Thursday, November 30, 2006

Movie distribution on the net

Actor Morgan Freeman is part owner of a new company that is going to be distributing movies on the internet. The first movie they will distribute will be Freeman's new flick Ten Items or Less. The movie hits theaters Friday and then in two weeks it will be available at I think this is a great idea, even if it may be a little ahead of its time. I just hope they have enough bandwidth for what they are trying to do. Freeman was just on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and at the end of Freeman's segment, they gave out the URL for the site. Having my laptop at the ready, I punched it in to see what this is all about. I wasn't able to pull the site up. I don't know if it got that much traffic when they mentioned it on the show or if there was another problem, but the only way they'll make this work is if they are completely flaw free when they go to release that first movie.

Procrastination will get you every time

After consultations with the lovely Mrs. Jib, I have decided that my combined Christmas/birthday/anniversary/Valentine's gift this year is going to go toward the purchase price of a snowblower. Over the long Thanksgiving weekend she kept telling me to go buy the snowblower that I wanted. I procrastinated. I figured I would just go to the place in town here where I got my lawn mower from when I was good and ready. I've now discovered that they've gone out of business on the eve of our first snowstorm of the year.


Sitting here without a snowblower, I'm really, really hoping they're wrong about this one.

I bought one and, thanks to my brother-in-law, got it home tonight (special thanks to Chris who offered to help me transport the snowblower as well). So this means that Jefferson County will not see a flake of snow from this storm.

She should have auctioned the space off to Golden Palace

Britney Spears joined up with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton to form the rich trash trio. Apparently to join this club you must eschew bras and panties.

Britney Spears is behaving more like her soon to be ex-husband, Kevin Federline, than a pop princess on the verge of a career comeback.

Fresh from her split from the club-hopping Federline, Spears looked hip and wholesome weeks ago in a surprise appearance on David Letterman's show and while ice skating in New York's Rockefeller Center in a Gap sweater. But now she's unleashing her inner wild child, running around with party girls Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, sporting unflattering hair extensions and flashing her apparently panty-less crotch to the paparazzi. (Be prepared to cringe if you dare to view the uncensored photos, splashed unceremoniously across the Web).

If I've said it once then I've said it a hundred times. Spears ain't a high class gal, and anyone who expects her to be is setting expectations Spears is never going to meet. This is a woman who I really think would have been content to be living in an old trailer park in Louisiana with a guy she married in high school, all the while being almost continually pregnant. If she weren't flashing her cooter to paparazzi, she'd be hanging clothes on a clothesline wearing nothing but a towel that was two inches too short (it happens, I've seen it, folks.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Faulty assumptions on higher education

The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at college education and graduation rates. There are a few portions of this article I'd like to comment on, but first let's look at the gist of the article.
For decades, college gates have opened wider and wider to the American public, with more whites and minorities attending than ever before. But that expansion is under strain in the face of rising costs and faster growth of minority populations long left behind in the march to graduation.

A new report released Monday from the National Conference of State Legislatures sounds the alarm: For every 100 ninth graders, only 18 will enter college and finish within six years.

"These results simply are not good enough," concludes the report, which was compiled by a bipartisan commission over 18 months.

To help more students earn diplomas, higher education and the states that oversee much of the system need to tackle spiraling tuition, poor college preparation, and the lack of help to keep students moving toward a degree, say experts.

Okay, now let's look at some of the particulars that really stuck out in my mind.

The financial burdens appear to be making it more difficult for low-income students to complete a degree. Of students starting at a four-year college in 1996, only 50 percent of those from households making $25,000 or less ended up with a bachelor's degree by 2001, compared with 74 percent of students from households making $70,000 or more.

I don't really get this one. The article discusses how reliant students have become on student loans. I was no different. I had a couple of small scholarships, but the majority of my schooling was paid for with student loans. I did not go to the top school that accepted me but rather the top school I could afford given my financing. I did not feel the pain of the tuition once during my college years. I felt it after my college years, no doubt, but not once during my college years. Still, a college education is one of those assets in life that are worth the debt. Given all of the college options available to students today and the ready availability of loans that do not have to be paid back until after graduation and the flexibility in repayment, I don't see how this can be an excuse unless students are poorly managing the financial options available to them or insisting on going to schools they cannot afford.

Working while in school also depresses graduation rates. In those same years, 65 percent of those who did not work graduated, while only 31 percent who worked full time did so.

Let's make sure we get the cause and effect straight on this one. Is working really the problem, or are students who are less into school more likely to find a job and prefer doing it to going to school? My wife and I both worked full time while in school, and while it was not easy, we made it work. I know other people who could have made it work, too, but they just weren't that interested in going to school and they ended up taking the job over finishing school.

Indiana is striking a bargain with its poor and lower-middle-class eighth graders: Maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average through high school, stay out of drugs and alcohol, and take the right set of classes, and we'll pay your in-state college tuition.

Hoorah for Indiana for its benevolence, but is this really such a good idea? First of all, by setting the floor at a 2.0 GPA, they aren't exactly motivating these kids to excel academically prior to college. Some of those 2.0 students I'm sure could do much better but they can coast and still get their tuition paid for, and coasting just isn't going to cut for them in college. Academically, they'll be totally unprepared for what is expected of them. Secondly, I shudder at the sight of kids that don't have to worry about paying for their own schooling. Many handle it well, and I mean no offense to those that do, but many others never take their college education seriously because they really don't have anything personally on the line. I saw many more kids who didn't have to pay a cent drop out my freshman and sophomore years than kids who had their own money tied up in their educations. Indiana's intentions may be good, but their methods are weak and I don't think this little experiment is going to turn out the way they expect. In fact, it may exacerbate the graduation problem.

Oklahoma offers a similar program. Texas has a variation on the theme: Finish college within five years and maintain a 3.0 grade point average and all tuition loans will be forgiven.

This is better as it incentifies students to excel and finish school, but at the same time I don't think full ride higher education is the responsibility of the taxpayer. There may be a return on investment argument that can be made, but I'm not sure how strong that argument is.

State legislatures also have control over the spending of public colleges and universities, meaning they could in theory drive down tuition increases by curbing spending. But higher education - both public and private - is under tremendous pressure to provide more amenities to students.

That pressure is much more internal and illusory than anyone wants to believe. In other words, most in state Wisconsin students are not going to choose a Wisconsin school over an out of state school because the Wisconsin schools have newer, prettier buildings. They are choosing those Wisconsin schools over out of state schools and in state private schools because of cost, proximity to home, and the programs offered. Instead, that tremendous pressure is in part a myth that university systems are glad to spread not because they are in dire need of these capital improvements but because they really, really want the things that the money is being spent on and the pressure story helps them get them.

I don't have much sympathy for many of the arguments in this story. If students want that college diploma and the career benefits that come with it, then they have to reach out and grab it, period. Even most poor & lower middle class kids should be able to overcome the financial part of the deal. I should know. I was on my own for my schooling. I passed up an opportunity for a full ride because I did not believe it was the right thing for me to do, much to my father's consternation. I worked hard, I accepted that I'd have debt throughout my twenties, got a couple of scholarships, and I made it work. You can only guide people so far towards all of the good things you want for them. At some point they need to want those things, too, and be willing to work hard and guide themselves to those ends. I know that I am brushing in broad strokes here, so you exceptions to some of the things I've discussed should not take it personally, but there are many others out there that probably should. Many people who do not graduate college don't have the system to blame but themselves.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bonus early 2008 prediction

I normally do yearly predictions in December of each year, but today I'm going to give out a bonus early prediction: Hanging Saddams will be the hanging chads of 2007.

Squirrel invades home, gets hot greeting

I'm telling you, the squirrels are up to no good, folks.

One squirrel got a fiery surprise when it apparently got curious about a chimney. The squirrel fell down a chimney at a Two Rivers home and landed in a fire in a fireplace Monday night, said Two Rivers Assistant Fire Chief Gary Shavlik.

The squirrel escaped the fire and ran around the house, Shavlik said.

Firefighters later caught it and called Wildlife of Wisconsin, an agency that helps wild animals. The squirrel suffered from bloody paws.

There was no fire damage and the squirrel is alive, Shavlik said.

Never trust a tree rat and always keep a fire going.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gil, the election is over

For the second time since the election earlier this month, I've seen a Gil Gutnecht for Congress ad on television, the most recent time being tonight during the Packer game on ESPN. I'd like to point out a couple of things

1. The election was weeks ago.
2. Gutknecht was running for a seat in Minnesota. This is Wisconsin.
3. He lost.

Gil, the RNC, Charter, somebody please stop showing that ad. Cancel future placements.

Tip toeing towards oblivion

Canada took another step today towards becoming a historical footnote:

Canada's Parliament recognized Quebecers as a nation within a united Canada on Monday, backing a controversial proposal that has already prompted one minister in the minority Conservative government to quit.

The House of Commons, Parliament's elected chamber, voted 266 to 16 in favor of the motion, which the government said it saw as a way to head off pressure from separatists who want to break away from Canada.

But critics said the proposal could actually bolster the separatists, and the pro-independence Bloc Quebecois said it would use the change to demand extra powers, including Quebec's right to speak at international meetings.

This heads off nothing. It is just a feeble attempt to avoid the inevitable, to put off until tomorrow that which would be better dealt with today.

So, a question for all of my readers. Should Canada one day dissolve, and should its western provinces then petition the United States for statehood (a possibility that seems to come up whenever Quebec's secessionist movement fires up), do we accept them?

The funnies

Normally I wouldn't be blogging during a Packer game, especially after their boneheaded coach called a running play on third down and goal from the ten, failed to gain anything, and then had the field goal attempt blocked. Normally I'd have already chucked the laptop at a Mike McCarthy cardboard cut-out. But I'm making an exception. The lovely Mrs. jib cut this cartoon out for me, and I found it so funny I had to share.

For more Get Fuzzy, which is typically more left leaning, go here.

Sun setting on the United Kingdom?

Late last week came news of Canada's slowly continuing movement towards breaking up. That's a story that has been ongoing for decades and should surprise nobody. Now out of the U.K. comes a story that frankly caught me off guard: Sentiment in England and Scotland favors the dissolution of the United Kingdom.
THE break-up of the United Kingdom became a stark possibility last night as thousands of English and Scottish voters demanded home rule.

Most people on both sides of the border want their countries to “divorce” after almost 300 years together, according to a poll.

It showed that more than half of Scots and three out of five English folk want the two countries to go it alone. And thousands more want breakaway governments for Wales and Northern Ireland, too.

The survey revealed that backing for Scottish home rule has hit 52 per cent among Scots and 59 per cent south of the border.

Two-thirds — 68 per cent — of English people quizzed want their own parliament, an idea supported by 58 per cent of Scots.

And almost half of English voters — 48 per cent — want complete independence.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The truce is over

No, not this one, although it was DOA, anyway. No, my truce with the neighborhood squirrels is done for. This fall I begrudgingly gave them their space because they were scaring away the blue jays, a bird I truly detest. My motto was my enemy's enemy is my friend, which put our ornery squirrels and I in a strange alliance of mutal interest. That alliance fell apart this weekend.

The lovely Mrs. Jib and I had purchased a couple of strings of LED Christmas lights for our backyard. I had anticipated that LED lights would be hot, and we bought ours early. We put them up the day before Thanksgiving and we were pleased with how bright the pine cone shaped lights were. Then on Saturday night one of the strands did not turn on. I found that one of the dumb assed squirrels thought the lights were actually a pine cone or nut of some sort and it had chewed one of the lights off of its wire. Unfortunately, it did this during the day and not when the lights were on. We've searched 3 Walmarts, only to find that they were all sold out of this variety of light.

I have since done a little amateur electric work to get the string lit again, but I consider this a direct violation of the truce. The furry, chattering little rats are going to regret the day they let the idiot amongst them try to eat my Christmas lights.

The Kennedy mystique

I'm watching a History Channel program on the Kennedy's, and I can't help but wonder how differently the world would view John Kennedy had he lived and earned a second term. His first term started off in bumbling fashion, and there is little reason to believe that the events of LBJ's Presidency would not have occured during a Kennedy second term. Instead, JFK's legacy was frozen in time during a period of popularity, aided by Jackie Kennedy who formalized the Camelot myth.


Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to a cease-fire in Gaza. Why bother? The terrorists in Gaza never uphold the Palestinian end of the bargain.

Pope to 'likely' visit mosque in Turkey

I'm not Catholic, but I am very apprehensive about Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to Turkey. His decision to visit a mosque only increases my apprehension. This is a most dangerous trip for the head of the Catholic Church.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday After Action Report

Consider me older and wiser.

As a former retail employee and manager in a small town, I thought that if I went to a big box like, say, Best Buy, in a small city an hour and fifteen minutes before it opened, I might have a shot at a ticket that they were handing out for their big bargains. I knew I'd have no shot in a bigger city, but I was confident I'd do okay in a smaller city. I was oh so wrong.

We came rolling up on Best Buy in Janesville at 3:50. I already had a bad feeling because there was a lot of traffic and stores like Shopko had about 30 people in front of them. I was stunned at what I saw at Best Buy. The parking lot was full and the parking lot at the adjacent outlet mall was busy with cars. The line started at the front door and went down the side of the store. I still thought maybe there was a very outside chance I might get a ticket for what I was looking for. We parked and started trudging towards the end of the line. Little did we know that what we thought was the end of the line really wasn't. Towards the back corner of the store, the line made a turn and stretched behind the outlet mall. I'm not kidding when I say that the line was almost a quarter of a mile long.

As it turns out, and I'm sure some of you were already aware of this, at Best Buy the tradition is to ruin your family's Thanksgiving by starting to line up at the door during the mid-afternoon. The first guy in line at the store that we were at got there at 3:30 the previous afternoon. We ran into someone we knew who got tickets for all three (two?) computers that they had on sale, and they had gotten into line at 5 pm the previous afternoon. We talked to another person who had driven by the store at midnight and the line had already turned its first corner.

We stuck it out, though. The lovely Mrs. Jib got one of the doorbusters that she was looking for plus a slew of other things. As for me, I managed to maintain a pleasant attitude...until I got inside of the store. My temper started to flare as I got jostled, so I went to the car until the lovely Mrs. Jib called me to come back in and run the store for some things while she stood in line for one product.

One other notable thing about standing in that line. An enterprising gentleman had set himself up in line yesterday and he got tickets for almost all of the big sale items. As soon as he got them, he started up the line, selling the tickets to people further back in line for $50 a ticket. I'll give him credit for finding a way to make a little not-so-quick cash, but he is lucky that the Janesville crowd was in generally a good mood. A number of people were not so fond of his enterprising spirit, especially considering that he couldn't sell the tickets for some of the more expensive items because those who wanted them didn't bring cash, and thus didn't have the $50 for the ticket. He ended with several items that nobody ever got a crack at.

After that, my inside the store experience was nearly complete. I caught up on some sleep in one parking lot, went into one other store, and patiently listened to talk radio while the lovely Mrs. Jib did her bidding at other stores. We have both agreed that this may be the last time we do the Black Friday thing together again.

I'm coming, and hell's coming with me, y'hear? Hell's coming with me

I am accompanying the lovely Mrs. Jib shopping. I've had 45 minutes of sleep. Woe to all souls that cross me today.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I'd like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving day. I will be heading to an undisclosed, secret location where I may or may not be dining with Vice President Cheney. Whether I am or am not dining with the Vice President, I can guarentee that I will not have access to a secure internet connection until tomorrow night. So I hope all of you out there enjoy your day tomorrow, give thanks for all the good things in your life, and can spend time with some loved ones. Oh, and let us all pray the Cowboys get their tails kicked by the Bucs, just because they are the Cowboys.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In re military drafts

Charlie Rangel's latest proposal of a military draft is dead in the water, but I hope nobody mistakes that to mean that the draft will never return. It will...someday. History marches on and American will continue to face threats to its existence. Our current threat, Islamism, we may be able to defeat with our superb volunteer military. Someday we will again face a threat that requires vast quantities of man and materiel, and when that day comes, we will be forced to bring back conscription. While I do not think we should or need to bring back the draft right now, I do get nervous when people discuss the draft as an antiquity. It will someday again be our present, and I hope Americans will be able to understand when that day comes that our back is against the wall.

The brains behind Jiblog

Monday, November 20, 2006

How to pronounce Ahmadinejad

I get a lot of Google search hits for this one, so consider this my public service. Ahmadinejad is pronounced as follows:


See, that wasn't so tough, was it?

Perspectives of war

We are at war and we should thus read, watch, and listen to mainstream media accounts of the war. It pays to apply critical reading, viewing, and listening skills to that news, but the media does provide a very basic line of information on the war. You are doing yourself a disservice if you are not following what the embeds are writing, photographing, and video taping, though. Take this piece by Michael Fumento for example. You will learn more about the environment on the ground in Iraq from his one piece than you will in ten MSM pieces. Do yourself a favor and read it, and if you can, talk with a couple of soldeirs or former soldiers who have been in Iraq. While the mainstream media has provided a basic foundation of information on the Iraq war, they have been horribly negligent in actually helping the public understand what is going on over there. These embeds and soldiers who have returned home will teach you what you need to know just through their stories.

A voice of clarity in confusing times

If there is one voice out there that the West should be reading and listening to right, it is that of a classicist, Victor Davis Hanson. If you want to maintain your moorings in Western Civilization during this time of onslaught, keep up on what Hanson has been writing on the issue. Today's column is no different. Here is the money paragraph:

In the end, the Islamicists' best way to blow up the world's Starbucks or to turn off freewheeling American television is ultimately with a whimper, not a bang. They need not plant a hundred thousand bombs across the Westernized globe, but simply to cauterize its very spinal cord in the United States--the willingness of the American public, as in the past, to confront only the latest challenge to their freedom and all the ripples from it.

The sad part is that they've been succeeding at that, Hanson knows it, and that's why he wrote the above. On 9-11 Islamists slapped us in the face hard. As the sting faded, so did our stomach for the fight. Unfortunately, the battles are still being waged against us, and pulling the blanket over our heads and pretending that they aren't may be the biggest threat to the way of life we and our predecessors have been building since 1776.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Hubris: Excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Example: Charlie Rangel calling for the reinstation of the draft and other proposed legislation by the new Democrat Congress that will only prove to be wildly unpopular.

You never want to be the minority party, but it sure is going to be fun to watch the Democrats destroy their majority and recreate themselves as the minority party again. They are acting with the confidence of a party that just won an overwhelming landslide, which they dd not. At this rate, they are going to burn through their political capital faster than President Bush did. And I'm really going to enjoy tossing their rhetoric back at them.

RSS reliance

Over the years I have become heavily reliant on an RSS feed reader. I have enough news and blog sources on it that I usually only have to visit a handful of additional websites. The service I use, Bloglines, has been mostly down this weekend, and I find that I feel a little lost. Sure, I could start clicking through my blogroll, but all of that effort somehow seems daunting now. I have been spoiled and have become lazy in my news gathering, to the point that I find actually visiting different websites to be laborious. Shame on me.

1st Annual Talk Like a Yooper Day

Ya der hey. Today is dat der first Talk Like a Yooper Day. Most youse are out der teer huntin' right now, but da Pack is on. And holly wah, der gettin' der butts whoomped on. Ja, Favre is getting up der, but ooof, his passes are terbel. Sit back, take off yer chook and choppers, have a brandy and a wurst, en talk yer best yooper today, eh?

Aww, dem sum'da birches yust knocked out Favre! Git me da Jagermeister!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Comic Relief joke

I am watching the opening of Comic Relief for New Orleans, and in their opening they made a FEMA joke. Ha ha. Do you want to hear a joke? Okay, here's a joke-the Comic Relief crowd was so concerned that they got right on top of the ball to plan this event...a year and two months after the hurricane. Damn. They make FEMA look lightning quick.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I loathe urban planning

I've long had the perception that urban planning is a very fad driven endeavor. I don't know enough about urban planning to say that with certainty, but I'm still pretty damn sure that is the case. Take this as an example...twice this week I've gotten lost driving around shopping centers built hap-hazardly on many small, curvy streets. Now I'm sure some urban planner can tell me why planned disorganization is theoretically a good idea, but I'm going to tell you why it is a bad idea in reality. I almost passed up on two restaurants and a bookstore this week that I knew were supposed to be in certain retail areas but I couldn't find them. If I were slightly less patient, those three businesses would not have my money tonight. I could go on and on about the topic of urban planning, but I'll save some of that for another day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flavored golf tees

This is so going on my Christmas list.

Seeking the perfect holiday gift for the golfer who has everything? Try flavored golf tees.

U.S. inventors John Packes and Ramon Peralta have come up a product line called Tasty Golf Tees in various flavors including mint, cherry, strawberry, and grape.

Mint is the strongest-tasting flavor in the range.

"It will knock out the foulest of cigar, beer breath within five seconds," Packes of Norwalk, Connecticut, told Reuters on Tuesday.

I go through more tees by gnawing on them then hitting them. If you saw me golf, you'd know how many thousands of dollars in dental work those tees save.

Wii don't got no stinkin' Playstations

Okay, with people lining up again for the release of new video game systems, I have a story to relate. I used to work in retail. I cannot remember if I was a supervisor or an assistant manager at the time, but the release of Playstation 2 had the same kind of anticipation that Wii and Playstation 2 do now...and the same limited supply. In fact, we didn't have a single unit in our store opening morning. Our parent company had doled the supply it had to large market stores. I opened that morning and didn't expect many people, if any, but by 5:30 am a crowd had developed inside our foyer and also outside the front doors. We decided we would have a riot on our hands if we let them stand out there until the store opened at 8 am and then we told then that we didn't have any. So we told them. Some people looked like we had just killed their puppy with a spoon and some piano was a kind of deep sadness and yet complete disgust and hatred for us. Some people didn't believe us. Some got angry. Eventually we cleared them all out, but people just kept gathering in the foyer. It got to be fun to watch their faces light up as they thanked their lucky stars that there was no line at our store, only to then see their entire day ruined when we told them of our non-existent supply. Retail is a thankless profession, and I'll admit that I took a small amount of perverse pleasure in breaking their hearts knowing the hell they were going to put me through in that upcoming Christmas shopping season.


Let me get this straight. The United States Marine Corps Reserves runs Toys for Tots, and organization that makes sure that poor children get toys for Christmas. A big controversy blows up because a toy manufacturer wants to donate 4,000 Jesus dolls to Toys for Tots for them to give to children for Christmas. People are upset over how poor Jewish and Muslim children and families might feel if they get a Jesus doll for Christmas. Toys for Tots turns down the toys. Now Toys for Tots has decided to accept the donation.

I still don't get the entire story.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And then goes the memory

Yesterday I told of my weakening eyesight. Today it is my memory. I spent a lot of time driving today, and that meant I heard a lot of talk radio. A couple topics of the day seem to revolve around the same arguments on all shows, and I was getting tired of it when I finally got 30 minutes out from my hotel. At that moment I had a thought on one of those topics which I believed to be unique and which, at the time, I thought really cut to the bone of that issue. I wanted to write a post on it, but do you think I can remember my thought or the topic of discussion now to save my life? At this rate I'm going to lose bladder and bowel control by Wednesday of next week.

I blame the new Democrat Congress.

The joys of travel

I am staying in a hotel that I don't think is more than half full. Somehow I manged to get the room next to the three guys in this place that just came back to their room blitzed out of their freaking minds. They are yelling, rough housing, and laughing loud. I only have one question-why are they sharing a room with one king sized bed?

Nevermind, I don't want to know. But I will probably will know. I should have brought earplugs.

Glenn Beck special on Headline News

If you are going to be awake from 11 to 12 CST tonight, tune in Headline News. Glenn Beck has an excellent special on what frightening things are being said in the Middle Eastern media. It is terrifying at times.

Tommy for President in '08?


Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who served as Health and Human Services Secretary in President Bush's first term, said Wednesday he intends to form a committee to explore a possible run for the White House in 2008.

"I intend to do so after the first of the year," the Republican said in reference to establishing an exploratory committee.

This is why he wouldn't run against Herb Kohl this year? Clearly his ego knows no bounds.

Blogging ruined my eyesight

Okay, I can't prove that. It could just be one of those signs of age, like the occasional silver hair that my non-graying wife loves to find. Just the same, for the first time in my life I have glasses. The lovely Mrs. Jib thinks I just got them so I could look smart, but I've been cultivating that look for years. Truthfully, I got them to punish her. Now she can't deny that she's married to a nerd. Next up, a pocket protector.

*Side Story*
I have been considering putting my picture up on this blog, and I was debating whether I'd use a picture with or without the new glasses. Then I got freaked out because while my identity is no secret, it is still not obvious. I was getting comfortable with that until a search result came to this site that freaked me out a bit because of the IP and the exact words used-Jiblog and my full name. That search string and that IP address shouldn't have happened together. So for now, no picture. Perhaps soon, though.

Travel bleg

I'm going to be in the Twin Cities for a few days. I'm quite familiar with the cities, but just the same, can anybody recommend something interesting to do in the evenings, besides finding a sturdy beam in my hotel room and affixing a reliable noose to it? (For my Minnesotan readers, that was a rip. On your state.) Oh, and no Mall of America and no casinos.

What the hell happened to me?

I can't say that title above without breaking into Adam Sandler songs, but I mean as a little piece of introspection. Seriously. What the hell happened to me? I read Lance's post on Talk Like a Yooper Day (I'll have a post on that later in the week) and went digging into my archives from last year. I found that I used to get off a chuckle worthy post from time to time. I've been too dour and sour lately. I blame the new Democrat Congress.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Silence is golden for Mullahs

If you had any hope of internal unrest shaking up the Iranian government, then this isn't very good news.
Iran's university campuses are falling silent. Student activists, once at the vanguard of a movement seeking political and social change in the Islamic Republic, say they are increasingly afraid to speak out.

"I used to take part in so many protests. I was arrested twice, once in 2001 and once in 2003," said student Mehdi Aminzadeh, describing his role in rallies during the tenure of pro-reform former President Mohammad Khatami.

"The situation has changed a lot since that time. The pressures have pushed us to be more cautious," said the 29-year-old, who says he has been barred from registering for a masters in political science.

Casuality perspective

I do this from time to time, comparing our current number of troops lost in Iraq to past wars. I do not do it to diminish the sacrifice of our troops today but rather in an attempt to sturdy the resolve of some of my fellow Americans. Whether that is possible any longer is up for debate, but I'll post the comparison anyway. In 1966, near the beginning of full hostilities in Vietnam, we lost 3373 American troops. That is one year, one year that was nowhere near the deadliest for our troops. In the three and a half plus years we've been in Iraq, we've lost 2838. Now keep in mind, in our history there have been battles where we've lost more than either of those numbers.

I no longer do this to sturdy resolve. I'm beginning to think we are past that point. Instead I do it to illustrate how unwilling and unable we are to wage war anymore. Don't get me wrong, our troops are amongst the most able and willing soldiers this world has ever seen. It is here at home where we are lacking. I don't think we understand what war is anymore, and I don't think we will again until something truly stomach turningly devestating happens to us. And unfortunately that day will come, be it tomorrow, 100 years from now, or a thousand years from now. History is replete with days such as that, and we are not an exception, contrary to popular belief. My concern is that we are hastening that day with our weakness here at home.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A split, or the beginnings of good cop, bad cop?

The Times Online says split.

The first cracks in the united front over Iraq between Tony Blair and President Bush appeared last night as the Prime Minister offered Iran and Syria the prospect of dialogue over the future of Iraq and the Middle East.

I'm not so sure. These four paragraphs are why.

Mr Blair said that Iran’s “genuine fear” that America sought a military solution was “entirely misplaced”. It did not, he said bluntly.

Mr Bush ducked any direct confrontation with Mr Blair, saying that he had not read the speech. But, in a White House press conference alongside Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, he gave warning against cracks appearing in the united front with which the West has approached Iran.

“I think it’s very important for the world to unite with one common voice to say to the Iranians that, if you choose to continue forward, you’ll be isolated,” Mr Bush said.

Although Robert Gates, the new US Defence Secretary, is also among those who have advocated a more open approach to Iran, Mr Bush said that the regime’s nuclear ambitions were a “threat to world peace” and went on to discuss the prospect of economic sanctions against the regime.

President Bush has nominated a man to the post of Secretary of Defense who believes in dialogue with Iran. I don't approve, but this was not a mistake. The decision has been made to engage Iran. Blair is paving the way and the Baker Commission will provide the cover. There is no split here, just an evolving game of good cop, bad cop.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

No Feingold in '08

You've heard the news by now: Russ Feingold will not be running for the presidency in 2008. Two questions come to mind for me immediately. The first is, did the failure of Ned Lamont in Connecticut and the general success of moderate Democrats play into this decision? The other is, since Russ had pegged himself as the anti-war candidate, does this mean that he doesn't think there will be a war to be against in 2008?

New York Times gets nostalgic for Saddam

No further commentary necessary: Could a New Strongman Help?

Democrat majorities for a generation

No, I don't think that this election will result in that. This administration can get the ball rolling in that direction if the Baker Commission results in this, though.

The Baker commission seems to be doing a lot more than just re-thinking Iraq. It appears to be copiously a Vietnam-type cut-and-run plan that will leave the Gulf far more dangerous than it is now. The Vietnam model looks like a “face-saving” retreat by the United States—just like that one that left Vietnam a Stalinist prison state with tens of thousands of boat people fleeing and dying, and next door in Cambodia, two or three million dead at the hands of Pol Pot.

I am increasingly concerned by the Bush Administration's potential turn in Iraq policies. Iraq is in a crucial strategic location in the Middle East. If the administration loses its nerve and bails on Iraq, in effect handing it to Iran and Syria in some grand deal, they best have someone on hand to take the saif out of our backs.

Second thoughts on public schools

While I am no booster of the public school system, I've come to view it as an entrenched, underperforming product of government on which we should place continual and unrelenting pressure to improve, but also a product of government that society doesn't have the will to completely scrap or rebuild. I am a product of public schools and I am familiar with public schooling's weaknesses as they were in the 1980's and early 1990's. I was comfortable enough with the system, however, to anticipate that I will one day send my own kids to public schools. I have long felt that as long as I was involved in my children's lives and their educations, we could overcome some of the weaknesses of the public schooling system. This past Friday night some seeds of doubt were planted in my brain.

I was at an area watering hole on Friday night, and at one point the conversation turned to the schools. To be specific, the conversation turned to the goings on at a smaller south central Wisconsin school district. I learned of some small programs for difficult children that disturbed me. For instance, at the elementary level, the school has in place a couple of policies. For angry children there is a room set aside. In this room there are pillows. The kids with anger management problems can go to this room anytime they feel angry and take out some of that anger on the pillows. They can stay there until the anger in them subsides. I'm sure that some genius bleeding heart thinks that this is a great way to get these kids to vent their anger without hurting anyone. Unfortunately, these kids need to learn how to control their anger and deal with it. This kind of pillow therapy does neither. All it does is forestall the day when they will be confronted with their own anger. Second, one would have to think that this teaches those kids how to game the system. Don't feel like sitting in class? Say you are angry and go off to the pillow room for a while. These kids aren't stupid. The second thing I was told about was the gum policy in the school. It is not allowed. Well, it isn't allowed for the well behaved kids, anyway. The not so well behaved, that's another matter. If they are chronic pen chewers, then in order to discourage that behavior, they are allowed to signal their teacher when they need to chew on something. They may then go up in front of the class and get a piece of gum from the teacher's desk. Nothing like signaling to the well behaved kids that their good behavior comes with fewer immediate benefits than bad behavior does.

Now I know these are both small little issues, but I find both troublesome. They are both weak-kneed policies that were not in place not so long ago when I was going through the public schools. I'm sure that there are other policies at other schools that will upset me more. That is what is concerning me now, many years ahead of when I'll need to worry about. I want my kids to go to a school that teaches kids that there are serious and significant consequences to bad behavior. I have no confidence that public schools are capable of this. I realize that this is only partially the school's problem. We also discussed how many parents refuse or are incapable to instill discipline in their children and the schools get stuck with problems and how, in many of those cases, the parents come to expect the schools to somehow 'fix' these kids when they've made no effort themselves. I'm sympathetic to what school employees have to deal with, but at the same time I don't want my kids learning the bad lessons examples like the above can teach. Perhaps I'll give private schools a little more thought in the coming years.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lovin' that Wisconsin weather

If you don't find a way to love Wisconsin's odd weather, it'll drive you nuts. It got dark as night here at about 3:15, started to lightning and thunder, and then it iced. Yep, iced. Not rain, not snow, not hail, but ice. I guess the technical term would be sleet, but even sleet doesn't do justice to the iced rain drops that were falling.

A trio of bothersome headlines

Al Qaeda crows over Rumsfeld
Enemies cannot stop our nuclear work: Iran
Khamenei calls Bush defeat a victory for Iran

It works, but does it work as well as it should?

I've read a number of columns and posts this week in which right leaning, right sympathizing, and conservative writers have said that this election shows that the system still works. In a macro, big picture sense I guess they are correct...the election showed that no one party is entrenched in power and the voters are still in charge. But just because something works does not mean that it necessarily works well. This election was what I would call a "passions of the people" election. It proved that the people can still change the government, but it did not necessarily prove that the change was for the better. Some Republicans deserved to go, no doubt. The party may not have even deserved to maintain a majority. What is concerning though is how the passion of the people was so uniformly applied against just about anyone with an 'R' next to their name. A lot of voters did not rationally choose the better candidate but instead they voted against a party. There were a number of individual Republicans who lost at the Federal and state levels not because they were the lesser candidate but because the fickle public opinion was running against the party. I don't think that is what our Founders envisioned for this system, but that is the system we now have.

Now I'm depressed

The Republican losses this week disappointed me but they did not make me depressed. Sometimes you lose, that's just the way it is. Then you regroup, march forward, and win the next time. The more I think about the potential Bush 41 team's influence on Bush 43 for the next two years, though, the more depressed I get. I didn't vote for the policies of Bush 41 two years ago, I voted for the policies of this administration. If they have to adjust then they should adjust, but going back to a team that got tossed out on its butt after one term ain't the way to do it. If W is worried about his legacy, going back to his dad's team and policies is only going to ensure that nobody thinks much of him when he leaves office, except his dad and his dad's old advisors.

Additional thought
Who could be the most politically damaged by a 43 turn to 41? The most conservative member of the family, Jeb Bush. His odds of running and winning the presidency were already slim, but something like this could crush any future chances he would have.
This is an injury I've never heard of before, and I have relatives who have worked in emergency rooms.

A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: "We received a call stating there was a male who had a firework in his bottom and it was bleeding. He was attended to and taken to Sunderland Royal hospital."

The man, whose injuries include a scorched colon, is still in hospital.

Here's a couple of tips for you. First, don't shoot fireworks from your bum. Second, if you are dieting and looking for a effective appetite suppressant, talk to someone from an ER about the things they've seen.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Even more musings

Note: This post was recreated yesterday. This is the original version that hung up in the ether for 36 hours before it kicked loose. I'm leaving it up to make a futile point about Blogger.

-I think Fair Wisconsin’s intentionally misleading campaign against the marriage amendment backfired in some regards. I’ve talked with a number of people who were undecided and sympathetic to gay marriage who ended up voting yes to the amendment. The reason? They disliked Fair Wisconsin’s tactics and that pushed them from on the fence to yes. It didn’t necessarily change the outcome, but it widened the gap.

<>-We are a strange people, we Americans. A recent survey said that something like 60% of us think government does too much. This in a country where the majority of people criticized the Federal government, not state and local governments and individuals, for not doing enough before and after Hurricane Katrina. This is also a country that just placed the original party of oppressive government back in legislative power. <>

-I’m tired of hearing about bi-partisanship. Issues and ideas are not like porridges. You cannot mix a hot bowl with a cold bowl to come up with a tasty warm bowl. Issues and ideas usually don’t have utopian middle grounds, and when middle ground is found, the result is usually worse than the original ideas.
<>-Every Blue Dog has its day. In fact, right now a number of Blue Dogs find themselves in very advantageous positions. <>
-This election, soon to be discovered by the nut roots, dragged the Democratic party towards the center. With no strong conservative Presidential candidates in the wings for 2008, will that election drag the Republican party towards the center, too?

Empowerment and control through the ballot

I noticed something today. In talking with a few politically unaffiliated voters, I got the sense that they felt empowered by and proud of the results. They felt like their votes mattered and that they were actually able to hold people accountable and make change through the polls. Republicans just happened to be the ones in power. I can't help but wonder if part, just part, of Tuesday's results were born of some voters trying to assert control over a world that feels pretty uncontrollable lately.

Where's the bird flu when you need it?

I'm fatigued by the 'Republicans' Loss' storyline. It's so yesterday. Bring on the bird flu over-coverage, please.

Bush 41's second term?

Yesterday my biggest concern for the next two years was government gridlock at a time when we need government to operate efficiently for security's sake. Today my big concern for the next two years is the creeping influence of the Bush 41 crew. History hasn't really vindicated their approach to foreign affairs outside of Europe, and I'm skeptical that it will. But I'm sure by this time tomorrow, I'll already have a new biggest concern for the next two years.

The intertwined destinies of conservatism and the GOP

I think John Hawkins hit the nail on the head here:

Just as the Republican Party can't win without conservatives, conservatism cannot win without the Republican Party. When the Republican Party cratered on Tuesday, the ability of conservatives to shape and influence government policy cratered with it.

That's an important thing to understand because a lot of people on the right, I'm not talking about Ivy here, seem to have the mistaken impression that the fate of conservatism and the Republican Party are not intertwined. So, they errantly believe that if the Republican Party loses an election, conservatism isn't affected or if they go off and vote for some loser Third Party, that they're still doing their part to move conservatism forward. Sorry, but that's just not true.

Although merely having Republicans in power doesn't guarantee that a conservative agenda will be enacted, for a conservative agenda to be enacted, Republicans need to be in power.

I think a lot of conservatives understand this, but many others don't. Hitting the self destruct button on the GOP does not really help conservatism all that much unless your goal is to
perpetually be the minority party. If a Republican truly does not deserve his or her job, you get rid of them, but getting rid of Republicans out of ideological spite is petty and unproductive. If you want to make a change within the party, you had better get it done in the primaries because the general election is exactly the wrong time. As hard as it is to beat an incumbent in a primary, it is even more difficult to rebuild and regain the majority and then hold it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spelling corrections

My spelling was terrible today. I blame the new Democrat run Congress.

I've corrected most of the errors.

Thanks for your service, Mr. Rumsfeld

The time is probably right for those fresh eyes, though. The nomination of Robert Bates is probably a good indication that the Bush administration is going to act on whatever comes out of the Baker Commission.

Still more post election thoughts

*It would have been nice if President Bush had invested some of that political capital he bragged about in January 2005 instead of squandering it on the political equivalent of gum balls and belly button lint.

*I was wrong in my prediction that Republicans would hold slim leads in both houses of Congress.

*It is now put up or shut up time for Democrats. The floor is theirs and they can no longer merely oppose Republicans.

*I'm optimistically hoping that a little ownership in dealing with the threats this nation faces sobers the Democrats and creates a little healthier rhetoric from them.

*The whole "united country" idea is largely a myth. I don't think I've ever seen this country united in my 30 years.

*You can remove George Allen and Bill Frist from your 2008 Presidential hopefuls list. They still might be hopeful, but they both have no chance.

*How long before Justice Ginsburg or Stevens (or both) retires? They don't have to wait out President Bush anymore.

Even more post election musings

-I think Fair WisconsinÂ’s intentionally misleading campaign against the marriage amendment backfired in some regards. IÂ’ve talked with a number of people who were undecided and sympathetic to gay marriage who ended up voting yes to the amendment. The reason? They disliked Fair WisconsinÂ’s tactics and that pushed them from on the fence to yes. It didnÂ’t necessarily change the outcome, but it widened the gap.

-We are a strange people, we Americans. A recent survey said that something like 60% of us think government does too much. This in a country where the majority of people criticized the Federal government, not state and local governments and individuals, for not doing enough before and after Hurricane Katrina. This is also a country that just placed the original party of oppressive government back in legislative power.

-IÂ’m tired of hearing about bi-partisanship. Issues and ideas are not like porridges. You cannot mix a hot bowl with a cold bowl to come up with a tasty warm bowl. Issues and ideas usually donÂ’t have utopian middle grounds, and when middle ground is found, the result is usually worse than the original ideas.

-Every Blue Dog has its day. In fact, right now a number of Blue Dogs find themselves in very advantageous positions.

-This election, soon to be discovered by the nut roots, dragged the Democratic party towards the center. With no strong conservative Presidential candidates in the wings for 2008, will that election drag the Republican party towards the center, too?

Blogger's law

At the exact moment that you have a lot of things you want to write, you can count on Blogger going down.

One additional thought

I'm curious to see how the conspiracy theorist nut-rooters spin this election to fit their warped beliefs in a Bush-Rove election rigging machine. And whatever happened to that martial law order they were whispering that would be invoked? Fools.

Post election hangover musings

*See? As I courageously predicted last night, the sun rose in the east today.
*I don't think this election was a base turnout election. With turnout what it was at the polls, I can't help but think that this election was decided by those occasional voters who don't follow politics closely but do watch the evening news and read newspapers, and they broke heavily Democrat.
*A note to Republicans...some of you poorly executed the robo calls. 4 or 5 calls in two days is inexcusable. After the 3rd you just start burning any good will you may have developed on the first two. Next time, ask yourself this: Would I personally call a complete stranger 5 times in 2 days to convince them to vote for me? Your answer should be no.
*I'll say this much, I think Democrat leadership has taken on a very even tone over there far. I wouldn't expect that to last.
*As for the politics, President Bush must be careful not enter lame duck territory too quickly.
*On those ornery, disenchanted conservatives out there. Their desire for ideological purity, while admirable, is fool hardy. It just isn't possible here in the real world, not when conservatives are much less than a majority in this country and votes are needed from non-conservatives. That's not to say that I'm pleased about the Republican performance the past two years because I'm not. But those disaffected conservatives helped start last night's forest fire. Now they better be out in the field planting the seeds for the regrowth before the weeds sprout and choke everything out.
*I'm more than a little stunned that Wisconsin sent Jim Doyle back to the Governor's mansion by such a wide margin. He must have dominated the creepy, bald, white guy vote.
*Another thing about Doyle. I hope my fellow Wisconsinites come to understand that this election showed that Doyle has no compunction about building a political machine out of the capital.
*I was very stunned by the turnout here in Wisconsin's 37th Assembly District. It wasn't going to be an easy election for the Gasper campaign, but the results were not what I expected.
*Perhaps the Founder's should have set the Presidency up as a single 6 year term. American patience seems to wear thin at 6 years.
*I can't help but think that voters reacted to being tired of the fighting, the negative news stories, and the war. I wonder if they realize that they probably just made all three of those things even worse.

The sun still rises in the east

Commentary became futile after a while there. The tidal wave just coming and coming and coming. It was the Democrats' night, and they should enjoy it now because this is going to be an ugly two years all the way around. Despite the failings of many Republicans, this voter rebellion did not give us a better government, and there is no guarentee that it will get any better in 2008.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Britain: "Oops! Our bad!"

This offends my senses:
Britain's lawmakers Tuesday granted posthumous pardons for soldiers executed during World War I, ending years of campaigning by the families of men condemned to death for cowardice.
"(The act) recognizes that execution was not a fate that the servicemen deserved," the Defense Ministry said.
"The executed soldiers deserve better treatment than to be remembered as cowards; instead, they should be remembered as brave men who were willing to fight for their country in difficult conditions," Dubs said.

Look, under the norms of the day, the actions of these soldiers earned them a death penalty. We can look back decide that something like that should not occur in the present, but you can't as a nation try to assuage your feelings of guilt by issuing a pardon. They were condemned to death and then they were put to death. Live it with it, remember it, and if you really think it was wrong, don't do it again. These postumous pardons 80 plus years later don't really do much for the dead except to hide their history under another layer of information.

Sssslllloowwwww lllloooaaaddddiiinnnngggg

Is the net moving damn slow tonight or is it just my connection?

Projected winners an hour after the polls close?

Is it just me or are some of these projected winners coming awfully early? Bob Casey has been projected as the winner in Pennsylvania already and only 3% of the precincts have reported. He may very well defeat Rick Santorum, but it just does not seem statistically responsible to call that race yet. I'm sure they are factoring exit polls into their projections, but those have hardly been reliable the past couple of election cycles.

Decisions, Decisions '06

Hmm. The early returns will begin soon, and I'm not sure where I want to watch them. Home is an option, and the fridge is stocked with beer. The benefit here is that I won't be arrested for throwing a beer bottle at my own TV, but there is no one to commiserate with. I could go to Drinking Right, something I've always wanted to go to, but I have a personal rule against going to Milwaukee, having a couple of drinks, and then driving back out to the hinterlands here (boy, I sure wish a Madison chapter would open...hint...hint). Finally, I could go watch the campaign results at a local establishment with the Gasper campaign. I find that an appealing option, but I feel guilty because I only helped in one parade. Any thoughts?

Voting accomplished

Number 217 in my ward at noon. Now I just have to be patient until the returns start to come back tonight.

It's here

Go forth and vote. May the best conservatives win.

Choose your own gender

Nothing means anything anymore:

Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.

Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.

If this is socially acceptable, then I think that if I can prove that in my mind my house is only worth $37 and that I've thought that way for at least two years and I get two people to testify to my mindset, I should be able to go to the assessor's office and change the valuation of my property.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The perfect recorded campaign call

Hello, my name is Jib. I know that you are tired of the campaign calls, but the good news is you have the power to stop them when you vote for me, Jib, for (Office X) tomorrow. I will gladly call off the robo-call dogs once you've elected me. I should note, however, than I have a lot of money left in my campaign fund, and if you do not elect me on November 7th, I am going to begin campaigning for this job again on November 9th. That means more phone calls. So elect me, Jib, and stop the insane ringing tomorrow. I'm Jib, and I approve this message. Jib for (Office X), Delilah Cat Treasurer.

Dear Dave Magnum,

You have our household's votes. You may stop with the recorded calls now. Use those nickels on someone else. Thanks.

The Jib Homestead.

Random election eve musing

Okay, my home was reassessed and the value was increased by 45%. By the sounds of it, much of the city was reassessed and given a 30% to 50% increase in value. My question is this: Does this mean the city will actually plow snow this winter? Something tells me the answer is no.

Why Iraq is and is not analogous to Vietnam

Michael Barone makes an excellent point in his column today.
And withdrawal from Iraq would be vastly more dangerous than withdrawal from Vietnam turned out to be.

To be sure, our withdrawal from Vietnam was bad for the Vietnamese. There was, contrary to Kerry's prediction at the time, a bloodbath, and the Vietnamese lived under a cruel communist dictatorship. But the dominoes did not fall beyond Indochina because, unnoticed by war backers and opponents, other East Asian states -- South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia -- were launching a free-market economic boom. The Vietnam War gave them time to get started. These countries had rule of law and in time developed democracies.

Iraq is not in such a good neighborhood.

Nearby are Iran, the leading supporter of international terrorism, busy developing nuclear weapons; Syria, headquarters of many terrorist groups; and Saudi Arabia, where petrodollars are used to disseminate totalitarian Wahhabism around the world. Premature withdrawal from Iraq would give terrorists more space and time to plan and prepare attacks on us beyond Iraq, and a visible defeat for the United States would exhilarate the followers of Osama bin Laden and other Islamofascist terrorists. It would leave unprotected the brave Iraqis who risked death to vote in three elections and held up their purple fingers in triumph.

It should be noted that Vietnam was not in the strategic location that Iraq is. In abandoning our allies in South Vietnam, we gave the country to our enemies but it did not harm us in the big picture of the Cold War. The same would certainly happen to Iraq if we tucked tail and ran, only it would seriously harm us in our fight against Islamism. Iran would easily be able to control a belt across the Middle East, and with nukes in a couple of years they would likely be able to dominate the rest of the region. He who controls the Middle East controls the primary energy source of the world economy. Period. And he who commands that much control over the world economy also controls you and I.

More consequences of a Democrat majority

Dick Morris, a former Clinton advisor, firmly believes that the Democrats will take majorities in both houses of Congress. He closes his column today with a thought that I find disturbing, and you probably should, too.
We needed a president who could act firmly back then, and we'll need one in the next two years. But we're not going to have one. President Bush will be dodging document requests, defending his administration's integrity and battling each day's sensational headlines supposedly uncovering scandal after scandal.

The Democrats will use their majorities to conduct a two-year campaign for the presidency. Most likely, it will work.

Like it or not, agree with it or not, we are on a war footing right now, as we have been since September 12, 2001. It is a war that was brought to us, not the other way around. The job is far from done, and the elimination of an enemy leader here or there will not be enough to end this war. Is the above really what we want? A party leading Congress not with this war in the front of their minds, but rather the 2008 Presidential election? If Democrats take majorities, we will be looking at two years of political gaming that will distract the nation from the more pressing issue at hand, which is defending against and rolling back radical Islamism. We'll see how serious Americans are about this fight tomorrow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

An era is fading to black

Just so you have an idea as to when I am writing, Brett Favre just threw an interception at the Buffalo one yard line that probably lost the Packers the game. The tipped pass that lead to the pick was not entirely Brett Favre's fault, but after they got inside the Buffalo 20, I was struck by a strange feeling. I did not want to see Brett pass the ball. In fact, I was terrified of Brett throwing the ball. I was hoping that they would do the rest on the ground. In the past, I'd have probably been nervous about them getting stuffed on the ground, and I'd have been cheering for them to call a passing play. The Favre era is almost over, but the mystique already is, at least for me.

(Cross posted at The Wisconsin Sports Bar)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I don't care, Ted Haggard edition

I don't care who Ted Haggard is. I don't care about what he did/did not do. Before this week, I had no idea who he was. After next week, I won't remember who he was. Scandal? I'm sure there was amongst a small percentage of Americans. I speak for the rest of us when I say, "so what?"

I just thought I'd go on the record with that.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What a country!

I'm feeling a little Yakov Smirnoff-ish this afternoon. We live in a remarkable nation, and what is even more remarkable is how much little we appreciate that fact. In most countries in most parts of the world, when the military becomes disgruntled by something in the political realm, there is the threat that the military might involve itself in the politics by threat, violence, or even coups. In the United States, however, soldiers create a wise assed and funny sign that delivers a powerful message, photographs it, and it makes it's way around the country at lightning speed, influencing the political in a perfectly legitimate manner. It really is remarkable, and if you don't appreciate that, you really should.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I miss all the fun

So the past couple of days I have been 'unplugged'. I had a couple of opportunities to check one of my email accounts and that was it. One of those emails contained this picture that was first posted by Charlie Sykes. It seemed like everyone I was around was getting that picture in their email yesterday afternoon, and there was quite a bit of buzz about it. I've seen some stories move at lightning speed since I've been blogging, but I've never seen anything circulate as quickly as that did. In fact, I got it as a forwarded email before I even knew the backstory on it. And it was rather fun to watch people's reaction to the picture live and in person. I just wish I could have written about it as it unfolded. Damn those places that charge unholy sums for wi-fi.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry's coat tails

Heh. Who would have thought John Kerry would have coat tails this election. I'm sure this turn of events is the last thing Democrats wanted. Riding Kerry's coat tails is like riding in a Gremlin-it may not kill you, but you'll wish it did.