a wonderful tool to fight unnecessary spending, and a great executive branch check on the legislative branches spending. The idealist in me says that the executive branch will use this to reign in an out of control Congress.

The the realist in me beats the hell out of the idealist in me.

If you give a branch of government a new power, it will find ways to misuse it. I guarentee that the executive will find a way to abuse even this weakened line item veto. I cannot trust them not to do so. Therefore, I cannot support the line item veto.

On Bill Clinton's Fox appearance

I only have one small piece to add to this conversation. While I was not surprised by any of it, I did find one thing particularly disturbing, and that was the aggresive body language and gestures he displayed towards Chris Wallace. That is what leads me to believe that this was not a calculated and planned outburst by Clinton. The way he was leaning into Wallace, touching him, and poking at his notes showed that he was losing his control, and Bill Clinton prides himself on presenting an image of control. It is completely understandable that Clinton would want to defend himself, his actions and his legacy. After all, wouldn't you if you were in his shoes? The problem is that Clinton helped confirm that he is not a person is in control of is own feelings and impulses. And that was perhaps the biggest weakness and legacy of the Clinton Presidency.

I love me. I love me not (snicker), I really love me

I'm watching David Gregory on Late Night with Conan O'Brien right now, and one thing is abundantly clear. David Gregory really, really loves himself. In fact, in a story about dancing with his wife, he said that she perhaps finds him a little self absorbed. Just a little, David?

Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel. A lot of them. In bulk, please.

I should take vacations. Not vacations from work, although I have do have too much time off left to use. I should occasionally take an announced vacation here. It would be more courteous to those of you who stop by here, and it would give my brain a chance to recharge now and then. I've been pretty quiet for the last week because I frankly haven't had much to say. I take that back. I've had plenty to say, but when I'd go to say it, I felt like I'd said it before sometime during the two plus years of this site. If I had something that felt fresh, during my research I'd find that the news cycle moved so fast that three people had already said what I had planned on writing. I think that every blogger that really sticks with it for the long haul hits patches like this, so I'm not saying anything unique here. The challenge, which I've not found a suitable answer to yet, is how to break out of it quickly. Stretches like this make me respect guys like former Chicago columnist Mike Royko. For a number years, he pumped out five columns a week. That's a lot of material, and pretty damn impressive.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

From the Patriot Post:
"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness." ~George Washington

Saturday, September 23, 2006

About five seconds after you post that question, silly.

Ugh. The post title is the answer to the question at every middle and right leaning blog that is discussing the Bin Laden death by typhoid story. That question? "How long before the nutroots begins asking if this is all a Bush/Rove plan to help Republicans in November?"

First, my fellow bloggers, you do not even need to ask the question because you already know the answer. Second, by posting it, you are only acting as the catalyst for the fire the nuts are going to be trying to set.

Bin Laden 'Dies'; 3 of 9 lives remain

Actually, the post title pretty much sums up everything that I have to say about this story.

For those who don't believe Bin Laden is a cat, Ace makes a circumstantial case for why it may be true this time. I'd even add a 7th reason to his six. Earlier this week I had Limbaugh on in my car during lunch, and he made an off handed comment about the fact that he thought something big would be coming up here in the next month. He couched that by saying he didn't know anything we didn't, he just had a feeling or a hunch.

My memory serves me better now. Limbaugh said nothing of the sort. He was discussing a window for military action with Iran, and that window was December.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Clinton, Bin Laden

I don't know about you, but I am ssssoooooooooo watching FOX News Sunday.


For the record, when I don't post for a day or more, it's not because I'm busy, lazy, or tired, it's because I'm conserving pixels.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Suggested reading: Bernard Lewis

Looking for a little perspective on what has led the Middle East to its current position? Read Bernard Lewis's thoughts at Real Clear Politics. Though a condensed history, it is a nice little primer on just a few of the things in the recent past that have contributed to the Middle East's present.

A nuclear Middle East just around the corner

I know that in some corners of Washington there is a growing acceptance of a nuclear Iran. I can't comprehend that, but for those who are willing to accept a nuclear Iran, I hope you can accept every unstable dictator in the region also having nukes:

Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt's president, proposed Tuesday that his country pursue nuclear energy, drawing strong applause from the nation’s political elite, while raising expectations that Mr. Mubarak is being positioned to replace his father as president.
Simply raising the topic of Egypt’s nuclear ambitions at a time of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear activity was received as a calculated effort to raise the younger Mr. Mubarak’s profile and to build public support through a show of defiance toward Washington, political analysts and foreign affairs experts said.

This is not about energy. It is about power-internal power. Even a dictatorship has to fear becoming too unpopular amongst the natives. What better way to appeal to the egos of your citizens than making yourself a nuclear power? Nationalism can be a good thing, but it has its ugly side. We are starting to see its ugly side play out in the Middle East. Leaders are trying to hold onto power in the midst of a regional democracy by manipulating nationalism, and we've see this before in the lifetimes of our grandparents and parents. A nuclear Iran and nuclear energy will make for convenient covers, but that isn't what this is all about.

Merging conspiracies

I bet thst you, a logical and reasoned human being, thinks that there is no way a sane human being could connect the JFK conspiracy and the 9-11 conspiracy. I say truth is stranger than fiction, and give it a little time. And this will be the little gem that the kooks use to connect the two:

President Kennedy, known for separating his life into compartments, would enclose words and numbers inside circles and boxes. Events long after his death give one doodle an unintended chill: A small circle with the numbers "9-11" contained within. Just to the lower left on the page, the word "conspiracy" is underlined.

This excerpt is from a story on Presidential doodles. Just the same, it will make sense to someone with a tenuous grasp on reality out there to connect the two. Guarentee it.

Flash! Potential new addition to the blogroll

Okay, now that I've go that overly dramatic headline out of the way, I'll be the first to admit that I am a lazy blogroller. When I first start blogging, I was all about the blogroll, but as time passed and blogrolls become more about increasing rankings than actually linking to what you read, I lost interest in it. As it stands right now, I can't remember the last time I updated my blogroll. That'll probably change soon.

I was going through my Bloglines feeds tonight when I kind of absent mindedly clicked on a link in an Althouse post. I expected to go to a raging lefty feminist blog that was going off on Ann. Instead I found a very intelligent blog, Freeman Hunt. For all I know, I could be the last person on earth to discover this blog, but I like it so much that I'm actually going to embark on some long needed blogroll work. Tomorrow.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury jumps into Islam debate

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has come out in support of Pope Benedict XVI's speech last week. He also manages to take it a step further:

Arguing that Huntington’s thesis has some “validity”, Lord Carey quoted him as saying: “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”

It'll be interesting to see if there is any response to this. While Lord Carey does not have as high a profile as Benedict, he also didn't dance around the bush at all.

The article also mentions something else noteworthy. The man who shot Pope John Paul II has written Benedict and beseeched him not to go on with his visit to Turkey:

“I write as one who knows about these matters very well,” Agca said. “Your life is in danger. Don’t come to Turkey — absolutely not!”

I have to agree with him. Unless Benedict wants to become a martyr, the visit to Turkey will be just plain foolish.

Ahmadinejad gives UN speech, doesn't glow

In what had to be a sharp rebuke from Allah, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech at the UN on Tuesday minus the heavenly glow bestowed up him in an early speech. Television cameras around the globe failed to pick up any mystical glow or halos around Ahmadinejad's head. Meanwhile, none of the members went into a trance while he spoke, although delgates from from Luxembourg did fall asleep.

In favor of a mediocre UN

As the UN meets this week to pat itself on the back and pontificate, I have a confession to make. I now support the UN accomplishing glorious mediocrity in world affairs. I support the UN's medicority because I am terrified of a spectacular UN failure and meltdown. If that occured, after the dust of global conflict settled, I don't think the world would come to the conclusion that a body such as the UN is mostly impotent and useless. Instead, I think much of the world would believe that the UN didn't do enough, and in turn set up a new world body that takes away more rights, sovereignty, and self determination from nations and individuals. Global government is an odious and virulent idea that the world cannot seem to let go despite the failure of the League of Nations and the long slide of the UN. In the absence of a bumbling UN, I think the vacuum would be filled by a world body that could severely threaten this American experiment we've been living the past 200 plus years.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

9/19: Talk like a Pirate Day

Don't forget, if you want to ruin your career prospects, go to work today and talk like a pirate, because today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. If talking like a pirate ain't your gig, remember that Talk Like a Yooper Day is just on the horizon. Talk Like a Yooper Day, the creation of one Lance Burri, I believe takes place on the day of the first home Packer game after the first Saturday of deer camp.

Space station crew survives bad smell scare

The crew aboard the international space station survived a scare today when a bad smell led them to don protective gear. Here is the AP's take on it:
An oxygen generator on the international space station overheated and spilled a toxic irritant Monday, forcing the three-man crew to don masks and gloves in the first emergency ever declared aboard the 8-year-old orbiting outpost.

This story led me to wonder about another enclosed working environment filled with recycled air...the cubicle farm. Cubicle farm inhabitants can tell you that occasionally toxic irritants create bad smells in their environment, too, especially if their cubicle neighbor had a late night of drinking. Yet your common Dilbert has no way of protecting him/herself from these bad smells. I motion that every cubicle be outfitted with a mask and rubber gloves so that Joe Officeworker has the same level of safety as our space station crews.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Personal disaster averted

The lovely Mrs. Jib and I have not seen much of each other lately. She's been working a lot of OT, and I've been keeping somewhat busy in my downtime. Occasionally when we have a stretch like this and when I get a little free time, I become a rudderless ship. Today, I had the entire night free.

I knew I was in trouble tonight at 9 pm. That's when I became aware that I had just finished watching two hours of Deal or No Deal? Without the aid of Willie Nelson, I couldn't remember a damn thing from that two hours of TV, but I can now immitate every incarnation of "deeeaaaallll...ornodeal?" uttered by Howie Mandel. After that, some new crappy show with Matthew Perry came on. I knew about a minute into it that I didn't really like it. The problem was the remote control was a good six or seven feet from me, and I was nice and comfy on my recliner. I watched the whole thing.

Finally, around ten o'clock, I realized in my man-slovenliness that my lips were very chapped. I decided this was a job for my good friend mentholatum. I went upstairs in a stupor from three hours of the most mind numbing television I've watched in a long time. I got to the medicine cabinet, grabbed the jar, dipped my finger in, and got about an inch from my lips when I realized that I was about to slather Icy Hot all over my lips. Icy Hot is a wonderful product, but there are two places you should probably never use it. The first is in your jock strap (someone else's jock is fair game). The second is your lips. I jerked my head back before my lips were greeted with that soothingly cool yet fires-of-hell hot muscle balm. I managed to look at my finger accusingly, as if the finger was trying to sabotage me.

I've learned a lesson from tonight for the next time I have an evening like this: Next time, I'll opt for the intellectual stimulation of professional wrestling over any programing on NBC. And I'll keep my beer close but my remote control closer.

The dumbest headline that was, is, or ever shall be

Johansson happy with her curvy figure

Was there a doubt that she would be? Did someone out there think that maybe she wanted to look like Kate Moss? Has her combination of acting and looks not made her one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood? And while stating the obvious, the article still manages to exagerate. It is said that Johansson has an "hourglass" figure; the truth is she has a slighty top heavy egg timer figure.

And in a related note, I was flipping through some old wire photos of Johansson while 'researching' this post. Take a look at this shot from the 2003 Venice Film Festival. Is that a man in a black dress behind Johansson, or was Rosie O'Donnell about to blitz her?


I don't link to many timewasters here because I really try to avoid them myself. 3DTris is different. If the perspective doesn't make you feel like vomiting, then you'll find yourself addicted to it. Enjoy this link, my little unproductive gift to you, my readers.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saints 34, Packers 27

As I did the parade thing today, I was able to get the occasional Packer score update. 10-0. 13-0. 13-7. It all sounded good, and I was kicking myself for not TIVO'ing the game. By the time I got back to my car, they were down 20-13. I got home in time to watch Green fumble the game away. My gut feeling of 'why bother' for this season was reinforced, and then as the game ended, I took a nap. I will only get one pleasure out of this season, I'm afraid, and that is watching Brett Favre approach and hopefully break some career records. That's it.

The widespread legality of necrophilia

Since a judge dropped sexual assault charges against the three freaks that tried to dig up the corpse of a recently deceased young woman, Wisconsin is coming under some deserved criticism for not having a law forbidding necrophilia. Wisconsin is not alone, however. According to KSTP in the Twin Cities, only 16 states do outlaw necrophilia. Wisconsin is just the unfortunate one of the 34 with a high profile case.

State Sen. Dale Schultz, Richland Center, is going to sponsor legislation to create a state law against necrophilia.

Only 16 states have laws against it right now.

Law enforcement says enacting legislation will allow law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to directly address the crime.

I hope Senator Schultz pushes a law through quickly. I cannot fathom why 34 states have never outlawed this. Perhaps it was a crime so horrific and rare that none of the 34 ever had reason to focus on it. This is one of those crimes that a state shouldn't have to be pressed to outlaw, though.

A parade jog

I spent the afternoon helping out the Greg Gasper for Asssembly campaign hand out candy and literature at the Gemuetlichkeit Days parade in Jefferson. This was the first time I've ever helped out in a parade, and I was struck by one thing-there is more light jogging and fast walking involved than I anticipated. As you spend time alongside the crowd, handing out candy and pamphlets, your unit seems to take off without you. I have to give credit to candidates like Gasper who try to meet and greet as many people as possible along the way. Doing so without seeming like you are rushing yet keeping up with the parade must be difficult and tiring.

Cartoon Wars II, The Church of Rome Edition

At this point, I'm not going to add much to the discussion of the Muslim world's eruption over the recent speech by Pope Benedict XVI. If you want to know what I think, check my archives for my take on the Cartoon Wars. All of the same criticisms come into play. I tend not to comment much on things Catholic, but I will say this much: This may be a defining point for Pope Benedict XVI. He could very easily become a bull in this long war, playing a role like his predecessor played in the Cold War. Alternatively, he could slink back from the criticism, and with him Catholicism will retreat in the face of on rushing Islam.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

WHO: Bring on the DDT

It's about time some sense is coming to the Africa/malaria situation:

The World Health Organization reversed a 30-year-old policy yesterday and declared its support for indoor use of the pesticide DDT to control mosquitoes in regions where malaria is a major health problem.

The Geneva-based WHO, which provides advice to many developing countries, believes the benefits of the long-acting pesticide far outweigh any health or environmental risk it may pose.

"Indoor residual spraying with DDT and other insecticides will again play a major role in [WHO's] efforts to fight the disease." Arata Kochi, director of the organization's malaria department, said at a news conference in Washington. "WHO will use every possible and safe method to control malaria."

I actually woudln't mind seeing them expand the use to outdoor application as well, but indoor use alone will make a huge difference in controlling malaria, a killer of a million people a year.

Bizarre ruling

In a case that could only come out of Louisiana, a judge has ruled that fishing in many parts of the Mississippi River is actually trespassing .

The right of outdoorsmen to fish and hunt on navigable waters was issued a stunning defeat Aug. 29 when a federal judge ruled that the public has no “right to fish and hunt on the Mississippi River.”

U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James ignored recommendations from his own magistrate in ruling in a case pitting a group of anglers against East Carroll Parish Sheriff Mark Shumate over the legality of trespassing arrests stemming from their fishing on Mississippi River flood waters in Northeast Louisiana.

“This is gigantic,” said Mark Hilzim, president of Restore Our Waterway Access, Inc. “He has opened up Pandora’s box. If I read that (ruling) right, does that mean nobody has the right to fish above the low-water mark?

“Every fisherman in the country needs to pay attention to this.”

I agree that fishermen should pay attention to this, but I also have little doubt that, if appealed, this decision will be sent back down for further definition or overturned. The judge has essentially ruled that there is no constitutional right to hunting and fishing, but then he usurps the state's right to regulate hunting and fishing when in his own ruling he says that water up to the high water mark is navigable but not useable by the public for hunting and fishing. His ruling is a contradiction of logic.

On the Clinton-blogger picture

Ignoring the flair up over at Althouse, take a look at that picture. In your mind, block out all of the bloggers and focus on Clinton. He really looks happy to be there, doesn't he?

Breasts raise a furor

Heh. I'm amused by the following exchange. First, Ann Althouse comments on the lefty bloggers who met with Clinton. In the comments to that post, the breasts of the blogger front and center, a Katherine Harris wannabe, apparently, become a topic of discussion, and that blogger, Feministing, comes to those same comments and gets on her feminist high horse. Ann then takes the blogger in question to task over her brand of feminism. I mean Althouse really exposes the woman as a hypocrite, also noting that her blog is heavy, if you will...for a woman complaining about others talking about her appearance. And Feministing, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, writes a whiny little post in rebuttal.

Here's what I take from the exchange. If more women were like Althouse, the feminist movement would still be respected in this country. Somewhere along the line the entire movement became somewhat absurd, and that absurdity is nicely showcased by Feministing. It's really too bad, too. Feminism could do much for women, particularly in third world countries where the lives of women are horrible. Instead, the movement obsesses about political power, sex, and body parts. It really has nothing to do with gender equality anymore.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I never thought that my priorities would align themselves this way. Tonight, I chose beer and a bonfire over politics (in other words, I didn't watch the Wisconsin Governor's debate). On Sunday, however, I am choosing politics over the Packers (I'm doing a little volunteer work for 37th Assembly candidate Greg Gasper). In the past, I'd have passed up on the bonfire and someone would have had to killed me to get me away from the Packer game.

Question for non-Brewer fans

Would you please tell me what it is like to watch a meaningful game in September? Please explain it in vivid's been 14 years since I've seen one, and I was but a child at the time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The oil bubble

Disclaimer: While I think my logic has been dead on, I've been wrong every single time I've talked about oil prices. Read the following in that light.

An article in The Seattle Times is reporting the possibility that the oil bubble is bursting and that we could see a huge drop in energy costs.
The recent sharp drop in the global price of crude oil could mark the start of a massive sell-off that returns gasoline prices to lows not seen since the late 1990s — perhaps as low as $1.15 a gallon.

"All the hurricane flags are flying" in oil markets, said Philip Verleger, a noted energy consultant who was a lone voice several years ago in warning that oil prices would soar. Now, he says, they appear to be poised for a dramatic plunge.

Crude-oil prices have fallen about $14, or roughly 17 percent, from their July 14 peak of $78.40. After falling seven straight days, they rose slightly Wednesday in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, to $63.97, partly in reaction to a government report showing fuel inventories a bit lower than expected. But the overall price drop is expected to continue, and prices could fall much more in the weeks and months ahead.

This outlook is way too rosey, in my humble opinion, much like the $100 barrel of oil predictions were too dour. For right now, the world feels somewhat stable and that is easing some of the fear premium that was built into the price of oil. The world is not really that stable yet, though, and it won't take much for the fear premium to be built back into the price of oil. Additionally, I don't think it is possible for us to see a return to the prices of the late '90's. Remember, demand increases as prices drop, and there is probably not enough extra production capability to support a $15 barrel of oil unless there was a major contraction of the world economy. Gasoline at $1.80? Perhaps. At a $1.15? I wouldn't bet on it.

Natural gas futures drop

This is good news. Natural gas futures have dropped to two year lows on increased supplies. Perhaps we'll actually keep our house at a tolerable temperature this winter.
Natural-gas futures dropped Thursday to their lowest level since April of 2004 after a U.S. government report showed a triple-digit increase in supplies of the fuel for the first time in more than a year.

Natural-gas inventories rose 108 billion cubic feet for the week ended Sept. 8, the Energy Department said. That marked the first triple-digit climb since June 3, 2005, according to First Enercast Financial.

"We are now sitting on over 3 trillion cubic feet of inventories, the highest level for this time of the year in almost 15 years, and the most comfortable stock going into a winter seasons in recent history," said Rakesh Shankar, an economist at Moody's

This is supply and demand at work. Last winter supply was tight and prices increased. Companies used that extra cash to get more supply into the market. And that means this year, our house will not double as a meat locker.

White buffalo and Janesville, Wisconsin

This is certainly a peculiar coincidence. The same Janesville farm that has seen the birth of two white buffalo in the past 12 years has now had a third. The first, Miracle, was born right around the time when I first moved down to the Janesville area. I never went to see it, but I might consider it this time. I'm not real big on the Native American significance of it, but I thought this was a pretty cool take on the whole thing by Floyd "Looks for Buffalo" Hand, a Sioux Medicine Man:
Women have long been revered in American Indian culture but men now need to take responsibility for their families and the future of the tribe, he said. The birth of this male signifies that, he said.

"It's the time for man's responsibilities," Hand said. "They're not listening to their children, they're not hugging them. They're not telling them what life is about."

Agree or disagree with his beliefs, but it is tough to disagree with that message, ain't it?

Whitney & Osama, sittin' in a tree...

First the news came out that Osama bin Laden may have had the hots for Whitney Houston. Now it comes out that Whitney is breaking up with hubby Bobby Brown. Coincidence? I think not. Not with all those poppies growing in Osama's back yard.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Letting it go

Sometimes when I can't post here at Jiblog or over at the BBA, but a thought comes to me, I write it down and post it later. That happened this morning when I read this. So I wrote down a fable style post about a pitbull and a German shepard that would have made Aesop jealous. But now that I'm at my computer, I don't really feel like posting it anymore. I'm tired of it, and I just want to put the lack of discipline, or as Sykes put it, a shortage of graciousness, in the past. That post would only keep it alive a little longer.

I'm no conspiracy theorist...

...but I'm going to wait to see who was responsible for yesterday's attack on an American embassy in Syria before I thank the Syrians for anything. Call it a healthy skepticism of who we are dealing with here.

Pluto gets number, orange jumpsuit

Don't look now, but I think Pluto was just sent to galactic prison.
Pluto has been given a new name to reflect its new status as a dwarf planet.

On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number 134340 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system.

The move reinforces the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) recent decision to strip Pluto of its planethood and places it in the same category as other small solar-system bodies with accurately known orbits.

Word is that once Pluto gets out, it will have to register as a sex offender for penetrating the orbit of Uranus.

(Yes tee bee, blogging is still a guy thing, which is why I can get away with a bad Uranus joke)

Confusing returns in the 37th Assembly District

See if this makes sense. TMJ4 is reporting the following numbers in the Republican Primary for the 37th Assembly District:

Greg Gasper, 1,611, 51%
Dennis Lund, 1,204, 38%
Joseph Hermanny, 360, 11%
Winner: Lund (!?)
100% in

WISN is reporting these numbers:

Dennis Lund, 1,060, 44%
Greg Gasper, 1,003, 42%
Joseph Hermanny, 312, 13%
Winner: Lund
100% in

One would have to consider those pretty unofficial numbers at this point, with TMJ4's looking rather messed up.

I did my own count on this race, using the numbers reported at the Dane County and Jefferson County websites. This is what I came up with:

Greg Gasper, 1611
Dennis Lund, 1204
Joseph Hermanny, 360
Winner: Gasper

Those numbers match up with TMJ4's. They seem to have just erred in the winner they checked off.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A stupid numbers game

RJ Eskow is not the only person I've seen play this stupid numbers game, but he is the one that has raised my hackles right now. From the HuffPo:

While President Bush and other Republican politicians spent the day exploiting the memory of those we lost five years ago, the nation overlooked a grim milestone: More Americans have now died in Iraq than died on 9/11. Iraq didn't attack us on that day, and our misguided policy there has now taken more American lives than Al Qaeda.

Here are the numbers: 3,015 Americans have died in Iraq as of September 9. 2,666 of these were military deaths and 349 were civilians.

Disgraceful. 2,900 plus innocent civilians were slaughtered in a matter of two hours on September 11th. 3,ooo plus volunteer soldiers have died over three plus years defending against what Republicans and Democrats (see post below) saw as a clear and present threat to the national security of this nation. And I'll go a step farther to illustrate why Iraq was seen as a threat. Prior to 9-11, Iraq was seen as a tolerable threat that the West had time to deal with because it was not believed that Iraq could project its threat to our shores. After 9-11 it became clear that 19 religous fanatics could project a threat to the shores of the United States with the right backing. That made Iraq, a possible/probable supporter of terror, an intolerable threat because it was now understood that it could project lethal and destructive force through terrorist proxies, even if it was not directly behind the attacks of 9/11.

Those who play this stupid numbers game want their cake and to eat it, too. In other words, they want you to believe that 9-11 had nothing to do with why we focused in on Iraq, but at the same time they want to equate the sudden death of thousands of innocents with the deaths over years of brave soldiers who have volunteered to protect this nation's security. Frankly, their game is offensive and it insults the intelligence.

Dems lied, people died?

GOP Bloggers did the research to dig up quotes of prominent Democrats taking hawkish stances against Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Included in the quote fest are Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Bob Graham, Carl Levin, Robert (KKK) Byrd, and Henry Waxman. Now if you are a Democrat who believes the anti-war mantra "Bush lied, people died," then you have one of three choices. First, you can take the illogical stance that the 'dim' President Bush is such a genius that he fooled all of your party's leaders going back to 1998 into thinking Iraq had WMD and was a threat. Second, you can also hoist your party's leaders on your petards for being naive rubes as to believe such a thing. Third, you can accept the fact that this was the conventional wisdom of both parties in this country and of the governments of most western nations, and that the whole "Bush lied" thing is a canard. Hint: A thinking person would choose number three, as the first two are more than a little nutty.

Greg Gasper for 37th Assembly seat

Today is primary day here in Wisconsin, and in the 37th Assembly District, I will be voting for Greg Gasper in the Republican primary. I've had the opportunity to exchange a couple of emails with Greg (but accidentally missed a meet and greet last week), but three things in this race really struck me. First and most importantly, a number of conservatives that I know and respect spoke very highly of him. In an primary for an Assembly seat, reliable information on the candidates can be tough to come by, and good word of mouth such as that passed along to me is priceless. Second, I am impressed by Greg's work ethic and how much he wants and values this seat. He has been pounding the sidewalks in the area, going door to door to talk with people. I missed him at least twice myself. And that leads into my third and least important point...the other two candidates were virtually invisible. That is a minor but important thing because it is reasonable to believe that a candidate that is invisible on the campaign trail will also be invisible as your representative. To my fellow residents of the 37th, I endorse Greg Gasper and encourage you to head out and vote for him today.

Monday, September 11, 2006

In memoriam: Craig D. Montano

In his 38 years, Craig D. Montano was a variety of things. He was, of course, a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, and a father. He was a grauduate of Syracuse University. He had been a bond trader for Drexel Burnham Lambert. He had owned his own businesses-Soho Painting Concepts and Neptune Brewing Company. By September 11, 2001, life had brought him to Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was a government securities broker on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Craig Montano was something else that was perhaps more important, though: He was a loving family man. Without fail, when you read about Montano, the word family is linked to his name. Be it the love he had for his wife Caren, the chances to vacation with his brothers Richard and Kevin, or anecdotes about the warm relationship that he had with his children Lucas, Liam, and Christa, the high esteem in which he held is loved ones is clear. We can memorialize for posterity Craig and the others who lost their lives 5 years ago today, but it is not in this memorial that his legacy will carry on. His legacy will be carried out by those family and friends whom he gave his love to, and he will live on with them through that love that they still carry with them.

The 2996

Read more about Craig
Craig Montano, 38, Made Time For Family
Brewer Turned Bond Broker to Be With Family
Craig D. Montano
A tragic loss
Craig Montano: Off Beat Interests
New York City Beer Guide, 1995. Neptune Brewery.

Note to the friends and family of of Craig. If there is something you'd like to add to this memorial, please note it in the comments or email me at ojibway7rj-at-gmail-dot-com

Five years ago

Five years ago at this moment, I was half way through my very first shift at a temp job I had taken. I was tired, cold, and wet. My spirit was very low, and I was feeling extremely sorry for myself. I would only feel more and more sorry for myself as the evening went on. By the time I got home shortly after 5 am, I was pretty sure nobody had it worse than me. I crawled into my warm, soft bed, dreading the fact that I'd have to wake up eventually and go back there again.

At 12:10 pm, five years ago today, I awoke to my phone ringing. It was my mother. My wife and I, both working third shift jobs at that time, had slept through the events of that morning. My mom was the one to tell us the bad news. Two things happened for me personally from that point on. First, shame kicked in over how sorry I had felt for myself the previous evening. I still had it pretty good, and I had no write to feel sorry for myself. Second, I did not go back to bed. I went to our computer and spent almost every moment until I had to go to the work reading news and opinion updates on the internet. The way I framed political and world news changed.

The Northwoods

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of one of my cousins. It was located in the Northwoods. And when I say Northwoods, I don't mean the southern Wisconsin meaning, which includes roughly everything north of the Wisconsin Dells. I'm talking way up north. I love it up there, but I could never live there. We headed up to the resort it was held at on Saturday. When we left Chippewa Falls, it was cloudy and dreary, but we drove out from under the cloud cover and enjoyed a beautiful day. The one thing that strikes me about some areas of the Northwoods is how far you are away from anything. We were probably 15 minutes from the closest town of any size, and that was only a couple of hundred people. When we turned off of the highway to go to the resort, we had to drive a mile on a dirt road. One thing made me laugh, though. We were 15 minutes from the closest place that sold food, but there were three places that sold booze between us and the food.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Oh by the way...

I'm in the land of milk and Honey Weiss tonight, and I'm going even further north tomorrow. Jiblog will be back later in the day on Sunday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Iran-Lucy analogy

The Investor's Business Daily uses the Lucy-Iran analogy:

Iran has postponed its talks with the EU because of "procedural matters." How many times must Lucy hold the football before Charlie Brown gets wise? Or before someone gets nuked?

It is the perfect analogy because the West falls for the same trick every single time.

Vile human beings

I just don't have the words for this story out of Milwaukee.
An 11-year old girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted by up to 15 boys in a north side home as a 16-year old girl told her which sex acts to perform and watched, according to complaints filed today in Milwaukee County Children's Court.

In addition, a 40-year-old relative of the older girl participated in the sex acts which took place in the older girl's home on Monday, records state.

Matt Torbenson, an assistant district attorney, said Milwaukee police were still looking for suspects and have executed a search warrant at the house where the incident occurred. He said they have recovered condoms and a video camera. The girl was able to identify about six possible suspects and DNA samples were being checked against semen and other evidence found on the girl, he said.

Today, the 16-year old girl was charged with party to the crime of four counts of 1st degree sexual assault and a 15-year old boy was charged with 2 counts of party to the crime of first degree sexual assault. The older relative, who had been visiting at the girl's home at the time, was expected to be charged in adult court.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The consequences of Iran and MAD

There is a growing camp of people who believe that mutually assured destruction (MAD), the theory that kept the U.S. and U.S.S.R. from a nuclear war during the cold war, would work with Iran. I'm not of that camp, but if you are or are inclined to be, consider this. While MAD did prevent the outbreak of nuclear hostilities between the two superpowers, it also kept millions of people under Moscow's brutal authoritarian thumb. It wasn't just that we couldn't help nations like Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia; it was that they had any and all self determination stripped from them living under the Soviet nuclear umbrella. The Soviets just rolled in with their tanks, and there were no consequences for them doing so. Take that and transfer it to Iran. With a nuclear deterrent, the Iranians would be able to rapidly acquire client states in the Middle East before the remaining nations could acquire their own nuclear deterrents to Iran. We would be helpless to do much about it, lest we trigger Iran's use of their nuclear weapons. If you enjoy your nice cushy lifestyle, if you enjoy being able to drive a vehicle, that is a possibility that should terrify you. If Iran could control more oil producing states and also the Persian Gulf, oil prices would cripple the world economy to an extent most people living today in the West cannot understand because they've never experienced it. By doing so, Iran would effectively level the playing field of world power by bringing the rest of the world down to their level, creating a very, very strong position for themselves on the world stage.

In the Wisconsin headlines

Everyday I scan through the websites of various Wisconsin news outlets. Last night when I did so, I found one of the sadder stories I've read and one of the grossest. The sad story is out of the Green Bay area. A man had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and the girlfriend called his dad to come and calm him. The man left before his father arrived, only to crash into his father's vehicle head on. The son has died, and the father's condition is unknown.

And in a story so gross that it is only a matter of time before it rolls out nationally, three men near Cassville saw the obituary picture of a 20 year old woman who had recently passed away in a motorcycle accident. The three then decided it would be a good idea to steal her corpse and have sex with it. Fortunately police had been alerted to a suspicious car at the cemetary, and the three were eventually caught. They had dug down to the concrete that encases the coffin. These three deserve a little time in a prison with very large men who haven't had any in a while

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

As I drove to work this morning, I passed near the elementary school in my neighborhood. As expected for the first day of classes, the area was packed with parked cars and parents walking their kids to school. What I saw at the corner disturbed and saddened me, though. This year's batch of safety patrollers were out, and one of them was a little girl who was about 9 or 10 years old. Her parents sent her to school in a micro skirt. First, that's innapropriate school wear at any age, let alone 10. Second, it is dangerous. There are about four to six registered sex offenders living within a mile of that school. This is clearly a case of dim witted parents more interested in the approval of their daughter than in her safety.

Couric debuts on CBS

I was so interested in this story that I napped through her debut. Much like half of CBS's coveted over 70 demographic.

The Iranian academic purge

This isn't good.

Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities, urging students to return to 1980s-style radicalism.

"Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with a group of students.

Ahmadinejad complained that reforms in the country's universities were difficult to accomplish and that the educational system had been affected by secularism for the last 150 years. But, he added: "Such a change has begun."

Consider this a pretty clear sign that the powers that be in Iran are getting a little nervous about that nations youth. Also consider it a pretty clear sign that they are going to clamp down on their universities hard to prevent any attempts at an internal regime change by the Iranian people. If they succeed, it could end up being quite ugly.

Monday, September 04, 2006

And the Oscar goes to Fat E. Squirrel

I could be mistaken, but something tells me that the fat squirrel in the neighborhood has been to the Sanford and Son school of acting. The following sequence is how he reacted when he saw me stand up in my living room. It's the big one...I'm coming Martha!

WTC collapse knowledge center

Do you have someone in your life who is a conspiracy nut that believes that we brought down the towers of the World Trade Center with explosives? Arm yourself with fact and knowledge, then, and this is a good place to start. This is a good place to go after that. After you've read up on all of that, your friend will only be able to counter with, "yeah, but that information came from the gub'mint, of course they want you to believe that." Fortunately you know that the government is barely able to turn on their lights in the morning, let alone able to plan and enact a plot such as demolishing the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon, and then keep it secret afterwards.

Popular Mechanics: Debunking The Myths
NYT, March 29, 2002: Towers Withstood Impact, but Fell to Fire, Report Says
9/11 Conspiracy Smasher
Loose Change 2nd Edition Viewer Guide

Rest in peace, Crocodile Hunter

You know, this really shouldn't be shocking, but it still is. Steve Irwin, better known here in the U.S. by the name of his show The Crocodile Hunter, died today while filming a documentary.

THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead. He was killed in a freak accident in Cairns, police sources said. It appeared that he was killed by a sting-ray barb that went through his chest, Queensland Police Inspector Russell Rhodes said.

What makes this even more surprising is that what he was doing, while dangerous, it was not nearly as risky as most of the other things he's been filmed doing. Say what you'd like about the risks he took, he seemed to be a personable guy who loved his family, and he brought much entertainment and knowledge of the wild to the living rooms of Australians and Americans. My prayers are with his wife and two young children.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Real life pyrotechnics

We've all seen video of rockets exploding, but not many of us have seen video like this. It is one of the coolest displays of rocket pyrotechnics you'll see.

The New Yorker sells archives on hard drive

I love this idea:

In one of the first digital publishing initiatives of its kind, we are proud to announce the release of The New Yorker’s entire archive, February, 1925 - April, 2006, on a palm-sized portable hard drive.

More publications should be selling their archives in digital form. It is easy ancillary income and it provides data that libraries, researchers, authors, magazine fans, and all around geeks would gladly purchase.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Successful missile defense test just step one

We should all be very pleased and comforted that a recent test of our fledgling missile defense system was successful. An accurate missile defense system will protect us from enemies in a world where missiles and nukes are becoming more and more easily acquired. Having said that, though, I think we shouldn't get too comfortable as there is no defense that an enemy will not try to circumnavigate, and missile defense is no different.

As the United States has developed increasingly awesome technology, we have become a nation that no one really wants to have a conventional conflict with. Our capabilities are incredible. But one thing that we've seen happen is our enemies have gone to less sophisticated, unconventional threats in an effort to fight against us. I see that occurring again as we develop an anti-missile umbrella over North America and our allies. Our enemies will react to that by attempting to surreptitiously bring smaller, lower yield nukes into our cities where they can be detonated with no warning whatsoever.

So what does that mean? It means that our missile defense system is a necessary step one in the process of protecting this nation from the nuclear threats that we'll face in the coming years. If fate is smiling upon us at all, we'll have a little bit of time to deal with steps 2a and 2b, which is to tighten security and ratchet down access to ports and borders. The smaller nuclear technology needed for nukes that could be snuck into this country and secretly moved about the country is much more difficult (and expensive) to acquire than the standard nuclear technology used in warheads. The nuclear Pandora is out of its box, though, so we cannot approach the next step leisurely.

This does not in anyway mean that we would be less safe because of our missile defense system. We are safer, and anybody who says otherwise is ignorant. What the missile defense system will do is turn our enemies' attentions to our other weaknesses. That is why we need to address our borders and ports, and do so very quickly. We need to stay one step ahead of those who wish to kill Americans, and we will be negligent if we don't strengthen those two obvious weaknesses.

France even gets bull fights wrong

Leave it to France to always pick the wrong side of everything. This seems like it should be a joke, but it isn't. In French bullfights, the French cheer for the bull.

Lesser known internationally than its Spanish cousin, southeastern France has its own version of bullfighting with a vast following and a major difference: the bull is king and never killed.

In the Provencal-style bullfights, known as the "courses camarguaises" or Camargue races, the beast is not only adversary but also star, even hero. Many towns and villages have erected statues to bulls with the sort of honor the Spanish-style corrida would grant a toreador.

The story goes on to discuss the details of French bullfights and talks about its growing popularity. I found this part very telling, defining this as the most French of sports:

Though "raseteurs" are paid a price for each race and a bonus for each tassel, Allouani is one of only three or four who actually make a living from the sport.

Only in France can you have a sport where the beast is the hero and men the goats, and where the pros probably have to live off of their welfare and unemployment checks.

A comment slander caser for bloggers to watch

This could be an important case for bloggers to watch:

I am sorry I have to be so vague but it appears that I am going to be deposition and logs from my blog will be subpoena for use in a case where 1 person slandered another on my blog. Anyway it looks like 1 of the people is seeking damages for what the other said on my blog.

As a blogger, it always pays to stay on top of these legal cases lest you find yourself in an ugly and expensive jam down the road.

On moving to WordPress

It ain't going to happen here anytime soon unless Google seriously screws up Blogger. I enjoy blogging, but right now I don't want the headache of moving. I've also discovered that I'm no fan of messing around with html code. When I started the BBA, I had to significantly over haul the template. It was a huge investment in time, and I'm just too damn lazy to to move to another service, hire someone to design a new template for me, and then have to worry about any code changes after that. Good luck to everyone moving to WordPress and various other places, though.

I'd like to make one note to Blogger, though. This is not an open invitation to use and abuse me. I have the resources and ability to tell Blogger to kiss off if my buttons get pushed too often, and I will do so.

Oh, and to anyone who gets snotty about their blog after they move and who looks down on those of us at Blogger, I'll say this as politely as I can: Screw off. Nothing is more obnoxious than a blogger who acts entitled to be snotty about their blog because of the service they use.

Hillary Clinton's brothers

Siblings can be a huge headache for politicians. Even though siblings like Billy "Beer" Carter can be a headache, they don't seem to prevent the election of their more upstanding political candidate brothers and sisters. That could change Hillary and her brothers if she runs for president in '08.

What’s different about Mrs. Clinton’s brothers is that they’ve almost certainly affected presidential decisions. Will they do that again if Hillary gets elected president?

The point of this article is that Hillary's brothers could be a bigger weight around her neck in 2008 than other infamous siblings of politicians because of favors granted during William J's presidency. Go read it.

Bruno Kirby, rest in peace

Bruno Kirby, perhaps best known for his role in City Slickers, passed away on August 14th. I noticed his passing and stored it away in the back of my mind. I'm not a big movie buff, but the roles Kirby played that I could remember were always roles I had enjoyed. I didn't think much about it again until I ended up at the Intellectual Conservative. There I read a post that was both a criticism of Billy Crystal and something of a euology to Kirby. After reading that post, I am certain that Kirby is someone that I would have liked to have met and for whom I'd have gladly purchased a drink. Rest in peace, Bruno.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Syria to UN: We'll enforce arms embargo

Isn't this a little bit like trusting your 6 year old child when he tells you he'll keep your 4 year old out of the cookie jar?
Syria promised Friday to increase border patrols and work with Lebanese troops to thwart the flow of arms to its ally Hezbollah, but Israel questioned whether the Damascus regime would be a "reliable force" in guarding the border.

If carried out, the promises made by Syrian President Bashar Assad to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan would be a major boost to efforts to keep the peace in Lebanon.

Preventing weapons from reaching Hezbollah is a key element of the U.N. resolution that halted Israeli-Hezbollah fighting Aug. 14. The truce also calls for a beefed-up U.N. force of 15,000 soldiers in southern Lebanon and more nations committed troops to the mission Friday.

The U.N. chief said that if Syria follows through in tightening control of the border, peace efforts will be greatly helped. "I have no reason to believe it will not be done," Annan said.

Read that Annan quote again. "I have no reason to believe it will not be done." Honestly? He has no reason to think Syria will not enforce this arms embargo against Hezbollah? None? What an insult to the intelligence of anyone willing to look at this situation objectively.

End of the Plame game.

Blah blah blah Joe Wilson. Blah blah blah Valerie Plame. Blah blah...Washington Post declares the whole stupid mess to be done and that it was Wilson's fault his wife's career ended? Now that is interesting.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

This story carried on too long amongst those who are into politics. So much so, in fact, that the whole thing became folly and Wilson's supporters were looking pretty silly in this blogger's opinion. The funny thing is, I don't sense that this story ever resonated much with the general public that doesn't follow politics closely. May this week be the very emphatic period at the end of the overwrought Plame game narrative.

The one man nuttier than Tom Cruise... naked birth sculpting, Suri Cruise poop bronzing 'artist' Daniel Edwards.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have yet to show their baby daughter off in public, but eager fans were given an unusual preview with the chance to see a bronze cast depicting her first solid stool.

The scatological sculpture -- more doodoo than Dada -- is purportedly cast from 19-week old Suri's first bowel movement and will be shown at the Capla Kesting gallery in Brooklyn, New York, before being auctioned off for charity.

Just in case you were considering deluding yourself into thinking that this is a genuine bronze casting of Suri Cruise's first solid deuce, you should probably read the fine print from the Q&A page at the eBay auction for this sculpture:

Q: Is there a certificate of authenticity that comes with this?

A: The gallery will issue a Certificate of Authenticity stating that the sculpture is, an original work of art produced by Daniel Edwards. Please note there will be no authentication from the Cruise family as the item was made as an artist rendering of what Suri Cruises' first solid meal waste would look like. Thank you for your intrest and good luck bidding!

Translation: This is about as authentic as the Spears on a bear rug sculpture that this guy did previously. If you are considering upping the current $7,000 ante on this item, realize that all you are getting is a shitty piece of sculpture that isn't all it is crapped up to be.

Who's paying taxes?

This is an interesting snippet from an Investor's Business Daily editorial:
The untold story of the Bush tax cuts is the fact that they wiped millions of poor and low-income Americans off the income tax rolls. A large block went from paying small tax bills to paying no income taxes at all. As many as 43 million Americans, nearly a third of all taxpayers, now have no income tax liability.

The book meme

Chris tagged me with this. Usually I preface or end these memes by saying that I won't tag anyone else but if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged. This time is different, though-I'm tagging the lovely Mrs. Jib and will be posting her response here at Jiblog. Now, on to my responses.

1. A book that changed your life
A: Not to be hokey, but I'm going to say The Holy Bible. It didn't change my life in the born again, saved my life type of way you typically hear. It did change the trajectory of my life beginning when I was about six or so, though. And that's all I have to say about that.

2. A book that I've read more than once.
A: One More Time, The Best of Mike Royko. When I was a kid, I was apparently a good writer. I didn't think so and I didn't like to do it. I was an avid reader, though, and I always anxiously awaited the latest Royko column to appear in my local newspaper. Sometimes I'd laugh, sometimes I'd get angry, but no matter what, I was always hooked from the start to the finish of his columns. Royko helped instill a love of writing and influenced the writing styles of both myself and a close friend of mine from high school. Everyone once in a while I pick up this book and another composed of his old columns just to refresh and remember.

3. A book I'd take to a desert island.
A: My Life by Bill Clinton. I chose this book because I wouldn't feel bad when that day came that I had to start ripping pages out to use as toilet paper and kindling.

4. A book that made me laugh.
A: The entire series of Uncle John's Bathroom Readers.

5. A book that made me cry.
A: I can't think of one. I can give you a few movies that have, but not any books.

6. A book I wish had been written.
A: The autobiography of Chief Buffalo. Chief Buffalo was a Chippewa leader in the 1800's. After President Taylor ordered the Chippewa removed from Wisconsin to Minnesota, Buffalo, in his 90's, traveled to Washington to convince new President Millard Fillmore to stay the removal order. Fillmore stayed Taylor's removal order. First, a man in his 90's who could make that journey in the 1850's and have enough left over to convince a President to stay a removal order is a man I have to respect. Secondly, while the records that I have of my lineage do not go back that far, it is said that all Ojibways are direct descendants of Chief Buffalo, and I'd enjoy reading my ancestor's autobiography.

7. A book that never should have been written.
A: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The lovely Mrs. Jib is a Kevin Bacon fan. She was given that book. We used to play the game a lot, usually right before bed. We usually played right before bed, and we'd frequently get stuck. We lost much sleep trying to make those damn connections.

8. A book that I am currently reading.
A: Reagan, In His Own Hand. The bargain books at the Madison area big box book retailers are a treasure trove of inexpensive Reagan literature.

9. A book that I am planning on reading.
A: There are two, as recommended to me by Chris. The Last Valley and Hell in a Very Small Place. They have been on my nightstand all year. I really want to read them, but they are going to require a time commitment. They are usually the type of thing that I knock off in airports and on planes, but I haven't traveled yet this year. Soon, though. Soon.

Corrected to show that Buffalo traveled to Washington, not Wisconsin, to convince Fillmore to stay the removal order.