Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wisconsin Bingo-Gaming Law Should Be Amended

Some commentators think that the church or the cop-shop should be "the bad guys" for putting the kibosh on a seniors-only social bingo game held at Southridge.

I disagree.

The State Legislature is the "bad guy" for having legislated this asinine crap in the first place.

And the State Legislature's "leaders" should re-write the law to exempt these penny-ante games.


Those who advocate "ignoring" the law are wrong. Stupid laws should simply be eliminated, because "stupid" laws only breed contempt for law, legislators, and police.

And our Legislators don't want to be contemptible, do they?

Flessas v. Marlin Schneider

Under "logorrhea" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Snarly the Pig.

If you want to know why, click here.

Thanks to Bob Flessas for asking the question succintly, and for publishing Marlin's unhinged and utterly full-of-crap response.

WISN Host Fisher Breaks a Big Story: DMV/WI Helps the Illegals

Here's the top of the fold graf:

If Osama Bin Laden came to a Wisconsin DMV customer service center, affirmed he was an illegal alien, presented two forms of identification and one proof of residency in his own name, he would be issued a Wisconsin ID card. Unless he caused a disturbance or displayed a document that was clearly fraudulent, the police would not be notified.... Once he had his Wisconsin document, Osama would then qualify to get taxpayer benefits, vote in the next election, and do untold harm to our society. (anonymous letter to the reporter)


In Wisconsin, neither American citizenship nor legal residency in the country is required to get a drivers license or an official state ID. A foreign birth certificate, which a DMV employee may or may not be able to read or check for authenticity may be used to show a person’s name and date and place of birth, or a signed credit card may be used as proof of identity. And proof of residency may be verified using a paycheck stub, a state welfare card, or a utility bill. Because Wisconsin has lax standards, it has become a magnet for illegal immigrants. Using Wisconsin documents, ordinary illegal immigrants or international terrorists are able to begin to create identities in this country that cannot be distinguished from native Americans.

Raising the question of "Who ISSUED These Orders?" is the following:

DMV rules, Steines [a recently-retired DMV employee] said, mandate that DMV frontline agents not only issue state IDs and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, they threaten those agents who refuse to issue them with being fired for insubordination

So who are Doyle's Boyzzz (Frankie Busalacchi & Co.) giving valid State ID's to?

Several current DMV agents agreed to speak with THE NEW AMERICAN under the condition of complete anonymity because they are speaking as private citizens and fear reprisals. One of them said that on multiple occasions he has had Hispanics at his service counter who sported viewable tattoos of MS-13, one of the ultra-violent Hispanic gangs originating south of the border that are plaguing the United States.

DMV personnel are not allowed to inquire if they have a green card or current passport authorizing their presence in this country.

...DMV rules actually go in the opposite direction, making getting a driver’s license almost assured. The DMV has a form called the Social Security Number Noneligibility Certification for foreigners, through which they can bypass requirements for presenting a S.S. number. Making the system more of a farce is a DMV rule requiring employees to accept almost any form or document, from any country, in any language, as proof of identification as long as the document appears genuine. Since DMV employees may not be able to read Spanish, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, or whatever other language the document is printed in, it’s impossible to know for sure what they are being asked to authenticate. Moreover, the DMV employees are told to accept as valid ID the matricula consular card, an ID card issued by the Mexican consulate that the FBI has warned against accepting as proof of identification because of rampant fraud.

Federal Criminals, DMV Employees!! All at the same time!!

Federal law, Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii), says that anyone who helps an illegal in any way whatsoever (this would include issuing documents to them) is in violation of federal law and shall “be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.” Yet Wisconsin DMV employees are told that even if someone at their counter admits to being in the United States illegally, the employees are supposed to pretend that they did not hear the remark and go about issuing them a license or ID anyway.

Are these aliens just MS-13 gang-bangers? Nope. Worse.

There is, according to one unnamed source within the DMV, strong evidence that people who are out to harm the United States are operating freely throughout the country, using Wisconsin IDs or driver’s licenses to aid them.

How many?

According to the DMV personnel we interviewed, there has been a veritable flood of illegal immigrants besieging DMV offices to get IDs and licenses over the past four years. Illegal immigrants arrive at DMV stations almost daily. On some days they represent the bulk of a service center’s customers, especially in the southeastern and mideastern parts of the state. Because of the extra time that DMV officials must spend aiding foreign license applicants, costs rise.

Estimates of the number of illegals who have Wisconsin IDs and driver’s licenses are somewhere in the area of 350,000 to 400,000.

One hopes that JB VanHollen is in contact this very minute with the US Attorneys in Milwaukee and Madistan.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tridentine Rite in Milwaukee Moves

The authorized Tridentine Rite Mass in the Milwaukee area will be moving to St. Stanislaus Parish, corner 5th Street at Mitchell St., in the near future.

It is expected that a priest-member of the FSSP (Fraternity of St. Peter) will come to Milwaukee to take on administrative and spiritual-care duties for the group, now numbering in the 400's of souls.

A date for the move has not yet been announced, nor a Mass-schedule.

Surprise!! Bp. Marini Doesn't Like CDW

Those of us who watched (in some pain) the liturgical gyrations forced on John Paul II by the head of the Papal Ceremonies office, Bp. Marini, are not going to be surprised.

[Fr. Keith Pecklers, S.J.] mentioned Archbishop Piero Marini, the papal master of ceremonies, who for years stood by Pope John Paul II when he presided at Mass. Pecklers said Marini has a book coming out next year blaming the "liturgy wars" on the Congregation for Divine Worship, an office of the Vatican that oversees worship for the Catholic Church worldwide. It's a matter of control.

The gimlet-eyed John Allen (NcR) comments thus:

"The Congregation of Divine Worship is much more conservative, sober, Romanesque," Allen said. "The Office of Liturgical Celebration doesn't buy that at all. Their liturgies are more modern, dynamic, expressive." He joked that the [Pope's] liturgical office staff "try to set a record for how many liturgical rules they can break in one papal Mass. These things usually have dance numbers that rival 'Cats.'"

That 'staff' would be employees of Bp. Marini. And a better phrase than "modern, dynamic, expressive" would be "wet, wild, and wacky".

Marini is the very model of the modern Lit-ur-Geist-i-cal.


"Card-Check" Is the Small Elephant in the Bill

If you thought that the "card-check" provision in “The Employee Free Choice Act,” was the worst of it, you're wrong.

According to the EFCA, when a nonunion company is unionized through the card-check method, management and labor would only have 90 days to settle a contract. After that, the union could force the newly unionized company into government-supervised mediation.

In reality, negotiations for new contract terms almost always take longer than 90 or 120 days, especially when management and labor are negotiating for the first time.

So what happens if they don't reach agreement?

If union and management still have not reached an agreement in another 30 days, a government-appointed arbitrator would set the final binding contract terms.

Yup. The Feds decide wages, bennies, and conditions.

HT: Betsy's Page

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reasons to Like Lent

The Ironic Catholic has done it again.

Some selected "good things" about Lent:

40. Dark Lenten purple really jazzes up the winter landscape.

37. Saying "alleluia" all the time was getting kind of tired, anyway.

34. Every pagan in town thinks you look kind of interesting and goth with the ashes.

31. Lent: because you love tuna casserole.

Some Twit Hollywooder and a Tomb

A couple of interesting facts, from Singing in the Reign:

Cameron has found a burial box with the name "Jesus" inscribed on it. Actually, it says, "Yeshua" or "Joshua"--the Aramaic name translated "Jesus" in the Gospels. The question is, how does he know this is the Jesus?

In the first century, Joshua was a very popular name. The Israeli scholar Tal Ilan has published a remarkable book, Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity: Part I: Palestine 330 BCE-200 CE (Tubingen: Mohr, 2002). In this book, Ilan has collected the names of all those known from ancient works and archeological discoveries, such as burial sites and inscriptions.

...Bauckham builds on Ilan's work to show that from the evidence, it would seem that in Jesus day the name "Joshua" or "Jesus" was the sixth most common name given to Jewish children.

What about "Son of Joseph"?

Joseph was the second most popular name!

Well, certainly. But what about "Mary"?

Mary was one of the most popular names for women in Jesus' day.

As to the "Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a son" routine:

But Cameron goes on to claim that this Jesus he's found must be the Jesus of the New Testament. Why? Because he had a son named Judah who was the son of Miriam, or Mary. Cameron says, clearly this was Jesus' wife--Mary Magdalene. ...aside from the fact that there is no record that Jesus was ever romantically involved with Mary Magdalene, there is absolutely no indication anywhere that Jesus had a son named Judah.

What's clear here is that Cameron wants to sell something. Anything, so long as it engenders a "taxable event" like income...

Missing Something at Church?

An area Liturgeist (thankfully no longer in the Western Suburbs) was in the habit of removing the Holy Water from the fonts at the entrances to church during Lent.

The Liturgeists had convened, were boiling their pot and chanting 'Bubble, Bubble, HOW Can We Trouble (our parishioners)' when one of them crowed and screeched that removing Holy Water was perfectly consonant with the Lenten fast.

Liturgeists are not able to recognize the difference between sacramentals and choice-beef...

Rome's opinion?

This Dicastery [Divine Worship] is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:

1. The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.

2. The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments and sacramentals is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The "fast" and "abstinence" which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church.

The practice of the Church has been to empty the Holy Water fonts on the days of the Sacred Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil, and it corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated (i.e., Good Friday and Holy Saturday).

(March 14, 2000)

Orthometer has a list of "alternative fillings" for the holy-water fonts, and none of them surprise me.

Of course, when I encountered one of those 'alternative fillers', I simply dumped the contents on the floor. It was penance for the Liturgeist, who had to sweep it up, I suppose.

Pocan, the Economist

OK, I lied in the headline.

HT to Jenna, though, for pointing out this post, which may have been jointly-written with a local PBS host-ette.

I'm sympathetic with Pocan's plight: stuck in a small room with a highly-paid (and likely arrogant) lobbyist can be painful.

But perhaps the lobbyist also has some regrets about being stuck in a small room with an overpaid moron who happens to have some power.

Nouveau Riche, meet Nouveau Puissant.

Tosa's Mayor: Safety? Last...

In Wauwatosa, like Milwaukee, there's an ordinance which requires that homeowners clear snow from their sidewalks. This is for the safety of people who actually USE the sidewalks.

If you don't follow the rule, you can be ticketed and fined.

Thus, it is ironic that Mayor-ette Estness' very own City Hall and Library's sidewalks were snow-filled today (Monday) as late as 8:25 AM. Children walking to Longfellow Middle School were struggling, slipping, and sliding over the lumpy hillocks of ice and snow, dangerously close to Wauwatosa Ave (76th st) and North Ave.

Maybe Alderman McGee can instruct the Mayor-ette on the principles of Good Neighbor-ship.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sinless Suburbia

You can draw your own conclusions.

I have in my nicotine-stained hands the schedule of Confession-times for FOUR west-suburban parishes, which between them serve a minimum of 5,000 Catholics over the age of 8.

The schedule?

2+ hours TOTAL (between all the Parishes) on Saturdays (the "+" accounts for one Parish which lists a start-time, but no end-time);

and 30 minutes TOTAL on non-Saturdays.

Let's say 3.0 hours every week, total, over 4 parishes.

Shall we assume that there are two priests hearing confessions during those hours in each parish?

Fine. That makes 6.0 hours.

BushBoyzzz' Economy Problems

From no less than the Washington Times, which is not considered a "pro-labor" paper, the following:

...Early each month, when the employment figures are released, the White House triumphantly issues a press release celebrating the number of jobs that were created during the preceding month and since August 2003. But the Bush-Cheney administration entered office more than two and a half years before August 2003.

The job-creation numbers since August 2003 do appear to be impressive. Nonfarm employment, for example, increased by 7.329 million jobs from September 2003 through December 2006. Compared to previous administrations, however, the overall Bush administration jobs numbers are significantly inferior...

...The 4.663 million jobs created during the 2001-2006 period amount to fewer than 65,000 per month. More than 1.3 million (18,100 per month) of these jobs were added in the government sector. Thus, fewer than 47,000 nonfarm payroll jobs have been added each month (on average) in the private sector during the last six years (0.5 percent per year). The Reagan administration added more than 150,000 private jobs per month during its eight years. Private payrolls increased by nearly 225,000 jobs per month during the Clinton administration.

...Confining ourselves to the 40-month cherry-picked period (September 2003 to December 2006), we find that private-sector employment has been rising by 170,000 jobs per month (1.8 percent per year). Throughout the eight years of the Reagan and Clinton presidencies, private nonfarm payrolls grew by 2.3 percent and 2.7 percent per year, respectively. In other words, private employment grew more than five times as fast during the Clinton administration as it did during the first six years of the Bush administration.

Productivity (output per hour) in the nonfarm business sector was 18.6 percent higher during the fourth quarter of 2006 than it was six years earlier. However, the real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) average hourly wage for private-sector production and nonsupervisory workers (80 percent of the workforce) was only 3.5 percent higher over the same six-year period. During the previous six years (1995-2000), this wage increased more than twice as fast.

...In a new series of income data, the Labor Department recently reported that the real median weekly earnings of wage and salary workers employed full-time during last year's fourth quarter had increased only 0.6 percent since the fourth quarter of 2000. For men working full-time, median weekly earnings actually declined by 0.8 percent over the same six-year period.

The Census Bureau publishes annual income data for households and full-time workers. The latest data are for 2005, whose annualized productivity level was 16.5 percent higher than 2000's and 23.3 percent higher than that in 1998. Nevertheless, the median household income in 2005 was 2.7 percent below the 2000 median level and still less than the median level in 1998. Real median earnings in 2005 for full-time, year-round male workers were less than their 1998 level.

In its fact sheet issued after the January employment numbers were released, the White House reported that "real after-tax income per person has risen by 9.8 percent" since 2000. ...the average annual rate of increase (1.6 percent) is less than the average annual rate during the Carter administration (1.9 percent), the Reagan administration (2.5 percent) and the Clinton administration (1.8 percent)....

I'm sure the BushBots have a response. Look for the paper-hanging and happy-talk during the next week, as it's 'splained away in terms of "health-care costs."

But before you swallow THAT line whole, compare "health-care cost" acceleration during the Clinton Administration.

One possible hypothesis: the cost of regulation and taxes in the USA are so burdensome that it is no longer worthwhile to create private-sector jobs here, aside from at Starbucks. Of course, the next question is "compared to where?" and the answer is Red China and India.

Since the Bush Administration has not seen fit to counteract the PRChinese full-scale assault on US labor, (you know--realistic pricing for the Yuan, a counter for PRC's super-aggressive export finance policies, not to mention slave-labor) it could be concluded that GWB doesn't understand what a trade-war really is.

Hint to George: we're losing it.

The Problem with "No Child Left Behind"

It's only one short proposition, but it defies the laws of mathematics (ironic, from an "education" law, no?)

Despite the many small reforms advocated in the Commission's report "Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation’s Children" (222 page PDF), not one word of criticism is uttered against the original legislation's most important and implausible requirement: "that all children should reach a proficient level of academic achievement by 2014" in math and reading.

The report declares this goal of 100 percent proficiency by 2014 to be "audacious … morally right … and attainable."

What they don't mention about this demand: It's nuts.

"Proficient" is a technical term in Ed-speak—the second highest of the five levels of achievement in school testing, roughly equivalent to a solid B. So the NCLB law requires that all students be B students within seven years…just like in Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon, "where all the children are above average."


So what are the results of this ridiculous "goal"? You guessed it:

Each state is allowed to concoct its own test to determine whether its own students have reached "proficiency," which the state can define however it pleases.

Not surprisingly, practically every single state cheats in order to meet the law. For example, Mississippi, that intellectual powerhouse, recently declared that 89 percent of its 4th graders were at least "proficient" in reading.

Unfortunately, however, on the federal government's impartial National Assessment of Educational Progress test, only 18 percent of Mississippi students were "proficient" or "advanced."

I would expect that the critics of Wisconsin's DPI (which has also jiggered its testing) would now look more carefully at the Bush/Kennedy NCLB Act--which Tommy Thompson did NOT do in the report cited above--and call for the repeal of NCLB.

Wanna bet on that happening?

HT: VDare

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Gun Ban Proposal from Carolyn the Kook!

In brief, just turn in most of your rifles, some pistols, and a few shotguns, too.

Rep. "Kook" McCarthy is from New York City; apparently she confers with Rudy G. (Gun-Banner, He) about these things.

(And a most ironic bill number, to boot, as the Ruger 10/22 is easily the most popular .22 rifle made in the world.)

H.R. 1022 would ban every gun banned by the Clinton ban, plus millions more guns, including:

  • Every gun made to comply with the Clinton ban. (The Clinton ban dictated the kinds of grips, stocks and attachments new guns could have. Manufacturers modified new guns to the Clinton requirements. H.R. 1022 would ban the modified guns too.)
  • Guns exempted by the Clinton ban. (Ruger Mini-14s and -30s and Ranch Rifles; .30 cal. carbines; and fixed-magazine, semi-automatic, center-fire rifles that hold more than 10 rounds.)
  • All semi-automatic shotguns. (E.g., Remington, Winchester, Beretta and Benelli, used for hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense. H.R. 1022 would ban them because they have "any characteristic that can function as a grip," and would also ban their main component, called the "receiver.")
  • All detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles-including, for example, the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 .22 rimfire-because they have "any characteristic that can function as a grip."
  • Target shooting rifles. (E.g., the three centerfire rifles most popular for marksmanship competitions: the Colt AR-15, the Springfield M1A and the M1 "Garand.")
  • Any semi-automatic shotgun or rifle an Attorney General one day claims isn't "sporting," even though the constitutions of the U.S. and 44 states, and the laws of all 50 states, recognize the right to use guns for defense.
  • 65 named guns (the Clinton law banned 19 by name); semi-auto fixed-magazine pistols of over 10 rounds capacity; and frames, receivers and parts used to repair or refurbish guns.

H.R. 1022 would also ban the importation of magazines exempted by the Clinton ban, ban the sale of a legally-owned "assault weapon" with a magazine of over 10 rounds capacity, and begin backdoor registration of guns, by requiring private sales of banned guns, frames, receivers and parts to be conducted through licensed dealers. Finally, whereas the Clinton Gun Ban was imposed for a 10-year trial period, H.R. 1022 would be a permanent ban.

Not likely this is going anywhere, but you've been warned.

Source: NRA Newsletter.

"Memory-Hole" the Iraq Resolution. Reid, Biden, Levin are Crazy

While they're at it, they could "un-resolve" the Bill of Rights, too. Or create legislation un-doing Hurricane Katrina.

About as realistic.

Senators Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and Carl Levin have crafted a resolution to declare null and void the Senate's 2002 vote giving President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq.

HT: FreedomEden

But Does Lott Have "Bad Hair Day" Insurance?

Ol' Trent Lott, disgraced (and disgraceful) at his slimy best:

...which industry would be first to feel the new majority's populist rage. Oil? Pharma? Banks? Corporate America just got its answer, direct from the angriest man to have been empowered in the past election: Republican Sen. Trent Lott.

The Mississippian was "infuriated" by the insurance industry's refusal to shell out for certain Katrina claims, most notably his own. So Mr. Lott is spearheading a ferocious campaign of political revenge that would make even Henry Waxman envious--replete with investigations, voracious trial lawyers, ambitious state attorneys general and threats of punitive federal legislation. And like most personal grievances that get morphed into policy battles, it's ending badly for consumers.

Somebody should have simply put this animal out of his misery years ago. And it should have been a Republican who did it.

This is particularly galling:

Mr. Lott's beachfront property in Pascagoula--one of three homes he owned--was swept away entirely by Hurricane Katrina's waters. Like many Gulf Coast residents, Mr. Lott was soon reminded by his insurer, State Farm, that his policy only covered wind damage--not flood damage. The senator surely knew that, which is why he'd also purchased federal flood insurance. According to his flood policy that was in effect when Katrina hit, he was covered up to $350,000 in flood damages, and he presumably collected in full.

But $350K was not enough for the Cheerleader-In-Toupee! Nosirreee Bob!!

First was to pay a call to the favorite mob squad of the left, the plaintiffs' bar. Quicker than you can say "tort reform," Dickie Scruggs, the legal kingpin who engineered Mississippi's tobacco shakedown, was representing Mr. Lott in a high-profile lawsuit against State Farm.

In July of last year, [Lott] placed a call to Chuck Chamness, the CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, to let the industry know what was coming. Mr. Chamness later sent a letter to Mr. Lott, summing up the call. The key passage: "Your comment that you will dedicate your next term of office to 'bringing down State Farm and the industry' through all means available to you, including legislation designed to harm the property/casualty insurance industry, was very unsettling, to say the least."

Makes you wonder whether the Small Gummint crowd might have a point, no?

Lott is revealing the sleaze which Mississippi pols ordinarily keep under white sheets wraps very carefully. Let's hope that he not only loses the next election, but that this activity as a Senator is deemed criminal. Then he can lose his pension, too--and have only his sheets trailer-park housing to keep him warm.

DarthDoyle's Dollars Cost Dearly


The beginning of the end?

Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha late Friday abruptly withdrew from the $808 million tribal casino project on which he's invested years and millions of dollars.

The surprise move came as the FBI was investigating the thousands in campaign donations the Troha family has made to Gov. Jim Doyle.

Criminal defense lawyer Franklyn Gimbel, who is representing Troha in the matter, declined to discuss specifics of the investigation, though he confirmed that he has talked to federal prosecutors on behalf of Troha.

"Right now it's a sensitive discussion that I'm having, and that's the end of the story," Gimbel said before Friday's announcement that Troha was out of the deal. "The discussions are with the U.S. attorney."

Frankie Gimbel's one of the best. Any one of his HATS cost more than my car. This is no longer a garden-variety 'sniff-about' by any means.

Fed Judge Wolf Affirms Totalitarian Scheme in Schools

This story is becoming more interesting.

A federal judge in Massachusetts has ordered the "gay" agenda taught to Christians who attend a public school in Massachusetts, finding that they need the teachings to be "engaged and productive citizens."

U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf yesterday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality

Q) When did the doctrine of In Loco Parentis disappear? A) When the public schools abandoned it. Some claim that the Dewey-ite public school system was instituted precisely to 'homogenize' children into 'good little citizens.' Didn't even work well in Russia...

...Wolf's claims followed very closely the reasoning submitted earlier in a brief by Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and other advocates for the "gay" agenda.

As to the "just leave during this class" exception (which is allowed, e.g., in the Elmbrook School system):

...the judge concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where the religious beliefs were being violated wasn't a reasonable expectation.

Wolf's "reasoning" resembles SC Justice Kennedy's "whatever you wanna believe" (Casey)

"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote.

Parker [the complainant] was arrested and jailed in Lexington in April 2005 over his request – and the school's refusal – to notify him when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his 6-year-old kindergartner. That despite a state law requiring such notification.

An appeal has already been planned.

Those public-school teachers who plead for 'parental support' of their authority have just had the ground cut out from under their feet. There's no 'quid pro quo' left here--so why should a parent make an effort?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pay Attention to Your Instincts

The LawDog analyzes a video and shows us that the victim was WAAAAYYYYYYY too PC.

Here's the link. Lawdog's narration is spot-on--and you should take notes.

The Carlyle Chrysler?

Und so, Dieter wants to dispose of Chrysler. Who will buy?

One very interesting possibility is the Carlyle Group (in which George HW Bush is an investor,) according to news stories.

Carlyle did the right thing with Rexnord when they purchased it from a 'smash/grab/bleed' prior owner, returning the Company to profitability, investing capital where required, and "shaping it up" in general.

The good news/bad news: Carlyle is not an "auto nut" bunch, which means that 'mystique' is not their thing. This will make the usual bunch of auto-writers cry and wail. On the other hand, Carlyle DOES manage well; if anyone can resolve Chrysler's problems, these guys will.

HT: RedState

The Libby Case: End-Game

Easily the most comprehensive coverage of the Libby "trial" is found here.

His conclusion?

I will offer this Bold Prediction - win, lose, or draw, Libby never spends a day in prison. He will remain free pending appeals; if the case is remanded, it will be dropped; otherwise, he will be pardoned.

And more Bold Predictions - this "investigation" (which did not make a serious attempt to establish Ari Fleischer's or Tim Russert's credibility by calling John Dickerson and David Gregory as well as Andrea Mitchell) is over, and Fitzgerald will not be in charge of the appeals. Why not? Well, partly because his own conduct, including but not limited to his
outrageous close, will be one basis for the appeal.

Clearly, Fitzgerald (a GWB appointee) is an ass. Russert has problems with credibility, but he's Not As Bad As Dan Rather.

Altogether, another waste of taxpayer dollars.

A BB in the Back of the Neck? Near Appropriate

Despite the angst expressed by Jessica, I think that the mom in question did almost the most appropriate thing.

It happened early Tuesday morning in the 6600 Block of W Sheridan in Milwaukee. Police say the 48-year-old mother used a BB gun to shoot the 16-year-old boy. She hit the boy in the back of his neck and finger. He was treated and released from the hospital.

The mom should have hit him in the ass.

The "back of the neck" shot was a little dicey, but maybe she's a target-shooter.

BB's sting, but are not fatal. They CAN injure someone--but BB guns are really toys.

Too bad she didn't have a .410 with a load of salt.

Chisholm's boyzzz should take a pass.

100,000 Hits

Based on the charts so far, this blog will have 100,000 hits by Monday the 26th.

It could happen sooner if all 28 readers double-up on Saturday.

Thanks. This has been fun!

The Second Amendment's Clear Purpose

Clay Cramer puts the cards on the table.

Let me be very clear about this: the Second Amendment didn't guarantee a right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of hunting.

...The Second Amendment guaranteed a right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of revolution.

What sort of guns does the Second Amendment protect? Into the 1980s, Handgun Control used to cite decisions such as Aymette v. State (Tenn. 1840) which explained that the purpose of the right was:

being armed, they may as a body rise up to defend their just rights, and compel their rulers to respect the laws.

We can be sure that the WI Supremes (Screechin'Shirley'sGang) will not interpret the Wisconsin RKBA Amendment in the same fashion--

So what "kinds" of guns are American citizens Constitutionally entitled to own and use?

There's nothing wrong with your Remington 870 for hunting ducks. There's nothing wrong with your .30-30 for deer hunting. They can be used (with some limitations) for the Constitutional purpose of making the government remember for whom it works. But the guns that the Second Amendment primarily protects are those best suited to overthrowing an oppressive government. And yes, that's your AR-15, AK-47, M1A, and even nasty little assault handguns that I don't particularly like, such as the TEC-9 or MAC-10.

Not to mention the lovely and gracious .50 cal., whose persuasive powers can be demonstrated at 1,000 yards or so.

The Government-Union Attitude in a Nutshell

In a story about generous Government-employee pensions which both Charlie and Owen cite, there's a very telling quote from an AFSCME official:

Supporters of government pensions say the decline in private pensions is the problem, not the generosity of public retirement plans. "Rather than lower the bar for public employees, we need to stabilize retirement programs for everyone," says Richard Ferlauto, director of pension and benefit policy for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union with 1.4 million members.

Really? Quite cavalier, Mr. Ferlauto.

Mr. Ferlaouto's pals have leverage that private industry does not: the Government gets its funding at the point of a gun. (Unless you consider bank-robbers to be "private industry," I suppose...)

Perhaps it never occurred to the AFSCME membership that their pensions are stuffed full at the expense of taxpayers--a group which includes "private industry." The more taxes and regulatory costs industry has to bear, the less that's left over for pensions.

Let the Intelligent Discussion on Iraq Begin

Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) has always been a level-headed Midwestern-values kinda guy. That's why he's re-elected in an area which is 'borderline' in terms of party affiliation.

Ryan visited Iraq for a few days last week, and made some trenchant observations.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan returned Thursday from a trip to Iraq, expressing support for the new U.S. strategy and buildup there but warning that "it is our last chance to get this right" before going to "Plan B" and starting to withdraw troops.

"This whole thing is a big gamble, but it's probably the best gamble to take before throwing in the towel and allowing sectarian genocide to take over," said Ryan, who was visiting Iraq for the first time. "I personally give this three to six months to find out."

Ryan said he was encouraged about the new military leadership and recent changes in tactics and strategy, including more latitude for troops to pursue militia groups,...

The Order of Battle changes are extremely important and will loose the handcuffs our troops have worn since the fall of Saddam.

He's concerned that the Rumsfield plan ain't so hot--echoing John McCain:

"It strikes me as the right strategy to take. It should have been done three years ago. But it seems to me they don't have enough forces."

And he doesn't get much nicer about the ex-SecDef, either:

"We've made so many mistakes," Ryan said. "Number one, they sent about half to a third as many troops as were needed at the beginning, so the Tommy Franks-Rumsfeld-Bush master strategy was way off on troop levels."

Well--it might be said that Franks' battle-plan was to defeat Saddam's army. THAT was a success. What followed was another thing, and Ryan has some thoughts on that, too:

Ryan also cited the decisions under former reconstruction head Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army and prevent former members of ousted ruler Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from participating in the government.

Bremer was running a dilettante-op over there, with a bunch of kids who needed a job. Among other ludicrous ventures, some of these children were setting up an Iraqi stock market before there was regular electrical service in most of the country. And the graft/corruption numbers, now estimated at $12 BILLION, aren't a feather in his cap, either.

Ryan praised Gen. David Petraeus, the new top U.S. commander in Iraq, as the "right guy finally to do the job." He also said he found troop morale to be high and called the performance of U.S. troops "astonishing."

Let's see how it plays out.

We've read and heard far too many monomaniacal commenters yapping about "withdrawal is surrender." They're tiresome, and it's becoming obvious that they don't really give a damn about What Makes Sense.

Ryan does. Thanks, Paul!

Until the 12th of Never?

The State's continuing nincompoopery with computer systems is frustrating.

The state's decision to scrap a sales-tax tracking system is forcing the Miller Park stadium board to rethink just when it can retire the 0.1% stadium tax, the district's executive director said Thursday.

...The consultants had already concluded, based on current economic trends, that the 2014 sunset date was at risk. Now that the system used to process those sales-tax returns has come under scrutiny again, no one is willing to say when the tax can be retired.

So? Here's the answer:

From 1997 to 2002, the average annual sales-tax growth in the five-county area was 7.9%. From 2003, when the troubled state system was first installed, to 2006, the average annual sales-tax growth declined to 0.2%. The disparity has caused concerns

In other words, nobody has the faintest idea what taxes may have been collected since 2003. Although the State has numbers (+.02%/year) they vary substantially from previous history (+7.9%/year,) unless sales activity in the tax district actually DID near-drop-dead since 2002.

"Stick it to 'em" lives!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chesterton the Prophet

GKChesterton wrote this in 1926:

For the next great heresy in going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality. And it is coming, not from a few Socialists surviving from the Fabian Society, but from the living exultant energy of the rich resolved to enjoy themselves at last, with neither Popery nor Puritanism nor Socialism to hold them back … The madness of tomorrow is not in Moscow, but much more in Manhattan.

One wonders if GKC had heard of the activities of the founder-ette of Planned Parenthood...

HT: Chesterton & Friends

Lasee's Interesting Numbers

While Lasee's post has some big lacunae (what happened to the $75K-$100K earning range?), the point remains valid:

In Wisconsin, there are less rich people to pay taxes than in most other states. If they are not here to pay, someone will need to pick up the slack.

That's because:

Only 8.7% are “higher income” (over $100,000)...

Lasee cites Census Bureau figures. This is serious:

Jon G. Udell, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Business, analyzed the Census data and concluded that Wisconsin ". . . has too few high-income families and households providing revenue to government. Wisconsin needs more relatively high-income citizens to help balance the state budget.

Recall that Madison's median family income is $64K, while Milwaukee's is $35K, and that much of DarthDoyle's tax-increases are regressive (gasoline, auto fees, hospital, nursing homes, and cigarettes.)

Lasee worries that "the rich" will flee Wisconsin. It's a valid concern. Given Doyle's proclivities, it's likely that those who remain will be in debtor's prison for their inability to PAY the taxes in the first place.

State Admin Law Judge PC, but Wrong in Xavier Case

A State of Wisconsin A.L. judge, James Schacht, has inserted himself between Church and State by issuing a 'probable cause' determination in the case of Xavier High School of Appleton. We've mentioned this case a couple of times in the past.

An administrative law judge has found probable cause that ACES/Xavier, Appleton's Catholic school system, discriminated against French teacher Kelly Romenesko in 2004 because she was pregnant.

The reality:

ACES/Xavier officials, including former ACES president Joseph Bound, testified during a hearing in October that they terminated Romenesko because she'd undergone in vitro fertilization, a procedure the church opposes, in violation of the morals clause in her teaching contract.

The insanity of the ALJ:

"Ms. Romenesko failed to show that it was probable that she would not have been discharged had she not gotten pregnant" but that "... by considering Ms. Romenesko's pregnancy, even in part, as a factor in his (Bound's) decision to terminate her employment, ACES/Xavier discriminated against her on the basis of sex."

Nope. Romenesko was bound by a contract which included a "morals" clause--a very common situation. So happens that she engaged in conduct which is a serious violation of Church teaching--obtaining in vitro fertilization. Such conduct resulted in pregnancy, to be sure. But "sex" discrimination? Schacht grasped at a handy straw by reasoning backwards from the fact that Romenesko is female, and in so doing, is attempting to break the contract.

The parties have 14 days to notify the state Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division if they're interested in mediation.

Not too surprisingly, Romenesko's attorney would LOVE a settlement:

Jim Jones, Romenesko's attorney, said he needs to discuss the next step with his client, but he is inclined toward mediation.

The school's lawyer disagrees:

Gregory Gill Sr., who represents ACES/Xavier, said he hasn't discussed mediation with Jones and doesn't think this kind of case "readily lends itself to settlement." It might be best, he said, to use an evidentiary hearing so legal issues can be put to rest.

The State cannot be allowed to insert itself into what is clearly a religious matter, regardless of its claim to such authority. Schacht is wrong.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Soloviev's Tale and B-16's Upcoming Retreat

Amy Welborn points us to Magister, who wrote a bit about Cdl. Biffi, who reminds us of a book written by Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev, a Russian thinker who wrote a book in the late 1890's, which was VERY interesting:

The Antichrist [mentioned by Cdl. Biffi] is the one described by Russian philosopher and theologian Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev in the last book he wrote before his death in 1900: "The Three Dialogues and the Story of the Antichrist."

Why does Cardinal Biffi want to bring this back to everyone's attention today? Because – he writes – "Soloviev announces with prophetic clarity the great crisis that afflicted Christianity during the last decade of the 20th century."

OK, so I dig around in Chiesa's site, find the article (linked here) and find the following:

In Soloviev's tale, the Antichrist is elected president of the United States of Europe, acclaimed as emperor in Rome, takes possession of the entire world, and finally imposes his command even over the life and organization of the Churches.

Now THAT was startling--because it is precisely the path taken by the Anti-Christ figure described by the author of Windswept House. It is fair to infer that Windswept's author had read the Soloviev book.

Getting back to Soloviev's book, we find that the Anti-Christ was "a convinced spiritualist." He believed in goodness, and even in God. He was an ascetic, a scholar, a philanthropist. He gave "the greatest possible demonstrations of moderation, disinterest, and active beneficence."

...the book that had gained for him universal fame and consensus bore the title: "The Open Road to Universal Peace and Prosperity," in which "a noble respect for ancient traditions and symbols was joined with a sweeping, audacious radicalism toward social and political needs and directives. Limitless freedom of thought was united with a profound comprehension of everything mystical; absolute individualism with an ardent dedication to the common good; the most elevated idealism toward guiding principles with the complete precision and viability of practical solutions."

All that was missing in that book was the Name of Christ. Not too surprising.

But where Soloviev's presentation shows itself to be particularly original and surprising – and merits greater reflection – is in the attribution to the Antichrist of the qualities of pacifist, environmentalist, ecumenist.

The days will come, Soloviev tells us – and are already here, we say – in which the salvific meaning of Christianity, which can be received only in a difficult, courageous, concrete, and rational act of faith, will be dissolved into a series of "values" easily sold on the world markets.

Soloviev specifically mentions Tolstoy's re- (de-?) formation of the Sermon on the Mount as the foundation for the Anti-Christ's weltaunschuung.

Even if a Tolstoian Christianity were to make us infinitely more acceptable in the living room, at social and political gatherings, and on television, we cannot and must not renounce the Christianity of Jesus Christ, the Christianity that has at its center the scandal of the cross and the astonishing reality of the Lord's resurrection.

The Cardinal who points us to Soloviev's work is retired--but will be the retreat-master for the entire Curia's (including the Pope) annual retreat from February 25th through March 3rd.

S'pose Benedict XVI has a point to make?

How about "The Problem of Relativism and the Disjunction of Faith and Reason in the Late 20th and Early 21st Centuries."


This Blog Does Not Endorse Candidates

...except when we feel like it.

So, feeling like it, we endorse JoAn Eiring for Municipal Judge for the Town of Brookfield.

I've observed Judge Eiring in action. She's competent, fast, and reasonable. But none of that counts a whit to me.

She's also eye-candy of the first water. Makes you want to get a ticket every once in a while, just to have an excuse....

So I don't care what the other candidate (a male) brings on his resume.

A Lesson From Uganda

So happens that Uganda is the ONLY African nation with a reduction in the AIDS-infection rate. Not by coincidence, it is the ONLY African nation which is not pushing rubbers.

Studies show that from 1991 to 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15% to 5%.

“The Ugandan model has the most to teach the rest of the world,” says Edward Green, a senior research scientist at Harvard and author of Rethinking AIDS Prevention. “This policy should guide the development of programs in Africa and the Caribbean.”

So what? Here's "what:"

The Ugandan model was to emphasize that abstaining from sex outside of marriage was the only effective way for most people to reduce exposure to AIDS.

That method also happens to work for, oh, say---HPV infections, folks.

Radio News: Not "Slanted;" It Slopes!

Here's the text from CNS/ABC News:

Britain, America's most important ally in Iraq, will withdraw close to half its troops by the end of the year if local troops are able to secure the southern part of the country, Prime Minister Tony Blair was expected to announce Wednesday.

British media reported that Blair would for the first time release a timetable for troop withdrawal, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks.

Britain has about 7,100 soldiers in Iraq.

Got that? IF the south is secured, Blair removes 1500 troops now, and perhaps another 1500 by year-end. It's relatively quiet in the south of Iraq, and the troops (frankly) don't have much to do.

But when you listen to the national newsreaders (1130AM), the story is different.

They call this a "very significant" event. They paint this minor and partial withdrawal as "major." They ask for comment from Dick Cheney (who states that the drawdown is a sign of success--which it certainly is.)

The tone and timbre of the voice, (breathless!!, excited!!), is directed to giving the impression that Britain is virtually quitting the Alliance--and that the US remains only due to the feckless ineptitude of GWBush.

Almost like listening to the "Econ Professor" Kathleen Dunn.

Damn Few Voters

Showed up at the polling place around 11:15 yesterday morning.

Two wards of voters are issued numbers to vote at that location.

I was the 19th to vote.

UPDATE: Waukesha County (UN-officially) reports 51 votes cast in my 2-ward station. In November, there were 451 votes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Great Paczki Story

Kevin has some friends who have brass...[deleted]

Here's the story.

Mark Graul: Classic Republican Model

Maybe Mark Graul's forgotten what flyover country is really like, having spent too much time in the Swamp known as D.C.

Wiggy observes, regarding Ziegler's Supreme Court race:

This is the second statewide race in a row for Republican campaign manager Mark Graul where the candidate did not seek the Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund endorsement. Last election cycle it was former Congressman Mark Green's campaign for governor.

"Pro-Life" for the classical Republican means Muffy and Kevin (children of privilege) should prosper at the country club; but other lives are not quite so valuable. It's the formulation used by the national party until Ron Reagan. The single most prominent Pubbie with this viewpoint was Nelson Rockefeller--followed by G H W Bush and his wife.

The same philosophy was addressed by Karl Rove in arguably the most shameful remark EVER made by a modern-day "Republican."

Maybe Graul and Rove like being in the minority.

Democrat Party Likes DEMOCRAT Wars Only

Levin points out an interesting fact:

As I think this through further, most of our wars, or military battles/confrontations/actions/peace missions, have not been declared by Congress, including North Korea and Vietnam, and most recently our military actions in the former Yugoslaviaall of which were initiated by Democrat presidents, by the way. And some of the same Democrats who claim authority to undeclare the war in Iraq supported Bill Clinton prosecuting a war in Serbia, Kosovo, and other places without any declaration or resolution of war. They are clearly applying a different standard to this president and this war.

There is a move afoot to "un-declare" the Iraq War amidst the Democrats in Congress. This earns the delicately-phrased rejoinder:

"Are You Out of your F*&^%$ MINDS?"

It's one thing to have serious reservations about the post-Saddam planning, which obviously was not comprehensive.

It's another thing entirely to yank funding out from under the feet of soldiers, which, in effect, is shooting our military in the back. The Democrats understand that that course would likely earn them the soubriquet "The Traitor Party."

So now their theorists have floated an "un-Declaration" possibility, which is without precedent or foundation in the Constitution.

Utah Shooter, Part 3: Family History

Well, well, well. The Utah shooter seems to have a family history.

Young Sulejman, his three siblings, his mother Sabira and grandfather made the difficult journey on foot to Srebrenica, while his father, Suljo, hid in the mountains with other men from the village, relatives said.

...In Bosnian-Warspeak, “hid in the mountains with other men from the village” means his father was an Islamic fighter.

...So here’s the question of the day: When he was being interviewed for asylum by the INS, did Suljo Talovic inform agents that he was a fighter and not a civilian? I think we can guess the answer.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Lenten Regs for Catholics

Well, perhaps they are still in proposal format ...but Agnus Daily brings you the preview:

1. Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday will consist of one full meal to sustain one’s strength. Two smaller meals are permitted according to one’s needs. A small dessert is also permitted to balance one’s glucose levels. Given the prudence of the person, one may consume one designer coffee beverage, and scone, in the morning of each respective fast day to prepare one’s soul for the rest of the day.

2. Catholics 14 years and older are bound to abstain from meat. Invalids, pregnant and nursing mothers, men who remain under the roof of their parents, and those who only attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, Christmas, and Easter are exempt.

3. On every Friday for the season of lent, the Western form of day time measurement will be substituted for the Jewish form. Fridays will end at sundown, ending the obligation to abstain from meat

You should peruse the site, which is humorous (we think.)

Hy 67/94: ANOTHER Upgrade?

The interchange at I-94/Hy. 67 was recently improved, adding an eastbound entry-ramp from 67 to 94, with widened roadway north and south of the Interstate.

So what do we read in the morning paper?

Road improvements needed to accommodate the massive Pabst Farms development could cost the state and county more than $20 million, a county official said last week.

County Public Works Director Richard Bolte said state highway planners expect to spend $20 million or more just on rebuilding the I-94 interchange at Highway 67.

Expansion also could be needed on surrounding county highways where traffic is likely to exceed the capacity of those two-lane roads, Bolte said.

Detailed cost projections have not been developed, he said, adding that no significant improvements are expected to be needed for at least five years.

Pabst Farms is a 1,500-acre residential and commercial development under way near Oconomowoc.

Unnnhhhh....Pabst Farms has been under development for about 10 years now--it shouldn't be a surprise to most folks. Roundy's built a super-warehouse there, as did Target. There are a number of smaller businesses which have occupied space in the area NW of the intersection.

Seems to me that a more comprehensive first-pass at planning the growth could have produced a less expensive second-pass.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

And They Want to Manage Your Health-Care, Too!


The state has pulled the plug on what was to be a $41.2 million computer project after it spent $10 million on a key component that has yet to work.

A related project has also been plagued with delays. The Statewide Unemployment Insurance Tax Enterprise System, or SUITES, was originally budgeted at $17.2 million, but is now expected to cost $29 million - $12.2 million more than originally planned.

The suspension of the federally funded EnABLES project comes...less than a year after the University of Wisconsin System abandoned a payroll system that had cost $26 million.

The state has been beset with a host of computer problems in recent years, including a failed e-mail upgrade, a long-delayed voter registration system and a database that has not accurately tracked sales tax collections. Together, the value of those troubled projects exceeds $100 million.

These very same folks will "create efficiencies" by "consolidating bureaucracies" and therefore "save lotsa money" when they establish the State-run healthcare system.

"The check is in the mail."

"I'll respect you in the morning."

"I'm here from the Government to help you."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Sick Tax" Spin: Doyle vs. Reality, Part I

So long as reality doesn't encumber your views, DarthDoyle's propaganda sounds great: soak the rich, help the poor.

Gov. Jim Doyle's proposal to increase federal funding for state health programs through a tax on hospitals would shift some of the cost of providing care for the poor and the uninsured to many of the state's most profitable hospitals.

Good, eh? Those filthy-rich Mequon/Brookfield residents--and those thieving profit-numbers!! My land!! They have to give it up for the greater good!!

Except that the JSOnline's charts couldn't mask reality.

Notice that the hospitals are divided into groups by ownership--Wheaton, Aurora, Columbia/St Mary's. Then notice that Wheaton owns Elmbrook (profitable), St Joe's, and St. Francis (both marginally profitable.)

You think, maybe, that Elmbrook is effectively subsidizing the other two so that the overall Milwaukee-area profit picture is acceptable?

Or take Columbia/St Mary's, which owns a Mequon facility (profitable), St Mary's (not too profitable) and Columbia (also not too profitable.) Same story.

It's similar (but less pronounced) at Aurora. Of course, Aurora spends far more on advertising than anyone except politicians seeking re-election by lying about "No Tax Increases"--and the charts mysteriously don't mention Aurora's out-State facilities.

When St Joseph modernizes or adds to its facilities, the lenders don't look at St. Joseph's P&L; they look at WHEATON's P&L and lend the money based on Wheaton's overall profitability--derived largely from Elmbrook's profitability. Thus, Wheaton (just like Aurora and StMary/Columbia) are already bolstering their less-profitable branches with money gained in the high-profit locations.


The Doyle spinners tell reporters this, ah, story:

The governor has proposed using some - though not all - of the revenue to pay hospitals more to care for people in state health programs such as Medicaid and BadgerCare.

Those programs pay hospitals and doctors far less than commercial health plans. The number of patients in state health programs might be the single biggest factor in how much money a hospital makes or loses.

So what? A tax is a tax. Patients and their insurers will still pay the tax, which will raise the "cost of health-care." Doyle also claims that the Feds will send more money, offsetting the Sick Tax. But that's speculation on his part at this time.

Perhaps the clearest view of DarthDoyle is expressed here:

George Quinn, senior vice president of the association, noted that not all of the money from Doyle's proposed tobacco and hospital taxes would be used for health care programs.

...The hospital association and some hospitals worry that even more of the money from the proposed tax could be diverted in future years.

"I have zero faith it will stay with us," said Leo Brideau, chief executive of Columbia St. Mary's.

Mr. Brideau is not likely to be a Doyle cabinet appointee.

When DarthDoyle has to come out with deceits and spin like this, you know he's desperate. He's desperately hoping that the Feds will actually pay more money. He's desperately hoping that the experience in Connecticut (which s***canned a similar scam--it failed) will not become part of a JS story. And he's desperately hoping that the "soak the rich" message overcomes the realities in the hospital business.

Finally, he's desperately hoping that Leo Brideau never talks to a JS reporter again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wisdom, Briefly

From Bp. Fulton Sheen (or at least this guy thinks so...)

"A psychotic believes that 2+2=5. A neurotic believes that 2+2=4 and they're mad about it."

Quick and to the point.

HT: Jumping Without a Chute

Huzzah! Archbishop Dolan

Two (not really unrelated) items appeared in my mailbox. Both are about Abp. Dolan, and both tell us that the Archbishop is heading in the right direction.

Regarding Catholic schools:

It’s Catholic Schools Week. I thank God for our wonderful system of Catholic schools in southeastern Wisconsin: first-rate grade schools, the great majority parish-based, excellent Catholic high schools, colleges and universities, all built, supported, sustained, with a lot of grit, sweat, worry, sacrifice, and trust by pastors, principals, teachers, women and men religious, volunteers, boards, parents, parishioners, and benefactors from the broad community. They realize what an irreplaceable gift our schools are, as we entrust to them our most priceless treasure, our children and youth, to be formed in soul, mind, heart, and body.

The usual stuff, heartfelt, no doubt. But then this admission and the question:

Our schools have lost their Catholic identity, and have become private schools subsidized by parishes. I sure hope not, but I’m afraid the many thoughtful people who observe this have a point. You know what aspect of Catholic education is growing most? Home schooling, and the opening of lay-run Catholic academies. These parents will tell you that they have become disenchanted with parish schools and our high schools because they are no longer “Catholic.”

Of course, if this is true, only we – bishops, pastors, principals, teachers, school boards – can reform that. Only the “customers” – our parents and parishioners – can encourage and insist on that.

Abp Dolan's predecessor refused to admit publicly that there actually WERE such things as "homeschools" and "private Catholic academies" in Milwaukee. And he did as much as he could to make their existence, ah, challenging.

We encourage the Archbishop to continue asking questions of parochial school principals and their pastors. Like, for example, "Is First Confession administered BEFORE First Communion?"

He could even go into a 7th-grade classroom and ask the students to recite the 10 Commandments--or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know, stuff like that.

OK. Changing the topic, but only slightly, the Archbishop also spoke to the students at North American College in Rome.

Maybe the greatest threat to the Church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms.

I am afraid that too often today the 'accident' of our own person, our own agenda, trumps the substance of the person of Christ and the message of His Church.

For some preachers it seems obligatory to criticize the church in their homilies. They claim she is hopelessly outmoded, patriarchal, oppressive, insensitive, corrupt, unenlightened--all of which really translates "Unwilling to do what they want."

Ordained ministers are unequivocally 'men of the church' as preachers, and their duty is to 'teach what she does, not preach what we like.' (Transcription from CNS)

As we said, HUZZAH!

Town of Brookfield to Get High Taxes, Stupid Sidewalks

Oh, yeah. And likely in less than 5 years.

...Speaker [Mayor, City of Brookfield] made one more thing clear in his letter to the town: The city will not negotiate a permanent boundary agreement. One year ago in the midst of a heated re-election campaign, Speaker called for boundary talks with the town.

"The Common Council of the City of Brookfield has affirmed its position that such an arrangement is not in the best interests of the city, town and the region as a whole," Speaker wrote last week.

Translate: "Screw You!, Town of Brookfield. Our annexation motions will follow shortly."

This is a matter of money, plain and simple. The City covets (in the worst sense) the Town's tax base on Bluemound Road. The City's annexation will increase property-taxes.

But Town residents can look forward to sidewalks! And "Street-Scaping" such as was installed in the Village area of the City. Notice that the City had a 5-man/4 truck crew attempting to clear snow from that area this morning.

How efficient!

One more thing: in another part of Speaker's letter, he told the Town that the City would be happy to take over the Town's fire station, staffing it with City personnel.

Speaker said that would cost $875,000 in 2008 with subsequent annual increases of 3% or the consumer price index.

What's NOT in that sentence? The phrase "whichever is less."

The City will continue featherbedding its Fire Department personnel by sending an engine company on ambulance runs. This costs money, folks.

Think the City's tight with its dollars? Think again.

Darth to Reverse Wisconsin Growth

Nope. This has nothing to do with Darth's plan to tax Wisconsin into the Third World.

This has to do with shutting down power plants and scrapping your car.

Following California's lead, Rep. Spencer Black wants Wisconsin to do its part to address global warming by setting standards to reduce the state's greenhouse emissions by roughly 25 percent.

Black, D-Madison, announced this morning he plans to introduce legislation that would require that greenhouse emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2029.

He said the main sources of greenhouse gases in Wisconsin are power plants, especially coal-powered plants. But whatever plan is developed to reduce emissions could also include such measures as stricter emission standards for cars and incentives to purchase vehicles that run on bio-based fuels, which don't contribute to global warming.

...Gov. Jim Doyle is supportive of Black's bill.

Fortunately, adults control the Assembly.

Homosexual Ed in Massachusetts: Bend Over and Take It

A while back, a couple in Massachusetts objected to 'homosexual ed' for their 7-year-old, carried out by their son's public school.

Here's Chapter 2:

At a hearing last week, Lexington public school officials argued in court that public schools have a mandate to teach positively about homosexuality and that parents have no right to have their children exempted from such instruction. A parent's only option is to withdraw their children completely from public school, lawyers argued.

...The parents decided on a lawsuit after a homosexual fairy tale, "King & King," was read to the Wirthlin's seven-year-old son in class. In the story, a prince turns away one beautiful princess after another until finally falling in love with another prince. The princes' marry, kiss, and live happily ever after. The story was read as part of a class on weddings.

The school brought up various Massachusetts Department of Education curriculum frameworks as well as the assertion that same-sex marriage is "legal" in Massachusetts.

Ruling expected in three weeks.

What you recognize in the School District's argument is called "Totalitarianism." Conveniently, I have a post below which addresses that question, although my post has to do with DarthDoyle's version.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cdl. Ratzinger on the New Mass

Before becoming Pope Benedict, Cdl. Ratzinger wrote extensively on the Liturgy. Here's a succinct excerpt which 'splains (to those who have ears) what he has been thinking.

Referring to Trent:

...In this confusing situation, which had become possible by the failure to produce unified liturgical legislation and by the existing liturgical pluralism inherited from the Middle Ages, the pope decided that now the Missale Romanum - the missal of the city of Rome - was to be introduced as reliably Catholic in every place that could not demonstrate its liturgy to be at least two hundred years old. Wherever the existing liturgy was that old, it could be preserved because its Catholic character would then be assured. In this case we cannot speak of the prohibition of a previous missal that had formerly been approved as valid.

Contrast the Revolution of 1969:

...the old building was demolished, and another was built, to be sure largely using materials from the previous one and even using the old building plans. There is no doubt that this new missal in many respects brought with it a real improvement and enrichment; but setting it as a new construction over against what had grown historically, forbidding the results of this historical growth, thereby makes the liturgy appear to be no longer a living development but the product of erudite work and juridical authority; this has caused us enormous harm. For then the impression had to emerge that liturgy is something "made", not something given in advance but something lying within our own power of decision. From this it also follows that we are not to recognize the scholars and the central authority alone as decision makers, but that in the end each and every "community" must provide itself with its own liturgy. When liturgy is self-made, however, then it can no longer give us what its proper gift should be: the encounter with the mystery that is not our own product but rather our origin and the source of our life. A renewal of liturgical awareness, a liturgical reconciliation that again recognizes the unity of the history of the liturgy and that understands Vatican II, not as a breach, but as a stage of development: these things are urgently needed for the life of the Church.


HT: Blosser

Not ONLY Does He Lie and Spend...(DarthDoyle)

...not only that, but the forecast ain't so hot, either:

Almost simultaneously, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) issued cautious revenue estimates for 2007-09, and Governor James E. Doyle (D) outlined ambitious plans for health and education in his state of the state speech.

In the months to come, state lawmakers will have to reconcile the governor’s sunny proposals in the areas of health and education with LFB projections best characterized as partly sunny-partly cloudy.

DarthDoyle's spending proposals are breathtaking to say the least, and in order to finance them (or at least provide a fig-leaf for the growth of the deficit) he principally relies on two things: 1) growing State tax revenues; and 2) growing Federal aids to the State.

(He also relies on voter-stupidity and apathy, as well as a three-card-monte scheme which allows taxes from NON-State entities to grow, specifically municipals and schools. Finally, he relies on the craven greed of various rent-seekers such as the Highwaymen and State employees to corrupt the judgment of Legislators.)

But apathy, stupidity, greed, and tricks cannot overcome flawed assumptions--and Revenue Growth which does not materialize (or Federal handouts which do not materialize) can put the State into financial quicksand.

Not to mention that some tax-revenue sheep may elect to 1) leave the slaughter-line before it's their turn to give it all up for Doyle; or 2) elect not to place assets in the State in the first damn place.

This would be fun to watch, if it weren't so damn serious.

Eternal Verities--Cop Version

LawDog always, always, always provides a delightful read. Here are a few selected Truths from yesterday's posting:

The speed at which you respond to a fight call is always the slowest legal speed. You want to arrive in time to arrest the winner and put the loser in an ambulance.

Placing your pistol back in a holster with your finger on the trigger will cause you to walk with a limp.

If you have cleared all the rooms and met no resistance -- Congratulations: you kicked in the door of the wrong house

When a citizen sees red-and-blue lights approaching at a high rate of speed, he will always pull into the lane the cop needs to use.

If you drive your patrol car to the geometric center of the Sahara Desert, within five minutes someone is going to pull along side you and ask for directions.

The better you do your job, the more likely you are to be shot, injured, complained on, sued, investigated, or sub-poena'd on your day off.

Any suspect with a rifle is a better shot than any cop with a pistol.

You can also find LawDog classics at The Firing Line

"Market Surge" on Bernanke's Remarks? Nope

A money-manager makes an observation which utterly voids the MSM yappa-flappa:

While the media discussed how much the markets liked Bernanke's comments, the Trader in me just snickered. Like many of you, I saw the big buyer of SPX futures at 9:59am -- he lit up the markets long before any human had the ability to read Bernanke's comments and determine they were dovish on inflation. It was just a well timed program,...

...but the last thing that reporters will understand is the 'actualities' of business. See, e.g., the satisfaction with slamming profits of oil companies.

HT: The Big Picture

Valentine Greetings!

Nope. Not from me.

From Planet Moron, which has several for the politically-inclined:

Moderate Republican:

Our states are red

Theirs are all blue
Abortion is murder
But what can you do?

Moderate Democrat:

The war is illegal

That is our finding
That’s why we need resolutions
That are not at all binding

Extreme Right Wing Republican:

Pelosi’s a red

Reid is one too
I do like that Lieberman
But I hear he’s a Jew

Extreme Left Wing Democrat:

We must stand as one
No matter our views
Except for that Lieberman
I hear he’s a Jew

Amanda Marcotte:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
This holiday is a patriarchal construct meant to sustain a corrupt male-dominated culture which at its center is built upon the subjugation of women [like practiced by the Hitlerian-led Catholic Church.]*

Planet Moron Readers

Campari is red
Curacao, blue
Add enough gin
And you’ll feel as we do

*Added by Dad29

Happy Valentine’s Day!

4Q GDP: Downward Revision

The number initially posted seemed a bit, ah, enthusiastic.

And it was:

The U.S. economy was growing much slower in the fourth quarter of 2006 than the government's first estimate of 3.4%, economists say.Instead of fairly robust 3.4% annualized growth, the government's next estimate will probably be closer to 2.2%, according to median forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Instead of bouncing back, the economy would have turned in its third quarter in a row of below-trend growth.

The decline in the PMI over the last quarter of '06 was a telltale.

HT: Calculated Risk

Rudy? No. Part II

Rudy continues to work at capturing the East and West Coast folks.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, insisting he is "100 percent committed" to running for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, wooed Silicon Valley insiders Monday - saying he is a strong believer in global warming, praising Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a "progressive" leader on the environment, and calling for immigration policies that welcome "people who make contributions" to America's economy.

Abortion? OK. Gun Control? Only hunters need guns.

Even McPain has figured out that New York and California do not have 270 electoral votes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DarthDoyle's Coercive Agenda

While reading an essay on "Liberal vs. Conservative" written by a self-described "Thomist," (and a very bright one, indeed) the following paragraph jumped out:

Most social coercion today seems to come from those called liberal/left, not from those called conservatives, who are pretty "liberal" by comparison to self-designated "liberals." But then social coercion has always been a trademark of the left, which is overly anxious to improve things in this world, as, in their view, there is no other world or no other way to accomplish any improvement. So we find a certain impatience and restlessness in their agenda. The spiritual origins of totalitarianism are often found in a certain impatience at the slowness of the world to become what the ideologies tell us it ought to become.

One of the better coersive devices is taxation. It's a neat device because it can serve a number of purposes. The original purpose was to finance the operation of Government, to include paying various State officers, building public-good infrastructure, and, of course, defense. Not unreasonable, to the degree that such public goods are in balance with the public's actual need.

The next purpose became 'social engineering.' Want people to buy homes? Make mortgage-interest and real-estate taxes deductible. Want a lot of children to grow the national wealth? Make children deductible. Want folks to buy things? Make consumer-interest deductible. (Or provide special credits for buying certain kinds of cars.) Want to make corn into fuel? Provide "tax credits." You get the idea.

But why merely provide incentives when one can also use tax revenues to effect Social Goals by spending those revenues? In other words, why wait around for the taxpayers to Do the Right Thing with those tax incentives?

We have Things To Do!!!

Like, for example, raising the pay and benefits of teachers, or paving every square foot of the State not already dedicated to gambling palaces, or making Health Care available to all, or requiring taxpayers to finance health-insurance for a chosen few, (such as non-married 'partners' of employees of the State)?

After all, what choice do taxpayers have? Remember, we are dealing with coercion here. In effect, the Government is the Sheriff of Nottingham, (or his principal, the King.) If you don't turn over the money, the State can and will take it, by force.

That's why our essayist used the word "Totalitarianism."

Twelve months ago, DarthDoyle's agenda was kept in his closet, carefully hidden from most residents of this State. Last night, he unveiled it.

We know that DarthDoyle is smart. He thinks he can play the hand he presented.

That remains to be seen. Robin Hood, and his successors including Thomas Paine, provide role-models for those Republicans and common-sense Democrats remaining in the Legislature.