Sunday, April 30, 2006

Carts, Horses, and Airports

To hear some folks tell it, the Wright Brothers are the only reason the US is a First-World economy:

Boomtown Atlanta, home to such international players as Coca-Cola and Home Depot, has Hartsfield, the nation's busiest airport. Chicago, with its international finance markets, has teeming O'Hare. Houston, home to the nation's third-busiest airfield, is headquarters to no fewer than 23 Fortune 500 companies.

Of course, Coca-Cola, Big Oil, and the meatpackers were around a long time before airports existed--but never mind the historical facts...

...a public brawl has erupted over control of Wisconsin's busiest airfield: Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. The acrimony between Milwaukee County, which runs the airport, and a consortium of business leaders, who support creation of a regional airport authority, has thrown a spotlight on the burgeoning importance of airports as they become ever more critical to businesses with global aspirations.

The critical phrase is in red for your convenience...

There's reason to think about the possibility:

...the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, a leading business lobby group, has for two decades championed proposals for a depoliticized airport authority.

There's only one problem, and that's the maxim that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' YX and MMAC complain that airport expansion will be (maybe, kinda, well,) hampered by the politics of tearing down houses for runways. They also complain that Milwaukee County employees who staff the airport cost a lotta money.

NWA complains, too--but their workforce ain't exactly cheap, and the MSP airport, their home, is a mess compared to Mitchell.

"Regional Authority" smells a LOT like "MMSD." The boys and girls at MMAC better have a plan that does not include their favorite financing vehicle, which is taxation without representation.

Otherwise, their boy Stone (R. Greenfield) may find himself in the same position as that eminently forgettable jerk from Racine who used to occupy the Legislature until he flipped on the Bud Selig Gift.

Biker Problems


You've noticed these groups--hogging up the roadways, deviating in lanes, running stoplights and stopsigns, blocking cars and occasionally harassing pedestrians. I certainly have; it's a wonder that more of them are not flattened by cars or trucks, the way they drive those damn bikes.

And the Milwaukee Police Department deserves a big "thank you" from us for taking them on.

Milwaukee police and members of the bicycle activist group Critical Mass on Saturday gave different versions of the events that led to the arrests of six and ticketing of 21 riders during the group's monthly trek on the city's east side Friday evening.

Riders called it overkill and harassment, saying they purposely stayed on the county's Oak Leaf bike path to avoid confrontation with officers. But police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz described the group as known traffic scofflaws who "came barreling down the path, forcing other cyclists and pedestrians" out of their way.

Not all of the bike riders stayed on the trail, she said.

"They were going into the city streets and then back into the path," she said.

Six riders were arrested, taken to the District 5 police station on N. 4th St. by police vehicle and released later Friday evening, police said. Fifteen others were cited, but not taken to the station. The municipal offenses ranged from riding a bicycle without a city license to disorderly conduct and obstructing police.

Maybe these jerks will learn from the experience, but I doubt it.

More Gummint Records

It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress.

Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican,
gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.

Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic
member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.

Using "child porn" is a good way to get the nose into the tent. But there are implications, too:

Critics of DeGette's proposal have said that, while the justification for Internet surveillance might be protecting children, the data would be accessible to any local or state law enforcement official investigating anything from drug possession to tax evasion. In addition, the one-year retention is a minimum...

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the free-market Cato Institute, said: "This is an unrestricted grant of authority to the FCC to require surveillance."

"The FCC would be able to tell Internet service providers to monitor our e-mails, monitor our Web surfing, monitor what we post on blogs or chat rooms, and everything else under the sun," said Harper, a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. "We're seeing a kind of hysteria reminiscent of the McMartin case. The result will be privacy that goes away and doesn't come back when the foolishness is exposed."

As usual, the Gummint kills flies with sledghammers.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Red China "Super.Proxy.Scanner"? Whassup?

Just because Blogger acted silly in the last hour, went to SANS to check on the 'net.

Here's an interesting little item:

One of our readers has come across an interesting phenomenon in his proxy logs that we're hoping someone can shed some light on. Its not necessarily malicious, its just hinkey.

Imagine reviewing your webserver or proxy logs and seeing requests for a website completely unrelated to your organization, but an IP address in your address block appears in the hostname.

So here is an example URL that might show up in your logs:

html running the host command on the above hostname provides: has address

Hrm. is a an IP in Hoboken, NJ. Thats about 6800 miles away from the host in China (

If you search for the string "super.proxy.scanner" in google you get 3 pages of proxy and web logs showing requests for various URLs that follow the form:


All of the hostnames resolve to

All of the logs I could find show this activity only in the March-April 2006 timeframe so relatively new.

We all know that the RedChinese are our friends.

The Truth--As Usual, in the Penultimate Graph

From a lawyer-pundit at PowerLine:

By the way, corporations already pay income taxes of around 35%, in addition to all of the property taxes, sales taxes, etc., that they also pay, and when they pay dividends to their shareholders, more taxes are collected. I can still recall my tax professor saying, when I was in law school, that there is no intellectually respectable argument for the existence of the corporate income tax, other than the fact that it provides employment for legions of accountants and lawyers. And endless opportunities, I would add, for mindless demagoguery by Democrats.

Our man Folkbum (not being personally acquainted with private enterprise) still thinks that corporate income taxes are actually paid by "corporations," which proves that an IQ above 115 does not necessarily mean that one has understanding...

But don't expect it to change. Bring up "Fair Tax" in the presence of a CPA and watch the knowing Chesire Cat grin appear. For them, it's the inverse of "I'm personally opposed, but..."; in fact, the CPA's and tax lawyers know without question or doubt, that there will NEVER be a comprehensive tax reform in the USA, unless preceded by an armed revolt.

Alternative Warfare by the Religion of Peace

Major Denial-of-Service attack yesterday, affecting the following blogs:

Blogs down:
Instapundit (***Glenn is posting on his back-up site here***)Power Line Captain's Quarters Pundit Guy Chuck Simmins Small Dead Animals Radioblogger Hugh Hewitt IMAO Mountaineer Musings Say Uncle Counterterrorism Blog Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler Castle Arggh! - John DonovanShe Who Will Be Obeyed - Beth DonovanMichael Totten Ticklish Ears Samizdata Theodore's World Patterico Florida CrackerJeff Quinton Overlawyered Blogs4Bush Tim Blair Down with Absolutes Nyominx

Not to mention Malkin.

The attack was created by someone in Saudi Arabia.

The fact that "Overlawyered" also went down hints at the possibility that Bob Habush chipped in to finance the DOS attack...

Australia's Costly Failure

Via John Lott, another repetition of the truth about gun-control schemes:

The scale of the 1997 gun buyback scheme that followed the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms was unprecedented. About 640,000 guns - 20 per cent of the total stock of firearms - were handed in at a cost of more than $300 million.

If the gun control lobby is correct, then the effect of such a large intervention should show up in Australia's crime statistics.

However, supporters have been unable to show that the buyback scheme altered long-run trends in Australia's crime rates in a way that supports their abolitionist rhetoric. Indeed, the lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of buyback schemes is proportional to the amount of lobbying by the gun control lobby and the Prime Minister's acquiescence to them.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, firearm-related deaths in Australia have been declining for a some time. From 1991 to 2001, both the firearm-related suicide and homicide rates almost halved. The 1997 buyback scheme had no obvious influence on this trend.

If the buyback had the effect that its supporters claim it did, then firearms accidents should also have declined. They did not; in fact, the number of firearms-related accidental deaths reached a record high of 45 in 2000. There has not been any significant effect on violent crime as a whole. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that neither the attempted murder rate nor the manslaughter rate have changed significantly since 1997, and the number of kidnapping and abductions reached record highs last year.


The Australian experience is consistent with international evidence (or lack thereof). There is no evidence that prohibitions and buybacks reduced violent crime in Britain after they were implemented in 1988 and 1997. Following the most recent British interventions, firearm homicides failed to fall and total homicides actually increased.

Milwaukee's Milk-Carton-Mayor has just concluded a nice trip to NYC; reports indicate that the assembled Poobahs of Politics issued the usual laundry-list of "recommendations" for curbing gun-violence. My bet is that it includes 'buyback' vapidities, cost be damned.

Just put it on the MasterCard, like the trackless/feckless trolley. Eventually you'll force the suburbs to pay for it anyway, right?

Rush Was Right! But It's Not Good News...

McIlheran figures out where the World's Primordial Pencil-Necked Geek is going, and doesn't like it.

This is not exactly, news, Pat. It's called a "wealth tax." Limbaugh's talked about it a number of times going back several years, and there's little doubt that the concept is in play with the Dimowits.

In addition to sauntering up to you, pointing their guns, and demanding about 30-40% of your income (you're a columnist, not a Grand Editorial Master)--the Dims have long toyed with the concept of grasping another few points from your "other assets"--house, investments, cars...whatever.

And it can be done.

Reading Iraq News in Context

Grim contributes understanding:

[A WaPo story cites]...State Department statistics showing a spike in terrorist attacks in 2005. The spin on this is that it is bad news, and that Iraq represents about a third of all worldwide attacks.

Yes, it would be better if there were fewer terrorist attacks, because everyone simply put down their weapons and stopped fighting us. On the other hand, a rise in terrorist attacks -- if coupled with a sharp drop in other kinds of attacks -- can signal that the enemy has lost the strength to fight in any other way.

In 2003, we saw combat in Iraq featuring armies; in 2004, uprisings in cities and regions across the country, including both a Shi'ite insurgency led by Sadr and an al-Qaeda led insurgency in the west. Neither survived the US military, and in 2005 we saw mostly terrorist attacks and snipers. That's the missing context. That is why a "spike" in terrorist attacks is not a sign of an insurgency waxing in its strength. It is the sign of an insurgency that is losing strength.

The thesis is credible. We hope that it's also correct.

Public-Owned Porn Cache

The Regents did the right thing--but what OTHER lessons did they learn?

A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor dismissed this month for a felony conviction collected pornographic images on his school computer for a decade, according to documents released Friday.

The UW Board of Regents voted April 7 to dismiss L. Keith Cohen, a 30-year faculty member of the UW-Madison Department of Comparative Literature.

After the arrest, a university technician searched Cohen's UW computer and discovered more than 2,000 pornographic images, according to the regents' decision.

Oh, by the way: is the UW System paying BoyPornPervert a pension?

Walker Succumbs to "Milwaukee Disease"

Not that anyone with a half-a-brain is surprised:

[Walker] has kept tax increases off the table but pitches some ideas that could spread the county's pain to taxpayers around the state. For example, Walker suggests several options for "devolving" - or shifting - county responsibilities to others.

One Walker idea would have state employees take over for nearly 300 Circuit Court support staff, who cost a total of about $12 million a year in salary and fringe costs.

Another Walker proposal calls for substitution of state employees for nearly 250 county human services intake workers, who conduct interviews to determine eligibility for food stamps, Medicaid and the Wisconsin Works welfare reform program. They cost about $8.3 million a year.

Walker said taxpayers would come out winners because for every dollar paid to county employees, taxpayers also shell out another 70 cents for health, pension and other fringe costs. The state fringe rate is a much lower 41%.

Consider: private enterprise fringe costs run around 30% or less.

But the most ironic comment came from BagManJimbo's flak:

Walker also hasn't done enough yet to cut county costs to justify extra state support, Leistikow said.

Another bloodsucking concept from Scott:

...a regional parks district

Naturally, the AFSCME has its own opinion of this mess:

Richard Abelson, who leads that union, said Walker has unfairly emphasized the 2000-'01 pension deal as the source of the county's money woes. The county executive's failure to offer health plans to county workers that offer incentives for choosing lower-cost plans has bigger financial implications than pension costs, said Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The Walker plan is textbook "default" hard-coded into Milwaukee elected officials. First, you spend a bunch of money--often with full knowledge that you can't afford it. (See MMSD's ridiculous Deep Tunnel, e.g., or the Public Screwels--or the Electric Trolley Toy Bus.)

THEN you wait around a while, so that things become a crisis.

Finally, you go to the Legislature and put the high-heater past them. They're willing; they can't he'p themselves from overspending, either.

Then you bemoan the fact that Wisconsin's State/Local tax burden continues to climb.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Cdl. Martini, Gay Marriage, Vagina Monologues, and Xoff's Biology

As mentioned earlier in this blog, Cdl. Martini (Friend of Rembert) wandered off the Catholic reservation with remarks on rubbers, AIDS, and abortion. Too bad, but not entirely unexpected; Martini's been nibbling at the edges of The Apple for years.

Magister reports completely, as we have come to expect.

Some key text (and yes, we'll get to Xoff's Incredible Biology, too...)

“So now the Trojan horse has been brought into the city,” says one of the top figures of the congregation, with “L’espresso” open on the table. “At first glance, some of cardinal Martini’s expressions of openness seem good and worthy of endorsing. But they conceal devastating effects.”

“The condom is a false solution,” continues the official of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. “In the ABC’s of the battle against AIDS – Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom – the first two of these, chastity and marital fidelity, are valid for the Church. But not the third.

“All you have to do is read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to identify the firm points from which Martini departs,” says the official of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. One of these first points is complete respect for every human life “from conception,” from its very first moments.

That SHOULD ring a bell with Xoff, who states he went to a Catholic high school.

The final document said that “the moment that marks the beginning of the existence of a new human being is represented by the penetration of the spermatozoon into the oocyte.” Benedict XVI visited the congress participants, and told them that “the love of God does not distinguish between the newly conceived child still in his mother’s womb and the baby, or the young person, or the mature or elderly person. He does not distinguish, because in each one of them he sees the imprint of his own image and likeness.

The fact that cardinal Martini ignored all of this in “L’espresso,” and even cleared the way for the use of the oocyte in the first hours after fertilization, maintaining that here “no sign of an individually distinguishable life yet appears,” was seen as an act of surrender to what John Paul II defined as the modern “culture of death.”

Furthermore, Sgreccia [President, Academy for Life and top Vatican bioethicist] reminded Martini that “his theory” on the fertilized oocyte “is not shared by many embryologists.” And in effect, when the National Committee on Bioethics in Italy examined this issue in July of 2005, it was split 26 against 12. With the majority were Sgreccia and other Catholic and secular scholars, all in favor of the inviolability of the fertilized egg from the very first moment. With the minority was Carlo Flamigni, who wanted to add to the final document his own very polemical comments on the Church. The position of this minority is the one that both cardinal Martini and professor Marino expressed in their dialogue in “L’espresso.”

Which is to say that Xoff is not only wrong on Catholicism--he's likely wrong on the biology; a point we made.

And it's not just Catholic "bible-thumpers" who think Martini's lost his way:

There is an editorialist for “Avvenire,” for example, Lucetta Scaraffia, an historian and feminist who has followed bioethics for years: she charges Martini with addressing problems of life and death that are central in our time “with the reductionist and casuist mode of reasoning that has represented the negative stereotype of the Jesuits since Pascal’s time.”

Which reductionism, we might add, is the foundation of the play "The Vagina Monologues," and other strange perversions--such as the fiction of "gay marriage."

And we haven't even gotten to the stubborn fact that a condom is physically incapable of stopping a virus, folks.

Thinking About Iraq

...or for that matter, the rest of the non-democratic world...

In a review of The White Man's Burden, Roger Bate excerpts an interesting passage:

Easterly demonstrates that nearly all aid programs fail to reach individually set targets:

"A UN summit in 1990, for example, set a goal for the year 2000 of universal primary-school enrollment. (That is now planned for 2015). A previous summit, in 1977, set 1990 as the deadline for realizing the goal of universal access to water and sanitation. (Under the Millennium Development Goals, that target is now 2015). Nobody was held accountable for these missed goals."

The point is the goals will never be hit, or at least not by the policies enacted to reach them.

"Stop wasting our time with summits and frameworks" he says. And he repeatedly drills home the unnerving conclusion that Planners will always fail:

"The West cannot transform the Rest. It is a fantasy to think that the West can change complex societies with very different histories and cultures into some image of itself. The main hope for the poor is for them to be their own Searchers, borrowing ideas and technology from the West when it suits them to do so....Once the West is willing to aid individuals rather than governments, some conundrums that tie foreign aid up in knots are resolved."

Although the book is written about UN-types (and the US "agency" planners and enablers--AID, ExIm, the State Department...) the above little nugget applies to a lot of situations.

Like, for example, Iraq.

Paul Bucher and the T.S.A.

We all fondly recall the T.S.A.--the Federal agency which randomly screens grannies, babies, and nursing mothers before they get on an airplane. This is done in the name of "terror prevention." T.S.A. made it a point NOT to screen young Arab males who pay cash for one-way tickets--that would be discriminatory.

Well, apparently AG candidate Paul Bucher has the T.S.A. manual on his desk and has similar plans. Stop and screen EVERYONE on the highway to find the drunks.

This is not Mr. Bucher's only "LEO-mentality" demonstration--he's also famous for throwing a monkey-wrench into the CCW proposal a couple of years ago by insisting that CCW permit-holders would represent a danger to cops who stop them for traffic violations.


So under the Bucher plan, it's advisable that you leave 10-15 minutes early for whatever engagement you have--because you might be in a long line for a while. Tough cookies for you if you happen to be driving your wife-in-labor to the hospital, or are on a tight business schedule.

Paul, that's not Law Enforcement. That's the old "Show Us Your Papers" business.

Senate Worry You? Sleep Well. Sensenbrenner Will Fix It

Jim Sensenbrenner knows what's up with the border, and what's down. He has the House Republicans on his side.

So as the Senate (and Our President) make fools of themselves creating amnesties "pathways" and erasing borders, the House waits.

First thing: secure the borders.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Church in Hospice" Finally Shows the Colors

After a couple of rather bland and unexceptionable posts, "Church in Hospice" gets it into gear.

Wrong gear, but hey...gotta go somewhere, eh? After all, one can hardly be a Member of the Priests' "Union" without questioning the motives (or sanity) of the Management.

So here he goes:

A critical problem faced by religious institutions is the decreasing average talent of people choosing clerical careers in the United States. This problem is related to the declining authority of institutional religion in America's public life. When official religion was more influential, it tended to attract more gifted candidates. As the role of official religion in this country has declined, so has the prestige of its clergy and with it the giftedness of individuals entering the profession. Though average verbal and analytical Graduate Record Exam scores increased for all test takers during the 1980s, scores of prospective seminary students declined. Seminary candidates scored significantly lower that the national averages on the quantatative and analytical sections of the test. Only male prospective seminarians were lower than the national average on the verbal portion of the test.

Note well: "average" is a very interesting word--it covers a multitude of folks, doesn't it? Like for example, is there a difference between the entering seminarians of the Diocese of Lincoln and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? Milwaukee? Peoria? Rockford? I've met several Lincoln priests, and let me tell you, these men are sharp cookies. Similarly, I've met a few Rockford priests who are younger (30's) Also bright.

Victor J. Klimoski, Kevin J. O'Neil, and Katarina M. Schuth have reported that only ten percent of all Catholic male seminarians are highly qualified for theological study. Some forty percent enter with weak educational backgrounds and learning disabilities. Added to this, many seminarians enter after having been away from the Church for many years.

And the name of the Admissions Officer(s) responsible for this is??? From professional acquaintance, I am VERY aware of the fact that 'getting the right man' is not a matter of having a web-page and sending out a letter once a year.

Now for the setup:

Sociologist Mark Chaves has pointed out that there are significant gender differences in GRE scores with females substantially and consistently outperforming males. This means that if Protestant and Jewish denominations had not expanded their ordained leadership to include women, the aptitude of prospective clerics would have declined more.

Yup. You guessed it:

The well-being of any organization depends upon its ability to attract the best and brightest into its leadership ranks. The admission of women into the clergy of other denominations has increased the aptitude of their seminarians. Rome has ruled out this possibility for Catholics. One wonders what effect making celibacy optional would have on the numbers and quality of men entering the Catholic priesthood. So far, Rome has also been closed to this option. The Church appears to prefer modestly gifted men who promise celibacy over brighter women or men who want to marry. Given these stances, the U. S. Catholic Cchurch is likely to face a continuing crisis of ordained leadership long after the sexual abuse crisis abates.

Yah, hey. Peter the Runaway woulda passed the "sociology screen" of the eminentoes listed above, hey! The Borgia Popes are another fine set of examples. For the cryin' out loud, St John Vianney was not too bright, either.

See, Father (since your Church History course didn't cover this well--you ARE a Rembertian ordinand...) the Church has persevered through all sorts of cataclysms--the general idea was stated by the Guy who said "...the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it..."

So we take the priests we are given; the impossibility of female "ordination" will remain in place, as will the rule of celibacy.

You can take the intellectualoids who 'study higher Biblical criticism'--the Bultmann/Schliermacher folks. I'll take the ones who actually know the Catechism.

And I'll get to Scotland before you.

Lease WHAT for $700./Month?

So I checked with a friend who sells cars.

What can you get for $700./month in leased cars, assuming 24 months/24K miles?

Benz 500 series
BMW 500 series
Lexus 300 series, (maybe 400 series)
VW Tuareg
ANY Cadillac
ANY large SUV

All fully-loaded.


Welborn tells an interesting story:

I was just speaking to a woman who used to be a parish Director of Religious Education. She recounted a time when someone in her parish offered to teach a course in Biblical Greek. Some powers that were demurred, suggesting that no, that's not what people would want. They want to (wait for it) share their faith. Reflect.

She said, eh, let's try it.

It was the most popular adult education program she ever offered.

In my experience as a teacher (no, not full-time) this sort of thing rings the "true" bell. Adults and children alike generally want to learn something. Not ALL adults, nor children--but look at the number of people who voluntarily participate in the Symphony Chorus, Bach Chamber Choir, and Bel Canto--it's around 400 or so, just in those three large choirs in Milwaukee.

They are there to learn.

Xoff's Biology (Publick Screwels Gradyoot)

Here's how Xoff does biology 101:

A small percentage [of the 400K frozen embryos] have been designated for research or donation to other couples, but the vast majority are excess embryos that will never be used to produce babies.


You can't make this stuff up, and pointing out this inanity is...well, it's the duty of the blogger.

This astounding biological re-write was created to make BagManJimbo look like some sort of "good guy" for valuing dollars over lives--put another way, the Utilitarian sophistry.

The Democrat Party has come a long, long, long way since defending slavery in the South, eh?

Back Off, Paul

Waukesha DA Paul Bucher, who is running for the Pubbie A.G. nomination (in case you didn't know...) has now unleashed a screech over JBVanHollen's comment that 'there is terrorist training and ....fundraising activity' going on in Wisconsin.

Bucher claims that VanHollen (who REALLY knows how to handle a pistol) is "terrorizing" Wisconsin residents with his remarks.

Paul, take a chill-pill.

1) Anybody who thinks that Wisconsin is immune from 'terrorist training/fundraising' is living in la-la-land and ipso facto is likely a Democrat. Yeah, it's going on.

2) Anybody who is "terrorized" by VanHollen's remarks is just a bit more, ah, sensitive than they should be. See #1) above.

By the way, a concealed-carry law (or for that matter, an OPEN-carry law) would relieve a lot of people of their "terrors," Paul. You know--like the one you tried to skewer back a session ago.

UW's Cars

"So, see, in order to be a Chancellor, you gotta have a car."

"Agreed. You should be able to get to and from the office."

"Well....not just ANY car. It should be a special car. You know--a car fit for a Chancellor. That'll be $700.00/month plus thirty cents per mile, please. And not just 'to get to the office.' We have important things to do--all over the State. So we need mileage reimbursement."

"I don't get it. You want the State to pay for the car AND you want the State to pay for all the miles you rack up on the car, too? Isn't that sorta, kinda, double-dipping?"

"No, you damn rabble. It's not 'double-dipping.' It's common practice in business."



"So when businessmen I know are only getting $595/month plus 10 cents per mile, what's up with that?"

"Obviously, those businessmen are merely taxpayers. They are not Chancellors."

"Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Stupid question."

Party of Government Parade

Seems as though Waukesha County salaries for elected officials are in play.

Heh. Maybe our elected officials are part of the "parade" noted by Frank Lassee:

In the debate over constitutional limits, no one is representing taxpayers "who pay the bills," Lasee said. "We have a tremendous spending lobby parading through this building."

Lasee said local officials and government workers want to protect their high salaries and are afraid "they may not get as generous raises and benefit packages in the future."

And HERE'S a parade:

Four former governors - Democrats Tony Earl, Pat Lucey and Martin Schreiber and Republican Lee S. Dreyfus - issued a statement saying a constitutional amendment is not needed.

"The primary and final responsibility for taxes and spending has, does, and should continue to reside with the people elected to represent us in the Legislature and the executive office," they said.

...each of these exalted yutzes, of course, are Highly Honored Poobahs of the Party of/in Government Society of Steal, Spend, and Retire (HHP-PIG-SSSR) Is it just co-incidence that the acronym includes "SSSR"? We think not.

What more could one ask? When such luminaries speak--Tony the Tree-Hugger, Schreiber the Kept Man of the Casinos, and old RINO Lee (who personally signed off on the Gas-Taxation-Without- Representation Bill)--we rabble, we louts, we dirty-handed workers should STFU!! and fall to the ground in adoration, right?

From 1995 to 2005, spending from the state's general fund - one traditional gauge of state taxes - jumped by 51%, from $7.81 billion to $11.86 billion, according to state reports. That was more than double the national inflation rate of about 25% for that same period.

We rabble have also noticed that gasoline prices went up, boys. Maybe the bozo local twits will stop sending an entire engine company for run-of-the-mill ambulance calls. And don't local governments maintain a "reserve" account for such contingencies? Maybe the State will finally dump the State Patrol's highway cruisers. Maybe the Governor will stop using State airplanes for campaign appearances.

And maybe Hell will freeze over.

As to Waukesha County:

After his successful push to shrink the Waukesha County Board as a cost-saving move, County Executive Dan Vrakas is confronting a pay-raise package that includes about $8,000 a year more for his position.

Other countywide elected officials would receive raises ranging from about $4,000 a year to $9,500 a year, under a measure designed to set salaries in advance of upcoming county elections.

Vrakas said he would not prejudge any proposal without analyzing it and comparing how Waukesha County salaries stack up against those for officials in comparable positions in other counties.

[I see. Perhaps the Executive should MOVE to another county and get elected there, if they pay more. The "other counties" argument is absolutely irrelevant for ELECTED POSITIONS, Danny-boy.]

County Treasurer Pamela Reeves called the existing formula reasonable and said she would object to getting less of a raise than what was recommended.

"I think it's kind of a slap in the face," said Reeves, who plans to seek her fourth term in office in November.

So she gets a slap in the face AND RUNS FOR OFFICE AGAIN? Pammy!! Quit the job!! You've been INSULTED!! Maybe Vilas County needs a good treasurer. Or Rock County. Or maybe some county in Utah!

Yah. This is cute. Not only do they want to keep their jobs, they want raises--probably to pay for the increase in gasoline prices.

And by God, the taxpaying louts, the unwashed, the rabble--THEY WILL PAY FOR IT!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Religion of Peace vs. The Armenians

We are reminded that last Sunday, April 24th, is the 91st anniversary of the slaughter of the Armenian Christians.

The Muslim Turks killed 1.5 million Armenian Christians...

Some were able to escape and come to the USA; I am happily acquainted with one of the descendants, a fellow who managed a large division of Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. (ancient history, eh...)

"Religion of Peace," eh?

H1-B Controversy, Continued

From Norm Matloff's private newsletter, wherein he fisks a pack of deceptions and half-truths:

The enclosed op-ed is [see below] by the head of TechNet, an industry lobbying firm, and Scott McNealy, who just stepped down as head of Sun. Let's look at their version of the "Einstein argument" in support of employer sponsorship of foreign tech workers:

* What do the founders of Intel, Sun Microsystems and Google - Andy Grove,
Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla and Sergey Brin - have in common with
* Einstein and Wernher von Braun? All are part of America's tradition
* welcoming talented immigrants who have made significant contributions to
* industry.

Aside from the fact that Grove and Brin were not H-1Bs or equivalents, and Grove and Khosla provided only business acumen to their firms, and aside from the from that Grove was NOT one of the founders of Intel, the key point is that NONE OF THOSE THREE COMPANIES HAS BEEN PIVOTAL IN THE INDUSTRY'S DEVELOPMENT. None of them had a product superior to those of other firms. The industry would have done just as well without them, and in Intel's case, the industry would have done BETTER without Intel. And the reason McNealy stepped down is that Sun is a disaster. Google is fun to use, with its cute logo, etc., but its search engine isn't any better than the others.

* First, the world is catching on to the job-creating benefits of a strong
math and science education. China and India are graduating hundreds of
thousands of engineers each year.

Those figures are wrong. For example, they count technicians as "engineers." See


* For the U.S. high-tech community, these laws present a difficult choice:
Innovate or perish. If we can't find professionals to do the job here in
* USA, many will simply move the job to the qualified workers overseas.

Eileen Appelbaum answered this one best (see

But Eileen Appelbaum, an economist and member of a National Research Council committee that studied the impact of H-1Bs on the U.S. economy, does not accept the way the H-1B option is typically framed: One can have an H-1B worker in an American job, or lose that job to exportation.

"Industry said in 2001, "Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work offshore,' " she said. "Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work offshore. In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face."

And again even more importantly, the firms themselves admit that they use H-1B as a vehicle to facilitate offshoring, and would find it very difficult to offshore without it. See also Prof. Ron Hira's research which quantifies this, with the typical arrangement being that a firm puts one H-1B onshore for every two workers offshore.

* A new study by the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-profit
organization, has concluded that the laws are forcing good-paying,
job-creating positions offshore.

As John Miano has pointed out, go to NFAP's Web page. Do you see anywhere on the page where you can contribute to this "non-profit organization"? No, NFAP has plenty of funding of its own, thank you. And it almost certainly is coming from firms that want to hire cheap foreign labor, and from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Posted 4/25/2006 10:02 PM ET
By Lezlee Westine and Scott McNealy for USA TODAY

What do the founders of Intel, Sun Microsystems and Google - Andy Grove, Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla and Sergey Brin - have in common with Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun? All are part of America's tradition of welcoming talented immigrants who have made significant contributions to our industry.

Einstein changed the way we look at science and energy; von Braun was the father of the U.S. space program; and Grove, Bechtolsheim, Khosla and Brin are among the many giants who have changed the high-tech industry.

The innovative companies they built created thousands of jobs and have a combined market cap of $250 billion. But our longstanding tradition of being an open door for innovation is at risk.
Today's broken immigration system closes the door on foreign-born innovators. With arbitrary visa limits and clogged processing, opportunity is knocking at our door and we're fumbling with the keys.

It wasn't always this way. Several of our nation's Nobel laureates are foreign-born. The past half-century of scientific research success that has made our universities the beacon of innovation would not have occurred but for the contributions of foreign-born students. And the efforts of Grove, Bechtolsheim, Khosla and Brin alone have generated thousands of U.S. jobs and hundreds of millions in U.S. tax revenue.

So why the conflict between our laws and our policy?

First, the world is catching on to the job-creating benefits of a strong math and science education. China and India are graduating hundreds of thousands of engineers each year. In addition, they and other nations have established generous tax incentives to lure research and development into their countries. These factors have made the competition for talent global.
Second, our past success breeds the potential for the next "big thing" in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and biophysics. By 2012, it's projected that the demand for technical jobs in science and engineering will increase by more than 25%, and 39% in math and computer science. Factor in the tech rebound, and the need will be even greater.
What happened the last time we saw demand for these professionals soar? Congress created a visa program for immigrants who had unique technical knowledge, a bachelor's degree and a job offer in the USA.

Under the current system, the federal government provides 65,000 H-1B visas each year, beginning Oct. 1. Yet the visas made available last October were spoken for almost two months before that, which means our open door for innovation is temporarily closed for 14 months.
For foreign-born students graduating from a U.S. college in June, the H-1B limitations make it difficult for them to find jobs here. We're even closing the door on those with H-1Bs visas who seek permanent U.S. residency because of extended delays in a system designed largely in 1990, when our workforce and economic needs were different.

For the U.S. high-tech community, these laws present a difficult choice: Innovate or perish. If we can't find professionals to do the job here in the USA, many will simply move the job to the qualified workers overseas.

A new study by the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-profit organization, has concluded that the laws are forcing good-paying, job-creating positions offshore. We know that the long-term solution is investing in educational programs in math, science and engineering. But we won't see the fruits of those investments for at least a decade.

In the short term, we should align our immigration laws with our economic needs. What Congress does now will determine whether our nation stays competitive in the global economy. Without innovation, we have nothing.

Lezlee Westine is CEO of TechNet, and is chairman of Sun Microsystems.

Refining Capacity

Well, whaddya know?

Following up on a remark made yesterday on the Limbaugh show, we looked it up:

"We also implement projects that enhance refinery capacity and yield. ...we have effectively added a new-industry-average -sized refinery to our portfolio every three years..." (Exxon-Mobil 2005 Annual Report, P. 29)

We could still use a new refinery or five, but that ain't bad in the meantime.

Bush Does El-Foldo on "Pathway"; Driver's License Shortage?

Not too surprising, considering that GWB practices the El-Foldo act every day:

"There was a pretty good consensus that what we have put into the Hagel-Martinez proposal here is the right way to go," said Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican. "I think he was very clear [on] pathway to citizenship, so long as it goes to the back of the line, and he even opened the door here for something we've haggled back and forth on, that you can shrink the time for people to become citizens by simply enlarging the number of green cards."

And Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, said Mr. Bush "endorsed the concept of an earned citizenship."

That would represent a substantial change on the part of the Bush administration, which just last year said it opposed a path to citizenship for those currently here illegally.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Senate Judiciary Committee in October the administration didn't support "a path through which they can get their permanent residence or citizenship," and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao echoed that: "We feel that a pathway to citizenship would reward those who have violated our laws."

Well, there ARE important considerations--such as the number of home mortgages which would be foreclosed if illegals were deported.

In a separate report, but related, the Milwaukee JS reports that only 43% of Milwaukee's Hispanic community adults have Wisconsin driver's licenses.

...and the other 57% does not drive, right?

Tax Freedom Day? NOT HERE!!!

While the rest of the country celebrates Tax Freedom Day, our Legislature is wandering around in their own self-created fog, debating whether limits on Gummint spending are actually a good idea.

In Wisconsin, Tax Freedom Day will happen on Friday the 28th of April.

But it could be worse: the Alternative Minimum Tax ass-biter will kick in at full force again for THIS tax year, meaning that if you report more than $68K in income and pay Wisconsin income and property taxes (and have children--) you will really get socked when you fill out your 1040 next April.

The AMT particularly punishes those who: 1) have more than two children and 2) pay onerous State/local taxes.

Need a mirror?

Party Of Government?

The designation "Party of Government" applies to those elected (and appointed) individuals who are sucking the money of the taxpayer, usually at the point of the Gummint Gun.

But while the term is accurate and descriptive, I think there can be a minor improvement which will more clearly identify those people and their constituencies:


See, that way, the acronym is P. I. G.

Makes it just a little clearer, eh?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lent Redux

Now playing. Suffering is free!!

Illegal--and All Expenses Paid

It would seem that Captain's Quarters has an interesting little scoop here.

Yesterday I cited the CQ blog which had published an email detailing "the other side of the story" on illegal immigration--that being the story from left-behind Mexican families.

Now CQ publishes some Q&A, and has the following info:

CQ: Do you believe that American business interests deserve the blame for the men abandoning your community?

EF: Honestly, we are not interested in blaming anybody.
It is true that businesses in the United States often ask good workers to invite family members to go and they offer to pay the expenses including what the border coyote charges.

This would be an interesting trail to follow, eh?

Aaaaahhhhhhhnold Wants YOUR Money

So here's the deal: Aaaahhhhhhnold, the semi-Socialist "Republican" governor of California, overspends like, ah, most political hacks on such goodies as "education" and "stem-cell opportunism."

THEN he "finds" that the Feds are not spending enough of OUR money on California levees.

He musta been reading the Nagin/Lott/Stevens Handbook of Governance. You know the one. All fifty-seven chapters deal with ways to steal money from people who live on "other" States (or cities, or counties--depends) and give it to your own personal list of Best Friends.

Henry Maier used the "Infrastructure 101" chapter to create an un-elected taxing district called MMSD. Tommy Thompson used "Infra. 102" when screaming "Stick It To 'Em!!!!" in his most famous speech.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Poverty in Mexico: Derived from Illegal Hiring in US

CQ posts an email from the women of a small southern-Mexico town. The email states that illicit immigration to the US is, in effect, drawing all the men out of Mexico and leaving families (and small businesses in Mexico) in shambles.

He goes on to comment:

This should remind us that the draw of the illicit money offered by American businesses to the poor workers of Mexico and Central America not only takes potential work away from Americans and legal immigrants but also creates a cultural and productivity drain from those areas abandoned by the able men who cross the border. It has the potential to cause social damage for generations in Mexico and other nations. The businesses who offer the work for the men and women draw them from the opportunity to improve their own communities. The men who leave often do so for years, leaving the women behind to fend for themselves and their children.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association and Farm Bureau's "legacy:" broken families, Mexican poverty?? Surely they are proud!!

Perhaps Cdl. "Cesar Chavez" Mahony will speak out about the value of the family?

Mary McCarthy: Treason Count Coming?

As Levin points out, the MSM has gone into the rabbit-hole on Mary McCarthy, who from her position within the CIA revealed secret information about "secret prisons" in Europe.

The NYTimes has reported that the Europeans could not find those prisons--and suddenly, McCarthy was fired from her CIA position.

She was a Sandy "Burglar" Berger protege, put into the CIA during the X42 era. Let us recall that X42 was extremely sloppy about keeping US secrets, too, and was responsible for a great deal of PRChina's military "leap forward."

Looks like the bloggers and Freepers will have to keep us informed on the progress of the case--just like they are doing regarding X42's policy of ignoring or burying terrorism (search Able Danger, Jamie Gorelick, and the 9/11 Commission on the FreeRepublic home page.)

Surprise! Ag Interests and Restaurants Like Illegals

As usual, you have to go all the way to the bottom of the story to find the really good stuff:

Among business groups, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association have lobbied for a guest worker program and against the House bill's stiff penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

The restaurant group also supports a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants, said group CEO Ed Lump.

"We're a growth industry," Lump said. "We need labor. You can't run a restaurant without workers. It gets more and more difficult to hire them."

...The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation also has expressed its opposition to parts of the House bill, chiefly the employer sanctions. Wisconsin is 12th in the nation in the number of hired farm laborers, said Tom Thieding, the federation's public relations director.

"We weren't real successful in him understanding the issues farmers were facing," he said of Sensenbrenner.

That's a hoot. "...the issues farmers are facing..." include what? The "farmer" has no telephone? Can't call the Feds to verify a SSAN?

And just for fun, maybe Thieding would like to show us how many of his members run real family farms--not the "corporate farms" run by tax-scamming investor-class types.

In a meeting with him last year on immigration reform, Sensenbrenner was "just going on about how this was going to be his legacy," Thieding said.

And YOUR legacy, Mr. Thieding? Garbage-strewn border ranches, dead bodies, and drug-runners? I suppose you can claim that, if you like.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Moron on NHTSA "Inattentive" Report

Too long to post, too funny to ignore.

Department of Homeland Stupidity, Chapter 1,655

Yah, that Chertoff--whadda guy!

Fire departments are using Homeland Security grants to buy gym equipment, sponsor puppet and clown shows, and turn first responders into fitness trainers.

The spending choices are allowable under the guidelines of the Assistance to Firefighters grant administered by the Homeland Security Department, which has awarded nearly 250 grants since February totaling more than $25 million out of the current spending pot of $545 million.

In fairness, Chertoff tells us that 'it's Congress who directs the spending...'

But as we've noted earlier, that's not quite true. Most likely, Chertoff could simply ignore the 'earmarks' and not spend the money.

Meanwhile, some Firefighters' Union, somewhere, is enjoying a $69,000.00 "clown show." All this time you thought they just fight fires and do CPR, eh?

UW-Mad Just Doesn't Get It

Once again we see that the Trustees of the UW System let Wiley make an idiot of himself:

Wiley is not happy tht some of the UW students' segregated fees go to the UW Roman Catholic Foundation.

Mark Green thinks it's blatant discrimination.

Wiley comes up with the usual bureaucratic BS, forgetting that other beneficiaries of the seg-fees have the same deficiencies:

"Wiley added in his letter that UWRCF was ineligible for funding since it was not a registered student organization...

"Well, if you check the Student Org. Office list of current Registered Student Orgs, neither is the LGBT Campus Center or the Tenant Resource Center, two groups that have received and will continue to receive seg. fees.

"and [UWRCF] could not receive funding for its maintenance and utilities because it was located at a “non-university” facility."

Alright, then JCC, Multicultural Student Coalition, Sex Out Loud, and CFACT, among others, who rent space in "non-university" facilities should not be funded either.

Wiley's simply clueless.

HT: Letters in Bottles.

A Leaker AND Stupid?

Ms McCarthy, formerly of the CIA, may have bitten on a rubber worm:

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse wonders if the story on CIA detention centers might not have been a sting operation to unmask leakers at Langley. The possibility comes up because on the same day that the CIA terminated Mary McCarthy for her communications to the press, the New York Times reports that European investigators cannot find any evidence that the detention centers ever existed.

...How do intel agencies find leakers and spies? They pass around carefully designed misinformation to selected individuals considered likely suspects, and see what winds up exposed as a result. It's possible that after Porter Goss took over as DCI when George Tenet left, he began mole hunting in a big way. It's certain that the administration would have demanded some action on leaks, and Goss would have been of a similar mind. It appears that the story she gave Dana Priest has a lot less substance than first thought. Two separate investigations by Europe turned up nothing. They have reported on both occasions that no evidence exists to substantiate the story, either of the detention centers or of European cooperation.

McCarthy would have been a classic candidate for this kind of mole hunt. A favorite of the previous administration, having reached the National Security Council, her loss of influence in the new administration could have prompted bitterness and antagonism.

She was a close pal of Sandy Berger. Maybe she stuffed the "evidence" in her undies before giving it to the Washington Post.

Missing from This Story

The JSOnline story about Gonzales' appearance here consists of 9 grafs. The first is straightforward:

U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales was in Milwaukee on Friday to announce a $2.5 million grant to fight gangs, and was also briefed about the Frank Jude Jr. beating case and a jury's acquittal of three former Milwaukee police officers tried in the crime.

As was the last:

The $2.5 million grant will provide $1 million for prevention programs, $1 million for law enforcement and $500,000 for prisoner re-entry, drug treatment and job training programs, he said. Milwaukee is one of six cities to get the grants.

The rest had to do with Frank Jude and Gonzales' personal history as he related it to a number of students from the South Side of Milwaukee.

But somewhere along the line (TV or radio news) there was a LOT more about the reason for the Gang Grant--having to do with the gravity of the gang problem in know, stuff the Mayor and Cop Shop should be concerned about...

But hey! Milwaukee's Mayor will be in the Big Apple this weekend, discussing "Gun Problems" with illuminati such as the Mayors of NYC and Boston.

S'pose they'll mention the gangs=guns connection?


JS headline-writer gets it!

Record high crude prices could crimp gas demand

"Protectionism"--Does It Work?

For those BushBots who insist that "protectionism" is a path to economic doom, a minor bump in the road:

The economic growth of 10 percent recorded by China in 2005 would seem to contradict a tenet of faith of all good democratic capitalists.

China's performance tells us that, contrary to the teachings of free-trade liberals, dictatorship and protectionism do not necessarily ensure stagnation. For China is a one-party state and the most protectionist great nation on earth. Yet, her growth has been unequaled by any free-market rival nation for 15 years.

A few years ago, some White House-ensconced jackass openly disparaged those who are concerned about the loss of industry in the USA as 'yahoos' or some such term, and eschewed "protectionism" as the way to certain doom.

I'd take 10+%/annum growth "doom."

Cardinal Martini (Pal of Rembert) Seeks Friends in MSM

UPDATED: This from LifeSite News:

In the largest and most obvious break with Church teaching, the Cardinal refers to legal abortion as "positive" so far as it has "contributed to reducing and eliminating illegal abortions".

This makes the discussion below almost frivolous.

Cdl. Martini, S.J., who got up to (what, 10?? 15??) votes in the last Papal conclave, definitely misses the spotlight after retirement from his post at Milan. So he emulates X42, mutatis mutandis, and mis-characterizes moral theology. If nothing else, he'll have press lapdogs following him around when Rembert Weakland, OSB, is not visiting.

The key to understanding the Cardinal's mis-understanding is near the end of the story:

However, he acknowledged that in abortion, there were cases when the life of the mother was at risk where abortion might be considered the "lesser evil."

"In such cases, it seems that moral theology has always supported the principle of the legitimate defense and the lesser evil, even if it concerns a reality that shows the dramatic and fragility of the human condition," he said.

Assuming that the quotations are accurate and complete, Martini clearly avoided the Thomistic language of "double effect," and instead chose language which utilizes "proportionalism," condemned by John Paul II.

The Church's teaching on "life-of-the-mother" abortions (utilized for tubal pregnancies, e.g.) has always been phrased using the principle of double effect--where the action and the intention of acting has the effect of defending the mother's life; and a secondary, but un-intended effect is the loss of the life of the unborn child.

This formulation places the moral onus exactly where it belongs: on the actor.

In contrast, utilizing "lesser evil" language moves the emphasis away from the actor and instead places the emphasis on the act, allowing for a "proportional" assessment of the act, which can easily become subjective, rather than objective judgment.

It should also be mentioned that the Cardinal (or the reporter) has deliberately chosen a "hard case:"

"There's also the unique situation of a married couple, one of whom is afflicted with AIDS. That one is obliged to protect the other, and the other must be able to protect him or herself," the cardinal said.

...and has avoided discussion of the clinical reality; it is clear from the evidence that chastity DOES work in those African countries where it has been tried.

Martini went on:

In the wide-ranging interview, Martini also suggested that even single women could be implanted with frozen embryos if the alternative is letting the embryos die. Church teaching holds that all procreation must take place within marriage; the Vatican also opposes many assisted fertility procedures.

Perhaps it is just co-incidence that this followed Benedict XVI's condemnation of the West's increasingly clear desire to destroy the family (delivered at the Stations of the Cross a week ago Friday,) but we doubt it.

What Martini suggests here is that one can remedy an immoral act (the creation of a human being outside of marriage) by another act which is morally questionable and which is inherently opposed to right order: single parenthood. His solution "feels good." But it's not right.

The Cardinal has chosen his friends.

Woman Charged; Butcher Escapes

Tales of Alice in Wonderland, Part Two:

A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement who disrupted a White House appearance by Chinese President Hu Jintao was charged in federal court on Friday with harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official.

One notices that there is a great deal of blogger-land interest in this woman's fate.

Maybe the occupants of the White House noticed the same...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Generals VS the President

Some have commented on this--suffice it to say that the Constitution provides for the election of the Commander-in-Chief every four years. The Pentagon is not eligible for election to that position.

That said, the endorsement of GWB by Genl R. Meyers cuts no baloney in this corner: GWB appointed Meyers' utterly clueless daughter-in-law to a very important Dept of Homeland Security Stupidity post--in charge of INS.

Most Conservatives think that was a move ALMOST as dumb as signing the McPain/Feinie Act To Demolish the First Amendment.

It's debatable, I know...

LawDog on the NOLA Thieves

...we refer, of course, to the LEO's of New Orleans:

You know, when I first heard the rumors of gun confiscations in NOLA during the aftermath of Katrina, I figured it had to be part of the hysteria.

I mean, who the hell would take guns away from citizens during a full-blown, full-on collapse of society? In the middle of Deepinahearta the Southern States?

And given the number of reporters, and the wide availability of digital video recording devices, the lack of published video seemed to back up my thoughts.

Then the Patricia Konie video surfaced. That was bad, but I figured there had to be more to that savage little scene than what was readily apparent.

Boy, was I naive.

After a lawsuit by the NRA and the SAF, plus contempt of court citations, NOLA jackasses reluctantly admitted that they were in possession of a thousand-plus confiscated firearms.

Thousand. Not 'tens', not 'hundreds'. Thousand.


Those knuckle-dragging, nit-witted, mouse-dicked, pea-brained, lard-arsed, desk-driving, cork-screwed little dacoits with delusions of adequacy must have been running around stealing guns at warp speed!Did they bloody well organize shifts for this?

"You , you and you: loot Wal-Mart. You, you , and you: steal guns from any citizen who'll let you get by with it."

That's ... that's ... I really don't have words to express how I feel towards public servants (who are sworn to protect the citizens) stealing from those citizens their only means of protection. WHILE, I might add, LOOTING EVERY FECKING WAL-MART IN SIGHT. ON CAMERA.

Sweet evil Loki, y'all blotted your Eternal Copybook something fierce, I'm here to tell you.

And now, I find, it gets better.

After being forced -- let me repeat that -- after being FORCED to admit to taking lawfully-owned property (we call that 'Stealing' here in Texas), NOLA officials are reluctantly arranging to return said property.

As long as the owners are willing to jump through intricate and complicated hoops.Want your lawfully-owned firearm back? Bring a bill of sale.Bill of sale???!!! I don't fecking well keep the receipts of the guns I've purchased, you sodding ignorati! My grand-father and great-grandfather didn't keep the bills of sale to the guns they passed down to me!

And even if they did, you rat bastard sonsabitches, y'all just went through a BLOODY FLOOD! How in the name of all that is holy are the citizens supposed to find a bill of sale in a house that was UNDER 14 GODS-BE-DAMNED FEET OF WATER??!!

You buggered this whole thing into a cocked hat, YOU FIX IT. Don't dump that responsibility on the citizens who were merely in possession of LEGAL SODDING PROPERTY.

Yes, Gentle Readers, as you might have guessed the track record of Biblical level, pure, grade-A, arse-covering, institutionalized incompetence demonstrated by the officals of NOLA in the past is holding true: it looks as though 25 people showed up to retrieve their lawfully-possessed property -- and 8 received that property. 17 people did NOT get their lawful property returned to them.

What's the difference between a pack of Rover Scouts and New Orleans?

Adult bloody leadership, that's what.

8 people had their legal property returned. Well, hell, that only leaves a thousand or so stolen guns to be returned, doesn't it? Sodding incompetent muckwaddles.

I swear to God, if I worked for NOLA, I'd tell my mama that I was the mop man at an adult theatre and spare her the shame of knowing one of her off-spring had fallen far enough to actually accept employment from the likes of NOLA.

Where the hell is the ATF during all this? Why the hell isn't the ATF six feet up Nagin's butt with a microscope like they are with gun-dealers who mislay guns?

NOLA officials should be horsewhipped around the courthouse square for this.Shame on you. Shame on you all.


And now you know why The LawDog Files are blogrolled here.

Late-Night Radio with Real Action

For those of you who are able to stay awake AFTER Jessica finishes off the leftybonzos, it will be just as exciting--Mark Levin's show begins on WISN radio May 1st.

Who's Mark Levin?

Landmark Legal Foundation today asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate numerous activities by the National Education Association's Wisconsin affiliate, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) that may have violated federal tax law.

The WEAC made a total of $430,000 in contributions to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) that weren't reported on WEAC's tax returns. The DLCC is a political organization formed by the Democratic National Committee to provide funding and logistical assistance to state legislative campaigns around the country. The WEAC contributions, which were reported by the DLCC on its tax filings, were made in 2000 and 2002, and were apparently used by the DLCC to underwrite state legislative campaigns in California and elsewhere.

WEAC is a 501(c)(5) tax-exempt union under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). As a 501(c)(5), WEAC is required to report and pay federal income tax on almost any general revenue funds used for political purposes, including contributions made by the union to political organizations like the DLCC (called 527s, for the section of the IRC under which they areformed.) WEAC's own 527, the Wisconsin Education Association Council -- Political Action Committee (WEAC-PAC), also did not report the DLCC contributions in question on their tax filings.

In addition to both the WEAC and DLCC tax filings, and the tax returns of WEAC-PAC, Landmark's complaint includes media reports and other information detailing the use of apparently tax-exempt revenues by the union to fund overtly political contributions.

"Wisconsin's teachers should be outraged that their union is apparently using their dues money to fund political contributions to California state legislative campaigns," explained Landmark President Mark R. Levin. "And they should be furious that their leaders appear to be thumbing their noses at legal reporting requirements to advance their own political agendas without their members' knowledge or consent."

S'pose Folkbum will be a regular caller on Levin's show?

The Pill and Abortion: More Efficacious than The Plague

The Russkis, of all people, are depopulating:

Today the Washington Times reports on a Russian Parliamentary hearing on "family policy," at which it was reported that nearly half of Russia's families have no children at all, and another 34% have only one. Russia's current birthrate is 1.34 per woman, far below the rate needed for population equilibrium. At the current rate, Russia's population will be cut in half by the year 2050.

This implies a rate of depopulation greater, on a percentage basis, than when the Black Death killed around one-third of Europe's residents. Villages, towns, and even cities will be deserted and cease to exist. Or else they will be occupied by someone other than the Russians.

Next thing you know, Planned Parenthood will be taking credit...

Department of Homeland Stupidity, Chapter 1,654

Yah, so Chertoff's boyzz finally did the RIGHT thing and will charge a bunch of management-types with knowingly employing around 1200 illegals. About time. And by the way, Mikie, what about that Illinois-based company which has the largest single cache of invalid SSAN numbers on its payroll?

But we digress. Captain's Quarters brings us this great story about How To Screw Up Reconstruction (not quite as bad as post-Civil War...)

After almost eight months, much of the debris left behind by the hurricane and massive flooding has still not been removed -- which must happen before rebuilding can begin. One of [Louisiana State Rep.] Steve [Scalise's] constituents hired a private contractor to get the job done at $15 per cubic foot, but was warned repeatedly by FEMA officials that they would not reimburse him for the work since it had not gone through proper channels. After debating the point with FEMA for a while, the Louisianan gave up and applied for removal through FEMA. Instead of spending $15 per cubic foot, FEMA paid the new contractor $35 per cubic foot. Given that New Orleans has millions of cubic feet of debris to remove, the extra $20/cf will explode the costs of the cleanup.

Oh, and one other point about this anecdote: the contractor FEMA hired subbed the job to the original contractor hired by the constituent -- who got the same $15/cf that the constituent negotiated.

In a related issue, much of the debris could be recycled, such as steel and other materials. However, to the extent that anything has been cleaned up, 100% of it is going into landfills, a diminishing resource in the hurricane areas. The contractors hired by FEMA do not get paid any money for material that cannot be documented as ending up in the landfill, where it can be measured. Also, any money that the contractor receives for the recyclable material has to be given to FEMA in full. Without any incentive to spend time separating recyclable material to salvage the raw materials that could be used in rebuilding, it's all going into the trashheap instead.

Tell me that isn't a government program.

I thought that only Ripley could imagine such complete and utter buffoonery. Turns out Ripley may have simply perused Gummint policy books for his material.

SB 629

Kevin never sends ME any letters...

But he does send them to Patrick, the BadgerBlogger, and he mentions SB 629, which would impose a life term on the perverts who commit first-degree sexual assault on a child.

In effect, this would move the Chapter 980 predators OUT of Sand Hill ($116K/year maintenance-per-pervert) and back to prison ($26+K/year maintenance-per-person.)

Assuming, of course, that the perp survives the shower room at Waupun. Prisoners are notoriously displeased with child-rapists.

Let's see how BagMan handles this one.

The White House Protester

Info not easily available:

Dr. Wang Wanyi, a medical physician, a graduate of American University, an accredited journalist with Epoch Times, a New York area resident, an American citizen, is charged by the Federals with disorderly conduct and with intimidating and disturbing a foreign official, for her bold, accurate Mandarin statement during the joint press conference at the White House by Bush and Hu, that Hu is a criminal and an evil person.

"Intimidating and disturbing a foreign official?"

Yah. Here, if you're a butcher and guest of the White House, it's really, really easy to be "intimidated."

One hopes that Our President will immediately issue a pardon, and do so in a VERY ostentatious manner.

Chernobyl and Waukesha

Althouse caught this. Seems that radiation isn't necessarily bad for "living things."

There is a distinction to be made between animals which stay in one place, such as mice, and larger animals - elks, say - which move in and out of contaminated land as they range over large areas.

The animals that wander widely end up with a lower dose of radiation than animals stuck in a radiation hotspot.

The elk population has boomed in the absence of human interferenceBut there are signs that these unfortunate creatures can adapt to their circumstances.

Sergey Gaschak has experimented on mice in the Red Forest, parts of which are slowly growing back, albeit with stunted and misshapen trees.

"We marked animals then recaptured them again much later," he says.

"And we found they lived as long as animals in relatively clean areas."

Where else but Chernobyl...

Actually, University of Pittsburgh research indicates that some radiation is actually GOOD for you. That explains the attraction of Waukesha's fabled "spring water" spas back in the early 1900's, where bathing in the (radiation-heavy) water seemed to cure a number of ills.

Silly Waukesha. If it hadn't been for the Goodness of Our Federal Government, those folks out there would STILL be drinking that water. Instead, the City of Waukesha can now pay $$bazillions to import water from Milwaukee, drill deeper wells, etc., etc.

All to avoid the fate of the critters at Chernobyl.

The Rain Forest and Democrat Governors' Fund

Here's a fellow whose cash is spread around:

Under an agreement approved unanimously Thursday by the museum's board, control of the 820-acre rain forest will be handed over to a new not-for-profit foundation led by philanthropist Lynde Uihlein, who helped buy the property in the mid-1990s.

He's into this deal for $350,000.

Yesterday's WISN-radio news also tells us that Lynde Uihlein contributed $100K to a Democrat Governor's Fund--the money will be used by Jim Doyle's re-election campaign.

Jamie Gorelick--Another Stonewall

Jamie Gorelick was a Clinton Administration Justice Department lawyer. She was (and still is) an expert at stonewalling. You will recall that Ms. Gorelick not only set up the "Chinese wall" which prevented the FBI from communicating with the CIA/NSA about potential international terrorism--but that, in addition, she served on the 9/11 Commission, which whitewashed the Clinton Administration's complete failure to act on information about terrorism.

Well, Jamie Gorelick had even MORE information--this time related to the TWA 800 downing.

In the summer of 1996, Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was being held for trial in New York for the notorious Bojinka plot, his plan to blow up a dozen American commercial airliners over the Pacific more or less simultaneously – a plan that he was scarily capable of executing. Over time, Yousef had grown to trust the younger Scarpa, his neighbor in the next cell.

Yousef used Junior's connections to pass information to the outside world, little knowing that Scarpa was routing much of it through his own FBI handlers.

....Scarpa Jr. passed along to the FBI detailed information from Yousef, including specific threats against U.S. airlines, the identity of countries through which terrorists were entering the United States, and instructions for smuggling explosives, specifically the use of shoe bombs.

What is undeniable is that the day after TWA Flight 800 blew up off the coast of Long Island, Yousef asked for a mistrial, citing the now prejudicial environment post-explosion. He was denied. By allowing him to communicate overseas, however, the Justice Department may well have unwittingly assisted Yousef in his effort to destroy that ill-fated plane.

...Although the FBI did not initiate the TWA Flight 800 cover-up – that surely came from the White House – the Devecchio problem may have induced its key agents to cooperate. After five weeks of dogged investigation, Kallstrom and the FBI abandoned all serious inquiry following an Aug. 22 meeting with Deputy Attorney General – and future 9-11 commisssioner – Jamie Gorelick.

Another name to watch emerges, as well:

...It should be noted that the FBI's current chief counsel, Valerie Caproni, was the Clinton Justice official who oversaw Scarpa's work with Yousef. To thicken the plot, it was also Caproni who illegally ordered the FBI to take the TWA Flight 800 investigation away from the National Transportation Safety Board and who arranged the prosecution of James and Elizabeth Sanders for James Sanders' reporting on the TWA Flight 800 investigation. The absurdly compromised Caproni had any number of reasons for keeping Scarpa out of the light and the Devecchio case under wraps.

If you need some memory-refreshment on Ms. Gorelick, see Captain's Quarters and search on the term Able Danger. Briefly, Able Danger was the report that the 9/11 Commission "never saw"--but of course, that is a lie--and the report that made clear that the Clinton Gang was either asleep, OR was deliberately ignoring a real and significant threat to national security.

It's up to you to guess which...