Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Kerry, America's buffoon-in-chief

Okay, you get caught disparaging the troops. You do it on camera, and what came out of your mouth is pretty clear-you think the troops are stupid failures. So what do you do to extricate yourself from the situation? Blame Bush. At least, that's what John Kerry just did.
He said he had been criticizing Bush, not the "heroes serving in Iraq," and said the president and his administration are the ones who owe U.S. troops an apology because they "misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it."

"This is the classic GOP playbook," Kerry said in a harshly worded statement. "I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium."

This guy is the classic, shallow minded buffoon. I wonder if he gets upset because the media doesn't write his quotes the way he wishes he would have said them.

The quiet decider in '06?

In this off year election, motivating the base is huge because in a normal off year election, it is the base that makes the difference. I've been getting a little nervous about that independent, unaffiliated voter group this year, though. If they are motivated to turn out, they are going to decide this election, and nobody has really paid that close of attention to them this year. Stuart Rothenberg sounds the warning:

But even if Republicans turn out, GOP candidates could find themselves in hot water in dozens of districts that they ordinarily should hold. That's because independent voters are not acting the way they normally do.

Independents may not turn out at the same rate as strong partisans in midterm elections, but for dozens of Republicans trying to hold their seats in a potentially strong Democratic wave -- particularly those running in marginal districts -- independents will be plentiful enough at the polls to separate winners from losers. In Connecticut, for example, independents (unaffiliated voters) constitute a plurality of all state voters.

Normally, independents break roughly evenly between the two parties. In the 2000 presidential election, independents went for then-Texas Gov. Bush over Al Gore, 47 percent to 45 percent. Four years later, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) bested Bush 49 percent to 48 percent among independents.

This year, that's not close to being the case. "There just aren't any independents this year," joked one Republican strategist I talked with recently. "There are Republicans, Democrats and soft Democrats."

The good news is that if that unaffiliated, independent voter does swing congress to the Democrats, their victory may end up being hollow. That voting group can swing pretty wildly in two years and could end up back in the Republican court in '08 if mismanaged by the Democrats, which is a distinct possibility.

New York Times plays to stereotypes

The New York Times this morning does a marvelous job of playing to stereotypes, namely the ones that proclaim the Brits to be stodgy, cold, boring, fuddy-duddies.

This withering away of homegrown tradition makes people hate Halloween all the more. What could be more unattractive, they argue, than a bunch of rapacious, acquisitive children traipsing around the streets, demanding candy in exchange for nothing?

“Trick or treat? I don’t know about you, but my answer to this question, if I’m honest, would be unprintable in a family newspaper,” the critic A. N. Wilson wrote recently in The Daily Mail. “Let’s say it’s stronger than ‘push off.’ Yet the little beggars will soon be round, banging and ringing at our doors with this irritating refrain.”

Mr. Wilson blamed “the kitsch hotchpotch known as American Gothic.”

Hugh O’Donnell, a professor of language and popular culture at Glasgow Caledonian University, said in an interview that “the main complaint is that it’s just fun without any meaning behind it.”

“It’s no longer got any relationship to anything — not the old Celtic idea of the living and the dead, or the Christian tradition of Allhallows Eve,” said Mr. O’Donnell, who this week is the host of an academic conference at the university examining Halloween. He plans to dress as Dracula for the official dinner.

Of course, the Times could have found a good number of Americans with similar feelings. The fact is that Britain must not hate Halloween that much, as the article does state that British spending on Halloween has increased from about $28 million to $228 million in the last five years. But I guess they couldn't find any of those Halloween lovers to quote for the story.

Pat that headline writer on the back

I love the absurdity of this headline from the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:
Truck lands in river after cheeseburger incident

You think politics are ugly now?

Then just wait. The media has set the scene for this election: The Democrats are going to be huge winners. Congress is their birth right this year. This is the year of the Democrat Revolution, the year the American people finally come to their senses and repudiate those cold and nasty Republicans. After all of that, if the Republicans can hold one or both houses of Congress, there are going to be a lot of loony lefties that will not be able to process it. The media will have no choice but give some air time and ink to conspiracy theories to protect their fading credibility. This could the ugliest of the past three elections...if the Republicans can just hold on to enough seats. I still think that Republicans will hold the Senate and also that there is an outside chance that they'll maintain a slim, slim lead in the House. If that comes to pass, we may have a perfect storm of post election anger from the left.

Of course, if the Democrats do pull off a sweep, prepare yourself for so much condescension that'll you'll be begging to be infected with the bird flu as an alternative because you'd vomit less.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Heather Wilson for Congress ad

Wow, this is priceless. This commercial will be a classic if Wilson can pull off a win. Anytime your opponent is asked in a debate how she will assure that taxes will not be raised and she goes speechless, you've got some great footage.

St. Louis: Most dangerous U.S. city

St. Louis has the dubious distinction of knocking Camden, New Jersey out of the number one spot of most dangerous U.S. Cities:

A surge in violence made St. Louis the most dangerous city in the country, leading a trend of violent crimes rising much faster in the Midwest than in the rest of nation, according to an annual list.

The city has long fared poorly in the rankings of the safest and most dangerous American cities compiled by Morgan Quitno Press. Violent crime surged nearly 20 percent in St. Louis from 2004 to last year, when the rate of such crimes rose most dramatically in the Midwest, according to FBI figures released in June.

It is unfortunate because I really do like St. Louis. It has been a dangerous city for a while, though. 13 years ago during my senior year of high school, some of my classmates and I spent time in both St. Louis and Detroit. While St. Louis was the nicer, less scary city, it was just as dangerous. I'll spare everyone the personal anecdotes, but I will say that we had more moments in St. Louis where we were in potentially bad situtations than we did in Detroit. Even given that, I still enjoy St. Louis.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Congrats, condolences Cards

I'd like to start out by congratulating my old high school's football team. On Saturday, the Chi-Hi Cardinals upset previously undefeated Verona in the WIAA high school football playoffs 17-14. It was a game I wanted to attend but did not, and it sounds like it was a heck of an ending. Next up for the Cards is a venerable SPASH team.

Now for the condolences. Chi-Hi's longtime DECA advisor and marketing teacher Tim Lieding passed away from Hodgkin's disease. I knew Lieding as I had him as a teacher/advisor for two years. This was a guy who very easily could have had a dour outlook on life, as he had experienced more than his fair share of health problems. Instead students were treated to a guy who had an infectious enthusiasm, seemingly boundless energy, and a positive, free spirited approach to life. He was an influential person in the lives of many students who came through his program, and he will be missed.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Aussies are coming! The Aussies are coming!

The Australian noticed that Tennessee Senate hopeful Democrat Harold Ford has a tenuous grip on international affairs.

His skilled oration on domestic politics may be flawless, but his grip on foreign policy is error-prone. Yesterday he stumbled into gaffes on the North Korean nuclear tests and then mentioned Australia in the same breath as rogue nations wanting to go nuclear.

"Here we are in a world today where more countries have access to nuclear weapons than ever before," Mr Ford said, adding that when he left college in 1992 he thought the nuclear age had come to an end "and America would find ways to eliminate the number of chances that a rogue group or a rogue nation would get their hands on nuclear material".

<>"Today nine countries have it - more than ever before - and 40 are seeking it, including Argentina, Australia and South Africa," he said.
On North Korea, he claimed Pyongyang had conducted two nuclear tests, the first of which he said occurred on July 4. This confuses the ballistic tests Pyongyang carried out on that date with the single nuclear test earlier this month.

The gaffes were lost on the audience and he was given a rousing standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans alike. Any chance of clarifying Mr Ford's remarks with the man himself was impossible as minders shielded any international media from asking questions, ushering Mr Ford away.

"You don't win us any votes," said his spokeswoman. And she might have added that it also means he is insulated from pesky questions probing his limitations on enunciating a foreign policy involving a trusted ally.

It's kind of sad that it took the Australian news media to point this out. But of course, something like this could get in the way of the American media's preferred narrative, a Democrat revolution. God help us.

Friday, October 27, 2006

And the scales fell from their eyes

Peggy Noonan has a decent piece up at OpinionJournal today in which she wonders whether some Republicans want to lose this year. It is hardly a new thought, seeing that it has been debated amongst conservative bloggers for months. I do have one serious quible with it, though, and that is this statement:
But there's unease in the base too, again for many reasons. One is that it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of "conservative."

He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining. He didn't go to the people whose loyalty and support raised him high and say, "This is what I'm doing, this is why I'm changing things, here's my thinking, here are the implications." The cynics around him likely thought this a good thing. To explain is to make things clearer, or at least to try, and they probably didn't want it clear. They had the best of both worlds, a conservative reputation and a liberal reality.

That is flat out incorrect. Has she forgotten about compassionate conservatism? Has she forgotten that this is, after all, the son of a man whom conservatives came to despise during his own presidency. No, playing the ignorance card is not acceptable here. We all knew as far back as 2000 that we were not getting a perfect conservative in George W. Bush. If we try now to say we didn't know, we're only being dishonest with ourselves. We knew we were getting a guy with deep conservatism on some issues, but who by and large was not that conservative.

If there has been any failure, it is that we conservatives have not acted to cultivate truly conservative candidates, elect them, and then pushed them to higher offices. We had a grouping in 1994. Some of them we didn't hold accountable enough and they went native. With others, we went along with the self defeating ideals of term limits, and watched them voluntarily leave office, true to their ideals. There are only a few left. And now, angry at how things have turned out, some conservatives are going to pick up their toys and go home by sitting out this election. We conservatives certainly do need to do some soul searching, but that soul searching should not start with the soul of conservatism but with our own individual conservative souls. We each own a piece of where things are at. Our only choice now is to roll up our sleaves and start fixing things. I'm of the opinion that it is easier to fix something while it is still operable. My fear is that a lot of conservatives have already decided that the only way to fix things is to completely dismantle the conservative movement and rebuild it again from scratch.

On politicians and second thoughts

I was amused by this paragraph in a Reuters story on Wednesday:

Politicians should think twice about allowing some flood-prone areas of the U.S. Gulf coast to be redeveloped in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a top research group said after studying floods around the world.

Well, there's most of the problem, actually. There are too many politicians that don't think the first time, let alone a second time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The French butchery of language

There is this notion that French is a beautiful language. I don't really share that notion. I find the language, even when spoken in the native tongue, sounds like the speaker is both drunk and with a severely swollen tongue. So I should have known better today. I spoke with someone in Quebec. This person had a wonderful Polish last name. Despite the fact that I was calling Quebec, I brushed up on my Polish last names in an attempt to impress somebody, anybody, with a good pronunciation. I did well, I thought, until the person on the other end of the line, in a snotty French accent, corrected my pronunciation. It had been completely Francophied. I couldn't even understand it. If you want to hear gibberish, that's your recipe: Take a good Polish last name and translate it into French.

Jim Webb, the new Foley

Is Jim Webb running for Senate because he heard about the great Page program? Here's a suggestion for everyone. If you think there is even the most remote chance that you'll run for office one day, don't write a novel that includes pedophilia and incest like this (from Drudge):

– Lost Soldiers: “A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.”

This will make Jim Webb, Democratic candidate for Senate in Virginia, the new Mark Foley. It doesn't matter that it is fiction. Most Americans are repulsed by things like this, and I doubt that Virginians will send someone who wrote the above to a Congress already rocked by a virtual pedophilia scandal. Welcome back to the Senate, George Allen. Ya nearly blew it, but your opponent was dumber than you.

One's relationship with freedom

The Anchoress has an interesting piece at Captain's Quarters on the demographic death of old Europe. In it I found a quote that really struck me.

This article also addresses the inability and disinterest of secularist cultures (not, mind you secular governments, but the culture of the secular elite) to fight to keep what they have: In a recent op-ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard (23 October) the Dutch (gay and self-declared “humanist”) author Oscar Van den Boogaard refers to Broder’s interview. Van den Boogaard says that to him coping with the islamization of Europe is like “a process of mourning.” He is overwhelmed by a “feeling of sadness.” “I am not a warrior,” he says, “but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.

That is, in a nut shell, the free and developed world's biggest weakness today. Too many people know how to enjoy freedom, but they couldn't fight for it if they wanted to. They simply don't know how, or they are too ambivilant to learn. It is particularly true of modern Europe.

Home prices drop


The median price of a new home plunged in September by the largest amount in more than 35 years, even as the pace of sales rebounded for a second month.

The Commerce Department reported that the median price for a new home sold in September was $217,100, a drop of 9.7 percent from September 2005. It was the lowest median price for a new home since September 2004 and the sharpest year-over-year decline since December 1970. The weakness in new home prices was even sharper than a 2.5 percent fall in the price of existing homes last month, which had been the biggest drop on record.

Tell that to my local community. My house was just revaluated and they jacked up the property valuation 40%. Some of that 40% we were prepared for, but some of it put the house well above market value and what we paid for it just two years ago. If I ever leave Wisconsin, it'll be because of the property taxes, plain and simple. What a racket.

Editorializing ledes

If there were ever a text book example of media editorializing their ledes, this one would be it. From Reuters (who else?):

President George W. Bush signed legislation on Thursday to build 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border, an election-year move against illegal immigration aimed at helping Republicans.

This only helps the Republicans in some sectors. There is a reason that nothing was accomplished on illegal immigration this election year. It is because the issue cuts across party lines and any one stance helps a politician with one group of supporters and dings them with another. Could it possibly be that this poor compromise is just the best the weak spined Congress could come up with to address illegal immigration this year?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shaw: Save Olbermann! Vote Dem!

Russell Shaw at HuffPo proposes a new fear to keep Americans up at night: The fear that if Republicans hold Congress, Keith Olbermann's show could be cancelled.

Fear that if a Democratic takeover doesn't happen in at least one chamber- or better yet, both- Keith Olbermann's corporate bosses may decide that, well, we gave him his say and although it was close, the results have shown America doesn't agree with him. That'd be the Anmerica (sic) who just might not want to buy products from advertisers on Keith's show.

That paragraph made me chuckle. That's right, America, fear for Keith Olbermann's job. If he loses it, his ratings, his angry neurosis, and his undeserved condescension will have nothing to do with it. It'll be the fault of voters and those nasty Republicans. The real fact of the matter is Olbermann's job will be less stable with a Democrat Congress than a Republican one. With a Democrat Congress, his loonie angry shtick will only have one target, the President. You take away that much of Olbermann's schtick, and he's done for because he is a one trick pony with a dedicated audience of angry nuts just like him.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

'Environmentally friendly' celebs

Heh. This article that Drudge is pointing to is rather amusing.

Hybrid cars are all the rage in Hollywood. Celebrities drive them like they're a badge of honor. You save a few gallons of gas, you save the planet. Right? Well, not when you hop on a private jet and burn enough fuel to propel NASCAR through 2050.

Of course, the stars need to go here and there. The location shoots, the fabulous vacations, etc. But that's why God created United Airlines. G-IV's, on the other hand, were created in the image of precious celebs.

Go there to read about J-Lo's, Leo's, Julia's, Pitt's, and Clooney's eco-blind spot-private jets.

Random midterm election thought

At what point will Republican pessimism over the midterm elections become a self fulfilling prophecy? Hand wringing can get the base to the polls, but it can also turn off those independent and right leaning Democrats.

How to sell a book...

...by Barack Obama. I've been thinking about Barack Obama's little statement about running for President. Frankly, he has little to gain by doing so at this point. The 2008 primaries are going to be a meat grinder, and while his lack of experience may help him to some extent, the other Democratic candidates are going to use it to crucify his chances. On the other hand, if he holds out and the Democrats lose, he may be perfectly situated for 2012. If the Dems were to win, then he will still be plenty young in 2016 and he'll have time to build a pretty impressive Presidential resume. So I'm chalking this up for what I see it as...a clever way to sell some more books. I think the only way he'll run is if Hillary lurches hard to the left and he sees plenty of daylight to her, and everyone else in the Dem field's, right.

The depressing nature of the survivalist

Josh Manchester has a piece at TCS Daily called The Wisdom of Survivalist Crowds. The last paragraph made me shudder:

And while the American people may be divided on many issues, they are preparing for what is to come, practicing their own form of strategy by instinct - and rightly so, for, given our present course, the horrors visited upon us thus far may merit a mere footnote compared to those to be loosed upon us in the trials ahead.

I find the current rendition of survivalism akin to the bomb shelter crowds of the 1950's. They are being prudent and cautious, and may look silly 50 years from now if humanity again proves its unwillingness to destroy itself. Unfortunately, it is tough to have that confidence in humanity right now, and I find myself preparing in my mind and to a lesser extent in physicality for the possibility of the worst. My preparations are thoughts and actions that I loathe and certainly do not relish.

Jiblog, the lost posts

I just want everyone to know that even though my posting has been sparse lately, I have been jotting down thoughts, partial posts, and full posts. I've intended to transcribe them to Jiblog when time has allowed, but it just hasn't happened. But I'm a silver lining type of guy, though. Should I one day meet my untimely (or timely if you dislike me) end, the lovely Mrs. Jib will find enough folded up pieces of paper and journals with unposted thoughts to keep this joint going for a year. (Not that I plan on going anywhere anytime soon).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why it sucks to coach

At times it can be completely unrewarding to volunteer as a coach these days. In fact, it can be dangerous:

The father of a young football player pulled a gun on his son's coach because he didn't think the boy was getting enough playing time, Philadelphia police said on Monday.

Wayne Derkotch, 40, was charged with aggravated assault after getting in a fight with the coach over the amount of time the boy was getting on the field at a game for 6- and 7-year-olds on Sunday morning, said police spokesman Officer Raul Malveiro.

I helped a friend coach a little league team last year, and while things were quite tame, it was still amazing to see the things he had to put up with as head coach. One kid's mother thought her kid should be starting, hitting higher in the order, and playing in the infield. She gave my friend an earful. He was late to the next game so I made out the line up just as it had been the week before. When he got there, he ripped it up and had the kid lead off and play short. He had apparently been getting angry phone calls from the mother, so to prove his point that the young lad did not belong in those positions, he let her have her way for one game. It was unfortunate, too, because the kid made a fool of himself and because he did not have the talent for those positions, he could have been hurt. But some parents don't see that.

Ollie North & Nicaraguan poltics

Give 'em hell, Ollie:
U.S. Cold War warrior Oliver North, famous for his role in funding Nicaraguan rebels in the Iran-Contra affair, is back in the fray in the Central American nation's tense presidential election.

North, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines, was in the Nicaraguan capital on Monday to give his backing to the ruling Liberal Party's conservative candidate, Jose Rizo.

North said he was worried by opinion polls that show his former enemy Daniel Ortega, who led the left-wing Sandinista government during the 1980s civil war against Contra rebels, could bounce back to power in the November 5 election.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Will Paris burn again?

It sounds like it, if this article at the New York Times is accurate.

In fact, with the anniversary of those riots approaching, spiking violent crime statistics across the area suggest not only that things have not improved, but that they also may well have worsened. Residents and experts say that fault lines run even deeper than before and that widespread violence may flare up again at any moment.

“Tension is rising very dramatically,” said Patrice Ribeiro, the deputy head of the Synergie Officiers police union. “There is the will to kill.”

If modern secular civilization is going to push back against angry and radicalized Islam, that first push may end up occuring in France. But I'm not counting on it.

My squirrels have found a purpose

If you are a regular reader here, then you know that I hate my neighborhood tree rats. This morning I have softened my stance on that issue. They seem to have found a balance with the area birds. The squirrels own the bird feeder, but they throw everything they don't want on the ground, which the birds are perfectly happy eating. The squirrels have chosen to allow the birds this privilege-except one species, a species of bird that I hate even more than the squirrels-the blue jays. I've noticed this morning that the squirrels don't allow blue jays anywhere near them, and when they approach they chase the blue jays away. Since blue jays are fiercely territorial, going so far as to destroy the eggs of other birds, I think I'm going to show the local squirrels a little more tolerance as long as they continue to chase away the blue jays.

Fighting the war before the last war

In regards to President Bush's comments on Iraq, Vietnam, and the Tet Offensive: I wish he hadn't made them. It served no purpose but to play into the rhetoric of the anti-Bush types out there. Can we learn lessons from past wars? Yes. Can we win any war if we allow it to be cast in the light of a specific past war? No. The point the President made was fine, but to the casual news viewer, the only thing it accomplished was to tie Iraq and Vietnam together, creating a very faulty analogy.

The liberal world

I've been working pretty hard lately and I have a boatload of vacation time left this year, so today I took the day off to spend with the lovely Mrs. Jib. We would like to one day have a modest wine cellar, so today we went off in search of wines. The goal is to first build the cellar with inexpensive wines and then replace those wines over time with nicer wines. So our first stop in our wine hunt was the brand spanking new Trader Joe's on Monroe Street in Madison.

The story of this store in this neighborhood bemuses me to no end. The neighborhood as I understand it is your typical yuppie/liberal neighborhood. A couple of years back their neighborhood grocery store closed shop. Walgreens was very interested in the location, but the neighborhood threw a holy snit fit. No big box pharmacy was good enough for their neighborhood. It had to be a grocery store. And not just any grocery store. No, this had to be a grocery store that met their discerning values. Trader Joe's was lured to this environment, and it would seem that it is a perfect match. Trader Joe's sells groceries that are interesting, different, and unique. In other words, they sell groceries that people a couple of neighborhoods over probably wouldn't buy because they are expensive and a little ecentric.

In a way, Trader Joe's and this Madison neighborhood are an example of the market overcoming socialism. The neighborhood did it's damndest to control the market and determine for the market what kind of business would go into their vacant grocery store. It just so happens that void was filled by a grocery store whose target market is those very residents, and much profit, the bane of many liberals, will be made off of the neighborhood.

As for the lovely Mrs. Jib and I, we contributed a few penny's to Trader Joe's capitalist cause by purchasing several bottles of "Two Buck Chuck", the store's signature cheap wines.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Okay, now that the Dow has closed above 12,000, how long until we start seeing stories in the 'Great Depression' media about a bubble, or stock market crashes of the past, or of how previous records came before significant corrections, or about an overheated economy, etc, etc. You know, the negative stories about good economic news that you usually hear with a Republican president.

More grave consequences blather

We've left Theodore Roosevelt's words in the past. Speak softly and carry a big stick diplomacy is dead. Today our guiding strategy of diplomacy is "Speak incessantly and warn of some fuzzy, indeterminate stick."
"As to a possible North Korean second nuclear test, we agreed that it would aggravate the current situation and that it should never take place.

"We agreed that in case it happens, there should be more grave consequences," Ban told a press conference Thursday.

Somebody please purchase the world's diplomats a few thesauruses. They need new scary words to replace "grave threat."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Save the cheerleader...

...save the world.

I just wanted to say that. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the commercials on NBC.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dumb Stories Chronicals: 300 milionth American

This has got to be one of the dumbest stories I've seen in a long time. Is it a big deal that America now has 300 million people? Sort of, but only in the sense that it focuses us on population issues. What is truly idiotic about this story, though, is the need to identify one baby as that 300 millionth person. It is impossible to do, and for all we know it could be a black baby in Michigan, a white baby Kansas, or a newly minted citizen from Eastern Europe. Really, let's talk about the issue of population but dispense with this identification of "the one" thing.

Harry Reid, the consumate Las Vegas politician

First there was the shady land deal. Now we have the story of Harry Reid's misuse of campaign funds. Something tells me there is more shady financials in Reid's closet, just waiting to be found.

This is news? Volume 546,875,947

From the BBC:

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly delivered a scathing attack on US President George W Bush, saying he is inspired by Satan.

Umm, well, thanks for the update, I guess. Like they haven't been calling us the 'Great Satan' for the past 27 odd years.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Concerned about Hawaii quakes

As Drudge put it, Hawaii has been hit by a "quake swarm" today, with the strongest so far being a 6.3. My former co-blogger Col. Ollie is in Hawaii. Hopefully all is well out there for him, and I'll probably check in with him later in the day.

I just got a voice mail from Col. Ollie. It was a pretty good shake, but everyone in their area is okay. Power is on and off for them, and phone service is terrible. If you try to call a loved one in Hawaii right now and you cannot get through or if you get a voicemail, do not be overly concerned. The phone lines are just extremely busy right now. For the most part, everybody is just hunkering down and waiting right now.

Update 2
Col. Ollie called back again. The tower he is in suffered some damage, but it wasn't anything that was noticeable until he went outside. They have not evacuated the building so it sounds like the damage where he is at isn't severe. He can get a phone line off the island about once every ten attempts. Power sounds like it is completely out now. In at least the highly populated, more modern areas, it sounds like things are generally okay.

Update 3
If you do know someone in Hawaii, it might pay to try to communicate with them via email or instant messenger. It sounds like some people still do have internet access despite the power outage.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Coldest high temperature

I've heard several meterologists tout this little gem the past few days-the "coldest high temperature." What's next? The driest rainfall?

The Departed

I'm not going to review The Departed. All I'm going to say is this: It is a really good, really violent movie...but...that ending pisses me off and it pissed off the lovely Mrs. Jib. The entire car ride home we tried to comprehend what the hell happened. We couldn't. So I hopped online to see what there was to learn about the ending. Here is what I found. About 80% of the people didn't get it either, but rather than admit that they didn't get it, they called it brilliant without elaborating. The other 20% didn't like the ending. They didn't get it either, but at least they were honest enough to say it and then rip on the movie for it. Finally I thought I hit the jackpot-a Scorsese interview where he was asked about the ending. After babbling on about nothing for two paragraphs, he calls it a moral ground zero. Yes, a moral ground zero. Folks, go see this movie, but go knowing that Scorsese doesn't even know what to make of his own damn ending.

Post Script
I read this post to the lovely Mrs. Jib. She said it was harsh and asked if I couldn't just say the ending was brilliant and leave it at that. So there you have it: Brilliant!

Post post script
I can't stop dropping f-bombs since the movie ended.

Random Friday the 13th thought

Can you imagine having such a bad week that you actually start to look forward to Friday the 13th because it means your luck will get better? Would that be considered TGIF13?

Werewolf in Fort Atkinson?

I think I've met that guy...he's just misunderstood. And hairy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Re-revised projection for November 7

Now that I've calmed down from last week's ugly Foley mess, I've migrated back towards my original projection of Republicans holding small majorities in both the Senate and the House, although now I think it will really be razor thin. Given how quickly the news cycle moves and how short peoples' memories are, the Foley mess will ding Republicans because it will just be another thing piled up against them. Still, the next few weeks are going to seem like a political rollercoaster to those of us wired into events and whose votes are probably already firmed up. For those who casually follow the news and whose votes fluctuate between parties, I can see an overall numbness to controversy setting in. A very major, last second controversy could still sink the Republicans, but absent that security is going to trump whatever it is the Democrats decided to run on this year, and regardless of the Republican record, people still don't trust their security in the hands of Democrats. Democrats have been using the wrong security rhetoric for three years now, and it is going to bite them again.

A new pundit in the Wisconsin blogosphere

Owen's efforts to rule all media may have hit a road block. Jenna is the new Wisconsin media star with her turn on the The Factor. Great job, Jenna.

Say it with me now: It must be global warming

I was about to lock up and head to bed when I looked out my back door and saw what looked like sand on my deck. So I flipped the light on to see a dusting of snow. We also had snow showers Wednesday afternoon. I have lived here in South Central Wisconsin for 12 years now. Previous to this year, the earliest I can remember snow falling was October 20th or 21st in 1995 (I can remember that because our dorm room Ouija board predicted it, and I had gone to a flick with my wife, who was not yet my girlfriend, when we saw it.) Snow on October 11/12? That's nuts even for most of Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yankee pitcher on plane (pilot?)

This is a bizarre turn of events. Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle was likely the pilot of the plane that crashed into a New York building today.

A small plane with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle aboard crashed into a high-rise condominium tower Wednesday on the Upper East Side, killing at least two people and raining flaming debris on the sidewalks below, authorities said.
There was no immediate confirmation Lidle was among the dead, although a federal law enforcement official said Lidle's passport was found on the street beneath the crash site.

My limb in the post below seems to have been more fragile than I first thought. It sounds like there may have been fuel related problems on board Lidle's plane.

Too early to speculate, but...

...I'm going to do it anyway. Based on the nice run down Sean is doing at the BBA, I'm going to go out on a short and sturdy limb here and say that the plane crash in New York was a planned suicide, much like the building that exploded in the city earlier this year and the kid who flew a plane into a building in Florida several years back. This story just has that kind of feel to it.

Aircraft crashes into NY building

This must be a frightening flashback for New Yorkers. The good news, if you can say that, is that it looks like it was a small aircraft and it seems unlikely that it is terrorism related.


Somebody reached deep into their large intestitine to pull out this number.

American and Iraqi public health experts have calculated that about 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent violence, far above previous estimates.

Sometimes I can't help but see some researchers as monkeys. The only difference is that the poo that the monkeys fling has a use as fertilizer. The same can't be said for the output of the researchers in question.

"Putin vows to hunt down Russian report's killers"

So sayeth Reuters. Word is Putin will ask OJ Simpson to join in the hunt.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cybersex scandal

The media has been protraying the Foley mess as a sex scandal, but it really isn't. It is at best a cybersex scandal, and it is barely that, which leads me to a question. Has their ever been on cybersex scandal on the national political scene before this? I can't think of one off the top of my head.

A picture, a thousand words.

Kim Jong-Il and Madelline Albright. (Source)

The DNR and Menards

This story which Charlie Sykes covered on the air this morning and which has received much attention in the Wisconsin blogosphere deserves a little more attention. Sykes and my fellow bloggers are 100% correct that this is a failure of Governor Doyle. It should be noted that the DNR has had it out for Menards for quite some time now, though. What is being missed here is that the Wisconsin DNR has acquired way more power than any bureaucracy should be allowed. It has conducted a witch hunt, and the biggest target of that witch hunt has been John Menard. I frankly find it amazing that Menard has not already moved his company out of state. It is past the time for a strong executive in this state to bring the DNR back under control.

Politically numb

I'm curious how many other Republicans out there feel as I do right now. I'm numb to all of the politics. One could say I've o.d.'d on it. But instead of staying home on November 7, I'm going to go to the polls. I won't be voting straight ticket because I'll be writing in a U.S. Senate candidate, but I will vote Republican in every race. There is nothing that can dissuade me from my belief that the Democrats aren't good for this state and this country right now, controversies and departures from conservative doctrine be damned.

Profiting on the web

Want to know the best way to profit on the internet? I'll tell you. The current internet model is set up so one or a small group of people create sites that have entertaining or interesting content. They then, through self promotion and word of mouth, create an electronic fad. At the height of said fad, they sell the entity for hundreds of millions or even billions, at which point someone else actually has to figure out how to make a profit on the billion dollar fad before it wanes. See Google buys YouTube and NewsCorp buys MySpace.

Wisconsin loves its football

This is amusing.

As reported by the Wisconsin State Journal on March 28, 1906: "At 9:30 p.m., 20 students gathered at Mendota Court with shotguns and revolvers. In 15 minutes the entire student body seemed to be in the line shouting 'death to the faculty.' They marched first to Frederick Jackson Turner's house. 'When can we have football?' was shouted. 'When you can have a clean college game. It's been so rotten for the last 10 years that it is impossible to purge it,' Turner replied. His words were met with hisses and shouts of 'put him in the lake.' At Dean Birge's house, he said, 'I understand the sentiments of this crowd to be for football. I shall convey these sentiments to the faculty at the next meeting.'

"Students then marched around town gathering wooden sidewalks, fences, and burnable material, and lit a bonfire in the middle of campus. They fired guns into the air. They hung an effigy of Turner on Bascom Hill, and lit it and several more on fire. At 7 the next morning a stuffed figure representing the faculty still swung from Main Hall."

And now the city goes crazy over rowdiness on Halloween. Would today's students go heels if the university dropped the football program?

Monday, October 09, 2006


One nice thing about having limited opportunities to blog is that when a story breaks during the day, like, say, a nutjob rogue regime testing a nuke, I can't write breathless posts about the coming of the world. That's helpful when it starts to look like the test was a dud. It doesn't do much for traffic, but at least I don't have to correct myself.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


To me, Louisville will always be about bats.


Yesterday I was on the road for about 8-9 hours, and my biggest solace during that drive through flat land nothingness was that I'd get to sit down with a beer and watch the Packer game and the NASCAR race today. After watching the Packer offensive line blow the game, I turned on the NASCAR race hoping Dale Earnhardt Jr. could get back into the Chase. And then I watched Brian "I'll never win another race in my career" Vickers take out the first place Earnhardt and the second place Jimmy Johnson on the last lap. It's like being kicked in the beans after being stabbed in the heart. What's next? Are the Brewer's going to sign Jose Valentin tonight?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quick hitter

A few brief observations on my last two days.
*Indiana sucks.
*If you think we deep fry a lot of foods in Wisconsin, then you've never been south of the Ohio River. The healthiest thing I've seen on a menu is a cheeseburger. Tonight I ate a dish that made my heart briefly seize up just by looking at it. It was delicious, but I can never order it again unless a defribrilator is pre-charged to jump start me.
*Louisville has done a nice job revitalizing parts of its downtown area.
*If the planes at your airport take off just hundreds of feet over an amusement park and a convention center, then it is only a matter of time before your city makes the news because of a horrible tragedy *cough, Louisville, cough.*

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The ever evolving Foley story

Drudge is now reporting that the 'boy' in the now infamous Mark Foley IMs was actually 18 at the time. Drudge doesn't link to the source info, but you can follow the research and discoveries here. This starts to change the Foley calculus, but only a little. There are probably worse IM's out there than this, and the entire situation is still undefendable even if Foley turns out to be innocent of sending naughty IMs to a minor in this one case.

More on the IMs from Malkin.

A pointless defense

In regards to the Foley mess, I see a ton of conservative commentators, columnists, radio hosts, and bloggers firing back at the left by pointing out the Democrats' double standard, with Gerry Studds, Barney Frank, and others as the poster children. This double standard line, while true, is pretty feeble and pointless. In fact, to your non-aligned voter, it just makes Republicans look bad, childish even. Are Democrats intentions pure here? Absolutely not. But it doesn't matter unless it is proven that they sat on the information, too, because for now, on this issue, they have the high ground, and there isn't anything in the past that is going to change that on this issue. The fact is Foley done wrong, and it doesn't matter what certain Democrats have tolerated from their own in past. The spotlight is on the Republicans. What matters is how Republicans handled/handle Foley's wrong doing. While they may not have actively covered it up, they certainly didn't follow up on the emails very aggressively, and that is all that is going to matter to that average, non-aligned voter and some social conservatives. I understand wanting to fight back against Dems for the politics of this, but the best way to do that is help people see the clear delineation between the emails and IMs, and when everybody knew about each. Additionally, digging up who in the Democratic party knew what and when would also be constructive. This whole I know he did but what about them thing is not productive or constructive.

The revenge of meteorology

I offended the meteorology gods with that last post, and they got their revenge. At 4:50 a.m., a thunderstorm blew in with very little build up. A simultaneous lightning bolt and explosion of thunder down the block shook me from bed. It also woke up the cat, who is terrified of thunder. I heard cat tags jingle as she trotted through the living room, up the stairs, down the hall, and under the bed. Note to self: Do note conflate fired up weather geeks with 16 year old boys ever again.

National Weather Service whiffs like Jose Valentin

For most of the day the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center were filling their shorts about the likelihood of nasty thunderstorms in southern Wisconsin late this afternoon and tonight. They missed as badly as a Jose Valentin strike out. I followed their weather jargon orgasms today, and it was becoming clear to me by about 5 o'clock that it just wasn't happening. There are a lot of meterologists out there tonight that are as disappointed as a 'premature' 16 year old boy.

For the love of God, no!!!

Leinie's gets their hops from the Yakima valley. After this, the lovely Mrs. Jib may have to pimp me out to afford my beer:

Federal investigators were set Tuesday to begin an investigation into a fire that ruined about 4 percent of America's yield of hops, used as flavoring in the brewing of beer and ale.

The fire started shortly before noon Monday in a 40,000-square-foot (3,600-square-meter) warehouse operated by S.S. Steiner Inc., one of the four largest hop buyers in the Yakima Valley of central Washington. By mid-afternoon flames engulfed most of the building, sending up plumes of smoke and a pungent aroma.

This is just a C-O-N-spiracy by big beer to drive up prices (I should have been a Democrat political advisor).

Actually, if beer dropped to $2.39 a gallon, you might never hear from the blogger again. I'd be too busy in my beer swimming pool.

But the 72 virgins wouldn't have them...

Is it still considered martyrdom if, while in captivity, the Great Satan feeds you so well you have a massive heart attack?

A high-calorie diet combined with life in the cell block — almost around the clock in some cases — is making detainees at Guantanamo Bay fat.

Meals totaling a whopping 4,200 calories per day are brought to their cells, well above the 2,000 to 3,000 calories recommended for weight maintenance by U.S. government dietary guidelines.

And some inmates are eating everything on the menu.One detainee has almost doubled in weight, to 410 pounds, said Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand, spokesman for the detention facilities at Guantanamo, a U.S. Navy station in southeast Cuba.

410 pounds? What are they serving them, Gilbert Burgers? (Very tasty, by the way. I used to eat them 10 years and 40 pounds ago). Somebody sign that guy to play nose tackle.

Spotty blogging ahead

Thursday through Saturday of this week I will be in the Bluegrass state. During those three days I will blog as events allow. I enjoy writing when I am on the road, but sometimes events just don't allow for it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Why Foley could be a problem on November 7th

I'm going to make this brief because it seems that there is a little bit more disinterest in this story than I thought there would be. Anyway, here are my three big reasons.

1. This story has the potential to add to a general disgust with Republicans that has been floating across the country all year. Too much disgust, and the party risks a lashback across the board from voters in the middle and the middle right. All politics are local but there are exceptional years where that isn't the case.

2. Conservatives have been disgruntled with the party all year. A quick look around the Wisconsin blogosphere shows that a few are already claiming they will not show up at the polls this fall or they won't vote for certain Republican candidates. This story stands to hurt the Republican party further with social conservatives. If they end up with poor turnouts from philosophical, fiscal, and social conservatives, all Republicans are going to be in a jam.

3. There are some voices in the party, mine included, that will not defend the party on this story unless it is warranted. Right now, it isn't warranted or deserved. I am not going to post about Democrat double standards. I don't care if they have double standards, I will still not excuse or deflect heat from the party leadership if it is deserved. Without a full chorus of supporting voices, this is going wing the party at exactly the wrong time.

Bubbling caulderon of clouds

Late this afternoon we a nice 20 minute lightning and hail storm here in lovely Jefferson County. After it concluded, the sky turned a lovely golden color, and I thought it safe to go out and run an errand. So I gather my stuff together to head out, and a strong wind starts blowing seemingly out of nowhere. I nearly took a branch in the noggin on my way to the garage. I completed my errand and came back, and the sky had completely clouded over with ugly, bubbling clouds and about a sustained 40 mile an hour wind, with gusts much higher. It's been blowing for about 30 minutes now. This coming after the storm was over. Watch out Milwaukee, it's headed your way.

Despite all of this, I got this going for me. The wind is blowing out of the north...that means it is ripping all the leaves off of my trees and carrying them over my house, my neighbor's house, and into their neighbor's yard. I think I've watched two backaches' worth of leaves become someone else's problem. Yay me!

Clinton-Wallace, in a different context

Sometimes when I am trying to evaluate something, I like to change the setting to figure out how reactions would change. I did this with the Bill Clinton-Chris Wallace exchange from last week, and I'd be curious to see how people would have reacted to the different exchange. So let's say that tomorrow, Bob Costas sits down with Terrell Owens. T.O. stipulates that Costas must spend half his time asking questions about the Cowboys' season, and he's free to ask what he wants with the other half. At one point, Costas asks T.O. about the accidental overdose from last week. T.O. gets mad and starts ranting at Costas, looming over him, poking at him, and touching him constantly during his answer. Who would get the bulk of the outrage there, Costas or T.O.? Would T.O. come under fire from all angles for his intimidating behavior towards a smaller reporter, or would people get on Costas for asking the question?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bad News/Good News, Sunday Edition

Bad News: Sorry boys, but it looks like Amanda Peet is off the market.

Good News: It is a Hollywood wedding, so she'll be back on the market within five years and your infinitesimal chances with her will be revived.

The joys of home ownership

There are a lot of small pleasures in home ownership, and today I experienced one of my favorites: Dropping the deck of the mower. After a summers long battle with the lawn, it is now that time of year to give the SOB a crew cut and dare it to grow long enough to be cut again before winter. Unfortunately, all I have to look forward to for the next 6 months is raking leaves and shoveling snow, two chores I've despised going back to childhood. Unless I finally buy that snowblower...

Disgraceful and disgusting

A lot of information needs to come out yet on exactly who knew what and when about the Rep. Mark Foley's instant messages to his 16 year old page. In the early stages of a story like this, the information tends to be anything but relaible. Just the same, it isn't looking good for Republican House leadership. Foley's actions were repugnant and unacceptable. Anyone in the Republican leadership that knew about this in advance and did nothing to force Foley to resign immediately has committed an unforgivable offense, and if the facts show that to be the case, should be forced out of the leadership of the party.

I've been saying all along this year that the Republicans would maintain slim majorities in the House and the Senate this year. With this story coming out, I'm no longer sure this is the case. If it is true that Boehner, Hastert, or anyone else knew of this and did nothing, it will tarnish otherwise good Republicans, and it may well lose Republicans the House. If so, then because of the poor leadership in the party, they will deserve to lose it. Prepare yourselves for an exceptionally ugly two years if this is the case, because Democrats will go to war on the Whitehouse while we are still at war with our real enemies.

The mucas death

I want to blog, I really do, bit I am in the midst of one of the worst colds I have had in a long time, though. It has thrown me something new every day so far and left my brain an addled mess. I can't wait to wake up in the morning to see what it has in store for me.

Oh, and a side note from today's cold experience. The cold medicine companies are going to market with medications that have altered formulas that can be sold over the counter. They suck. I should have just consider the last three days a lost cause and invested in a case of Nyquil.