Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Other News

An absolutely AMAZING story in Cincinnatti--evacuations, poisonous chemicals, and nobody seems to know exactly what's going on here...

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration are looking into how the railcar full of a toxic chemical came to rest, unattended for at least five months, near the busy local airport. Officials from Westlake and the railroad also are on scene to help.
Luken said he's been given no answers about how or why it happened.
"They will not answer that question, or they profess not to know," Luken said. "That means they are not being forthcoming.
"Like I told them: 'Wal-Mart can track a pair of socks across the country, and you guys can't track a railcar full of dangerous chemicals?' "

Birds of a Feather?

John Gard (R), boy-who-would-be-Congressman, and Judy Robson(D), reliable-moonbat, have teamed up, skipping over the hundreds of dead bodies, upcoming human agony (no power, no phone, no water, little food) and $100s of Millions in property damages--

to ask the President to "release Strategic Oil Reserves" thus (putatively) preventing Wisconsin residents from paying more for gasoline during the upcoming Holiday Weekend.

The naked political bullhockey from these two (let's face it) jerks is appalling.

It has motivated Dennis York to temporarily un-retire, and even Sykes noticed, from his altitude.

York and Sykes didn't identify the Political Prostitutes.

Follow the Money

Those who support Ms Sheehan's dog-eared pony show include International Answer, which lists the following organizations as part of its "steering committee":

* IFCO/Pastors for Peace
* Free Palestine Alliance - U.S.
* Haiti Support Network
* Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF
* Nicaragua Network
* Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Phillippines
* Korea Truth Commission
* Muslim Student Association - National
* Kensington Welfare Rights Union
* Mexico Solidarity Network* Party for Socialism and Liberation
* Middle East Children's Alliance

Can you say Commies?

HT: Captain Ed

By the way, their road show materializes in Madison on September 4th (see FreeRepublic thread.) Maybe they should have company...?

Photo ID Required for Health

Milwaukee Democrat Lee Holloway (not yet convicted) is now proposing that people who are in need of medical care and who cannot afford it may use the Milwaukee County-sponsored indigent health-care plan....

if they have lived in the County for more than 180 days....

AND if they have a photo ID.

You have to scroll quite a ways down into the story to find that little fact.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Real Economics

Paul Craig Roberts did time as an Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and as Assistant Secretary/Treasury for Ronald Reagan. That's a pair of hints that Roberts is no flaming lefto-wacky type.

He also makes a lot of sense.

"Protectionism can be problematical for innovation, and the study is correct to point this out. Where the study fails is in ignoring that innovation does not take place in a vacuum. Innovation requires a material base and depends on a strong manufacturing, science and engineering foundation backed by R&D programs.

...The US has no God-given comparative advantage in innovation and new technology. We were leaders in these fields, because we were leaders in manufacturing.

We were leaders in manufacturing, because Europe and Japan destroyed themselves in wars, and the rest of the world destroyed themselves in various forms of socialism and cronyism.
America’s hegemony in manufacturing, science and engineering was the product of historical circumstances. Moreover, it occurred despite American protectionism.

...As a recent report from the National Research Council recognizes, “product development and technical support follow manufacturing. One consequence for America is the loss of many manufacturing capabilities and “the increasing availability abroad of unique technologies not found in the United States.”

This development is taking a huge toll on America’s human resources in manufacturing skills, engineering and science.

The Bush Administration has, inexplicably, followed the lead of the Clinton gang in simply waving goodbye at the docks to American manufacturing leadership. It took the BushBoyzzz about 6 years to figure out that the southern border is "a problem."

Think they'll recognize that the disappearance of US manufacturing is "a problem"?


No, it's not the best representation of World Youth Day (2005.) But it's the best representation of the group our #7 child traveled with. So happens it's outside a tavern in Germany:

John Gard Questions

Ambitious John Gard is now running for the 8th District Congressional seat. He's well-prepared as a politician, insofar as Ambitious John has never had 'a real job'--it's been "public service" all the way.

Well-SORT-OF public service. Ambitious John also serves himself--and cuts off opposition, even from within the Party, at the knees, at least according to Kerry Thomas, in a copyrighted piece found here.

Money quote: "...[beginning with] Mark Green... the list of invited Republican speakers, candidates all, grew to include Assemblyman Dan Meyer, Attorney General candidate J.B. Van Hollen, Jean Hundertmark, candidate for Lt. Governor, and Assembly Speaker John Gard, who is now a candidate for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District.

Notably absent from the guest list was Assemblywoman Terri McCormick, who is also a candidate for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. Remember, the Republican Party has an official policy of neutrality when it comes to fellow Republicans competing for elected office.

Since this event was officially sponsored by the Vilas County Republicans, of whom I am a member, and the Oneida County Republicans, I thought the omission of Terri McCormick was an oversight. I invited McCormick to come to this forum, where I assumed, since she is a congressional candidate, she would be given an opportunity to speak. I was wrong.

One by one, the speakers took to the microphone. One by one they took turns introducing themselves, and talking about Republican values. It was enlightening to hear two of the more well known speakers refer to their personal relationships with John Gard. No one bothered to say anything about Terri McCormick. She was denied any opportunity to address the assembled crowd. One of the Vilas County Republican officers said he felt “uncomfortable” allowing McCormick to speak."

I have no idea what positions Ms. McCormick takes on issues. Looks like nobody ELSE is going to find out too easily, either.

Department of Labor Waltz

The US allows 50,000+ individuals to work here under the H-1B program every year. Generally, these temporary permits are issued to professional and technical types. The US employer must avow that there are no qualified US citizens available for the jobs, and the employer must send DofL a brief job description.

Then DoL keeps it secret.

No--you can't call up DoL to find out what sort of "jobs Americans can't or won't do" were converted to H-1B requests. You can't find the positions posted on the DoL website. And DoL is absolutely sure that this is the way it should be--Congress told them so.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Homer v. Hannity

Inspired by Belling (!)--it SHOULD be Homer at 6:00.

While the morning WISN lineup is of zero interest to me (see below), the 6:00 Homer show was always interesting. Always. Frankly, I'm no jock--so the show provides an entertaining education. No, I don't listen religiously every night. But when I'm listening to after-6 radio, it's Homer.

Besides, Hannity is simply not interesting. Maybe he's a chick-magnet, and maybe he's a nice guy. But his show is un-informative, and mostly a commercial for his FoxNewsChannel gig.

That's not just my opinion, either. Serious conservative bloggers either pan Hannity, or simply don't mention him because they (unlike moi) have tact. FreePers universally dislike the show.

When Hannity's on WISN, I'm back to WFMR (106.9).

Lineup Time

Oh, yeah. The Pubbie Gubbie-primary contestants have begun in earnest.

Reliable word has it that a Milwaukee-area Pubbie/Socialist legislator (you'll know who if you think about it for a minute) has already been offered Secretary, Health & Human Services in return for his support of one of the boys.

For those of you who STILL don't get it--


Color the Study "Omitted"

There's a published study out there which claims that in-utero babies 'do not feel pain' until late, late, late in the pregnancy.

I suppose that makes the abortionists, their financiers, and their adult victims much more comfortable; the dead babies have not spoken up about this.

But it seems that the study omitted some facts: it does not mention that one author is an abortion clinic director, while the lead author - Susan J. Lee, a medical student - once worked for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Color those little omissions, ah, significant.

HT: Amy Welborn

OBL's Newsletter

Enjoyable: OBL writes a memo.

Mall Ninjas Gone Mad

The recent Home Depot story is only the first. Apparently the training manual does not include a chapter entitled "Common Sense."

WallyWorld takes it a step further. When the City Attorney agrees to drop the charges against a couple for "stealing" $10.00 worth of manure--they DID spend $100+ on other stuff--WallyWorld demanded, and got, $175.00 due to Oregon law.

Home Despot of West Allis had to settle for nada except the price of their sawblades.

"The Computer Did It"

Chase Bank, like many other large institutions, relies on automation.

After all, real live sentient human beings cost money. Gotta keep those costs under control!

So when Chase purchased a mailing list and sent thousands of solicitations for Platinum Visa cards, stuff happened.

Apparently "the computer" doesn't care if "Mr. Palestinian Bomber" at 1234 Anyplace, South Dogpatch, CA., 90210 (or whatever) has an odd ring to it.

He's on the mailing list--so Mr Bomber gets a solicitation.

Question: if Mr. Bomber had the right cash-flow, would Chase have ISSUED the card?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I Decline the Charlie Challenge

In response to Charlie Sykes' open request for a fiskulation of Tim Cuprisin's column, (and with a good deal of shock that Charlie included me with the stellar and talented group)...

I respectfully decline. There's really a good reason: I don't listen to WISN/AM in the mornings any more. In other words, I don't have a dog in that fight, and WON'T have a dog in that fight.

Further, if Bott is telling the truth, the morning show is supposed to be a-political. So who cares what Nicole thinks?

Finally, it was Bott's decision. He made the call to "vote" for a new host; he has to pay the freight; and if he blew it, he may lose his Mercedes (another daily talk-bite when Jerry's on the air.)

WISN and Bott lost my AM attention with Webber and Dolan, whose show would often wander into Oprah-esque ruminations about losing weight or marital- or opposite-sex- annoyances, kitchen decorations, and scatological/light "blue" humor. That's not what interests me--the humor didn't work too well when it was attempted, and Oprah's omphaloskepsis-angst flat-out turns me off.

(Hint to Webber and Dolan: if you really have weight problems, stop hitting every restaurant in the Greater Milwaukee area. Stay home and eat raw green beans, mixed with plums. Yummy.)

If it's not a hot news day (WTMJ-AM for that,) then it's WFMR. Best radio in Milwaukee for starting your brain.

Thanks, Charlie for the invite!! Next time.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Straws In the Wind

Bainbridge and Andy McCarthy (of NRO) now join the "What Are We Doing in Iraq?" club.

It is reported that the US is now using muscle to force Iraqi constitution-writers to enshrine the Muslim Sharia Law into the new Iraqi constitution--in effect, making the "new" Iraq into a Muslim State. (Reported by the WaPost, among others.) If this becomes the reality, all the Administration's blather about "establishing a democracy" in Iraq will have been merely propaganda--for no Sharia Government is "democratic" in any sense of the term.

Bainbridge couches his concern for Iraqi policy amidst a laundry-list of significant Bush domestic disappointments--principally that Bush is flaccid, to say the least, as a 'limited government' type, and even worse as a spender. Bush's roll-over-and-take-it approach to the Highway bill is simply disgusting.

Wisconsin residents had the advantage of insight early-on: Bush's pick of Tommy Thompson, who never met an addition to the Government he didn't like, was an augur. So we have a Ted Kennedy-written Education bill, a General Electric-written tax bill (last year,) a passive affirmation that Red China actually conforms with MFN rules (utterly preposterous...) and a CAFTA which was passed only after the skulduggery of the Democrat Party was applied to Congress.

Not to mention the abominable decision about McCain-Feingold.

Personally, I've always wondered at the magical nomination of GWB the first time around.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

"Patch" Technology Gone Catholic

If you are Catholic and haven't read The Curt Jester, you've missed not only a good dose of humor, but a good overall blogspot. (

In this piece, the Jester examines the possibilities for "patch" remedies:

We could add one of local interest (of at least 5 dozen possibilities)

Father Aiken, pastor of St. Sebastian/Milwaukee:

"After being persuaded by my Ordinary that the patch is the only alternative to outright banishment, I decided to try it, knowing that My Own Personal Liturgical Aberrations (MOPLA) were, after all, likely to remain habitual--these publicly-practiced solitary sins, after all, were GOOD for the public.

"But in the very first week of using the Patch, I found that I was regularly using the Gloria when prescribed in daily Masses. After only 10 days, I found myself reading the Canon of the Mass (and the Consecration formulas) directly from the Missal. By the end of the treatment, I was utilizing Latin, and had begun to think of applying this wonder-fabric to the "musician" so that we could be "in sync", together, with the Mind of the Church.

"After the treatment, I found myself writing a long letter of apology to my Parish, my FORMER parish (St. Alphonsus,) and to others, not of my parish, whom I had scandalized.

"This has been an amazing epiphany for me, and the theme of World Youth Day is applied consciously. I can only speculate what might occur if this Patch is applied to the current Papal Liturgist."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

MSM--the Same, Everywhere

Noted by another blogger--this report from the British Broadcasting Company:

About 400,000 Christians are in Cologne for a Catholic World Youth Festival. Their numbers are expected to double when the Pope preaches at an outdoor mass on Sunday.

The World Youth Day festival, invented by the late Pope, is held in a different part of the world every three years.

Arriving on Thursday, the Pope said he wanted to reinvigorate Christianity in an increasingly secular Europe.

The Pope has frequently bemoaned the waning role of the Church in Europe and says he hopes his trip will help kick-start "a wave of new faith among young people".

Vatican observers will be watching to see what sort of relationship he is able to establish with young Catholics, our correspondent says.

Many of them have been openly critical of the prohibitions he issued during the 20 years when he headed the Roman Catholic Church's disciplinary body.


Duhhhh...WHICH "prohibitions" have they been critical about? How many is "MANY"? Is "many" more than the "others" who are NOT critical of the mysterious "prohibitions?"

Yeah--it looks a bit like editors chopped up the story. On the other hand, it also looks like The Agenda is in play. The Agenda that the NYTimes 'cannot find' (with regard the Air America fraud, e.g.) The Agenda which does NOT call Cindy Sheehan 'liberal' but which DOES call her counter-protesters "conservative."

You know---THAT agenda.

Smirking Arrogance: Late-Stage Corruption Disease

From Lakeshore Laments, an outstanding blog:

"...In an Aug. 11 letter to UW System President Kevin Reilly, the legislators voiced their disapproval and demanded to know how many professors, instructors or teaching assistants in the UW System have been convicted of a felony, the nature of the crime and whether it led to university disciplinary action.

Reilly said he would instruct the UW Board of Regents to review the handling of the three professors, but he said compiling a list of felons in the UW system would prove costly.

“To generate such information would require an extensive and costly review of public records, including individual personnel files,” Reilly wrote in response, saying the cost would be “prohibitive” but that he would be pleased to consult with the legislators about how he could be responsive.

Not satisfied with Reilly’s response, the legislators on Friday called for an official audit of the UW System that would answer their questions.

“Many taxpayers, students, and parents are deeply concerned about the UW’s policy of allowing convicted felons to maintain their employment within the UW despite their criminal backgrounds and they also deserve to know exactly how many serious felons are being employed by the UW,” the legislators said in a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

The legislators added that they were shocked that Reilly had “refused” their request, saying, “We find his unwillingness to complete such a review extremely unfortunate.”

The committee’s co-chairs welcomed the request from Reps. Scott Suder of Abbotsford; Jeff Wood of Chippewa Falls; Terry Musser of Black River Falls; Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc; Steve Kestell of Elkhart Lake; Robin Vos of Racine; Samantha Kerkman of Burlington; Mark Pettis of Hertel; and state Sen. Robert Cowles of Green Bay.

They have already asked the UW System to provide detailed information about the backup appointments guaranteed to many university employees. Co-chair Sen. Carol Roessler (R-Oshkosh) said the committee would take up the request at its next meeting.

But Regents President David Walsh called the legislators’ request “humorous.”

“Do you know what it would take to go through every state’s court record-keeping systems?” Walsh said. “It’s humorous to me.”


David Walsh is a member of the Wisconsin Bar, and he should know that Wisconsin's C-CAP system is online; the system provides conviction information. Simply enter "John Doe" and a birthdate (optional) and you'll get "John Doe"'s records, if any. It's my bet that he, or his paralegal, has used the system on many occasions.

But if Walsh misses a little detail like C-CAP, I don't care. That's not our concern.

Our concern is that the President of the UW Board of Regents could have said that 'searching criminal-conviction records [on UW employees'] is "humorous."

President Walsh displays an arrogance that is beyond comprehension. That arrogance, echoed in another form by Chancellor Reilly's "no-can-do" (read: "no-WILL-do") response to the Legislators, simply affirms what Charlie Sykes has been hinting about for the last several weeks: the UW Administration is displaying all the signs of Corruption Disease.

Corruption Disease generally begins when an institution becomes successful AND there are no well-placed "loyal dissenters" who ask questions. It progresses because the diseased institution promotes its own sycophants to more responsible positions. It becomes entrenched when loyal dissenters are marginalized, or ejected. Final stages of Corruption Disease are marked by institutional arrogance; the leaders mock and belittle those who question the institution, or the leadership.

Hubris is another name for the disease.

It happens in private industry (Enron comes to mind;) in Government (anyone recall Nixon?), and in churches (sadly, the pedophile problems of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.)

President Walsh's remarks tell us that the UW's Corruption Disease may be entering its final stages. The problem is that the UW, unlike Enron, or Nixon, or a certain Archbishop, cannot simply be eradicated as a whole. The UW must be reformed. That will be difficult, to say the least.

And it will decidedly NOT be "humorous."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Defining Deviancy Down (Below the Navel, Anyway)

Milwaukee's vice-squad shut down something called "Naked Boys Singing," a musical entertainment (?). Apparently the venue did not have a proper theater license.

Xoff is in anguish, and joins the homosexual community in asking whether the vice-squad should be working on this sort of thing while "violent crime" is so high in Milwaukee.

It's a mis-direction play, of course. "Naked Boys Singing" is a non-violent crime, regardless of whether some Court or other agrees with the definition. You don't need three degrees in law to know that Courts give color to the old saw "the law is an ass."

The Milwaukee police department's charge is to pursue crime. They do--both the non-violent AND the violent types.

Xoff's libertine rantings aside, crime is crime.

Planned Parenthood: Go HOME!

From a pilgrim to WYD/Cologne:

We heard some of the WYD staff discussing some of the events the day the pilgrims arrived. Apparently on Monday Planned Parenthood did an all-out promotion, and plastered all the subways and railways in Cologne with pro-condom posters. But from the hour the pilgrims started arriving, the posters started coming down. Most pilgrims ripped selectively, crossways and upwards, to tear out the shape of a cross across the posters. Others took the whole things down (apparently unaware or unfazed by the fact that this is a criminal offense here). By the end of the first day, nothing was left on the subways but ripped-out crosses and bare walls. That's the energy here. It's not that the kids are necessarily fiercely orthodox. It's just that this is their show, it's their time, it's their Church, and they don't want anyone raining on their parade, or cramming ideology down their throats.

Heh. (

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Economic Spin 101

See if you can spot the spin:

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices have risen by 4.6 percent while the core inflation rate, excluding food and energy, has risen by a more modest 2.8 percent.

The spin is the cute little term "core inflation." Sounds like the REAL inflation, right? Wrong.

The REAL inflation does NOT exclude food and energy

When you read the entire story at the link, you will find that wholesale prices accelerated very sharply last month (0.5%), but retail/finished goods (CPI) has not shown the last wholesale jump. Not to worry--in less than 90 days, that 4.6% (++) wholesale inflation rate will be visible to regular, normal people (so long as they eat and use energy.)

Iraq, 9/11, and OKC?

Pushing the envelope a bit--but let's start here:

Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist fundamentalist parties.
The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Ladin were working together. German authorities were surprised by the arrest of the two Iraqi agents and the discovery of Iraqi intelligence activities in several German cities. German authorities, acting on CIA recommendations, had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Ladin. They discovered the two Iraqi agents by chance and uncovered what they considered to be serious indications of cooperation between Iraq and bin Ladin. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies.

(From the Weekly Standard)

You can find Morrissey's blog at:

Got it? Iraqi intelligence agents were very active in Germany, meeting with AlQuaeda-types, at least by the reporting of Al-Watan-Al-Arabi.

Now what do we know about Germany which is also of interest in dealing with terrorism?

We also know (as usual, NOT covered by the MSM) that a GERMAN national, known to the FBI and to the Southern Poverty Law Center, was very well-acquainted with the American perpetrators of the OKC bombing. (See:

It was also reported, someplace, that an Iraqi army officer had been hanging around with McVeigh--and in fact, that a "Middle-Eastern" appearing individual had been on the scene at OKC, but disappeared quickly.

We KNOW that Hussein would be happy to blow up a US building, especially within the USA. We KNOW that AlQueda has the same sentiments.

Suppose they were just friendly enough to do a JV here?

McMiller--A Treasure in Wisconsin

One of the advantages of living in SE Wisconsin is the extensive (albeit expensive) park system. Not only do Milwaukee and Waukesha County have large parks; the State maintains a number of them, as well.

Buried in a State park area just south of Eagle is the McMiller Range, a very large and accomodating target-shooting facility. The Range has a shotgun area, a bow-and-arrow "hunting trail," and several rifle/pistol ranges from 25- to 100-yard (with a 300-yard range about to open.)

Fees are nominal, and range personnel are capable--safety first, helpfulness also first. McMiller also has a large office building which includes plenty of space for groups to have coffee or lunch while discussing/bragging/lying about target-shooting abilities.

We'll make our second summer pilgrimage out there on Saturday, this time with the older half of our family's children and some of their friends. A good time WILL be had by all.

At some point in the future, we'll invite Archbishop Dolan to come to the Range with us. The practical result will be a marked increase in respect for the Archbishop ('You know--he can REALLY shoot well...") as he attempts to "persuade" his priests that obedience to the Church is a good thing.

YOUR UW-?? Tuition Supports...

Paying tuition at a UW-system school?

Wonder why it's gone up, up, and away?

Blaming the cheapskate Legislators and taxpayers?

WRONGO, darling students and tuition-payers everywhere!!

Backup jobs, Spouse-of-Dean jobs, Best-Pension-In-The-Universe plans, Criminals-In-Jail-But-On-the-UW-Payroll, ...frankly, if the word CORRUPT doesn't come to mind, you tuition-payers ought to look it up.

At this point, the UW-System is perfectly prepared to offer Master's degrees in Self-Dealing, Art of Wink-and-Nod, and Pay (my) Pal.

Innumerable references can be found in the Capital Times and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Look them up. Call it research. Get credit!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Economists: Useful?

From today's AP report on DOL's cost-of-living jump:

"Energy is a killer, but if you don't use it, you're not seeing a whole lot of inflation," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, a consulting firm in Holland, Pa.

HEY!! Reduce inflation!!! Just give up using ENERGY!!!

Some people take economists seriously...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Which Belling is Belling?

During the last week, Mark Belling observed that Mark Green 'was insubstantial.'

During the last week, Mark Belling observed: "There’s nothing particularly wrong with Mark Green other than that he poses far less of a threat to Doyle."

One COULD argue that "insubstantial" and "nothing particularly wrong" have roughly congruent meanings. But not in a reality-based world.

Moving on, Belling observes (rightly): "Green’s northeastern Wisconsin base is largely Republican and it’s unlikely Green could attract many votes from traditional Democrats. On the other hand, Doyle is terrified that Walker could cut into the normally Democratic stronghold of Milwaukee. In fact, it’s likely that Walker would win his home county. It’s impossible for a Democrat to win a statewide election without carrying Milwaukee County."

What Belling fails to mention is that it is highly unlikely that a Milwaukee political figure will win a Governor's race. Name the last Wisconsin Governor who came from the Milwaukee "southeast corner sewer"... ....we're waiting....

Finally, Belling seems to think that if Green defeats Walker in the primary, that Walker will simply walk away (I couldn't resist) from the gubernatorial campaign, and leave Green on a limb.

If Walker does that, he loses all his well-earned respect in the Party. And he won't, will he?

Belling is correct in stating that Doyle has a lot to fear in the upcoming election. But frankly, I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever which opponent Doyle faces. If Doyle wins, it will be due ONLY to several thousand vote frauds---and I don't think that Doyle can count on the assistance of Tom Barrett. The fraud will have to come from Racine, Kenosha, and Dane counties.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Box Elder Bug

Harmless, but gifted in the reproduction department. We first discovered them at a friend's house in Delafield about 10 years ago; they've moved east, and now inhabit western Brookfield.

Mrs. Dad29 absolutely HATES them--what to do?

Last year, I scouted around for solutions. Both the 'net and the bug-ologist on WISN radio stated that the bug has no natural predators and there is no insecticide which kills 'em.


My son-in-law trooped out to Home Despot and picked up a gallon of Home Defense spray. (They have them in Madistan, too.) Works like a charm, after about a 10-15 second delay.

JewishWorldReview also suggests Formula 409 (you read that right.) It's not really a bug-killer, but it works in an emergency--and since it's also a cleaner, you can wipe the window (or whatever) clean after using it.

The Blogosphere, once again, provides the REAL data...

It's All About MEEEE!!!

Cindy Sheehan, in her own words:

I wanted him [Rumsfield] to look me in the face and see my red swollen eyes and to see all the lines that grief has etched. I wanted him to see the unbearable pain his ignorance and arrogance has caused me (

A Hat Tip to Bulldog McAdams:

Radio Talk Star--Jim Doyle Style

Now it seems that the WISN "Radio Talk Star" voting was, ah, influenced by Daily Kos readers, nationwide, who stuffed the electronic ballot box to promote the winner, some woman named "Nicole." Blog takes on "Nicole" were fairly consistent--she's a lefty.

Heh. That's $50K/year, plus miscellaneous employment taxes and health-care costs, that ClearChannel may regret. Or maybe not. Who knows?

We know for sure that Jimbo (ThreeCardMonty/'Noid/"Diamond Jim"/WEAC Towel-Boy) Doyle, the most disgraceful slimeball to inhabit the Wisconsin Governor's Mansion in the last 50 years, would be proud--after all, it's his position that Wisconsin citizenship should have nothing whatsoever to do with election results.

For the record, I don't have a dog in the WISN race. Since I drive my children to school every morning, I've avoided the Weber/Dolan---Bott--Whoever WISN morning shows. The conversation tends to wander into the blue (as in Lenny Bruce) or into juvenile scatological crap.

Who needs it? WFMR is far better for the mind and soul.

Pompous, Lying, Dissembling, --9/11 Commission

The 9/11 Commission Report continues to crumble into another pile of meaningless paper paid for by the very taxpayers who are most at risk from the Lying Pompous Dissemblers we elect.

Quotations from Chairmen Kean and Hamilton are now clearly defensive and verge on the irrational.

In a joint statement, former commission chairman Thomas Kean (search) and vice chairman Lee Hamilton (search) said a military official who made the claim had no documentation to back it up. And they said only 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta (search) was identified to them and not three additional hijackers as claimed by Rep. Curt Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

"He could not describe what information had led to this supposed Atta identification," the statement said of the military official.
(FoxNews 8/13/05)


But the commission knew that according to travel and immigration records, Atta first obtained a U.S. visa on May 18, 2000, and first arrived in the United States on June 3, 2000, the statement [of the 9/11 "followup group"--i.e., the Commission's lackeys] said.

Think about this carefully. The Pompous Egos want you to believe that a Naval attache will bring a 3" ring-binder of photos, memos, etc., of eyes-only compartmentalized intelligence to some meeting in Afghanistan (!!) so these Pompous Dissemblers and their staff (at least partially picked by Clintonista-subversive Jamie Gorelick) can leak it?

While you're thinking carefully, re-read the "immigration records" defense of these morons. Why the hell do they "think" that Atta or his fellow-conspirators would ALWAYS travel using their REAL NAMES--or, for that matter, IMMIGRATE LEGALLY?

Finally, it looks more and more like good ol' Saddam was into 9/11 up to his murderous bushy eyebrows:

"...the discovery of an Iraqi spy ring in Germany in February or March of 2001, resulting in the capture of two Iraqi Intelligence Services agents. The Arabic newspaper that reported it in March 2001 also reported that the CIA tipped the Germans to the Iraqi operation and that the FBI and CIA interrogated the two captured spies.

"...this would explain why Atta felt the need to travel under an assumed identity, and why he went to Prague rather than Hamburg to meet with Iraqi agents. That meeting would be necessary for Atta to determine if he and his team should continue to make plans and whether to bring in the "muscle" hijackers, which happened a short while afterwards. If the Germans had found out about their operation and discovered his identity, then sending the other hijackers to the US could have meant walking into a trap.

This would explain why Atta changed his usual routine and traveled under an assumed identity. After reconnecting to the network and getting assurances that the network was secure, he could use his real identity on his next trip.

Limbaugh made the remark, whole-heartedly, that the 9/11 Commission was created to save the butts of the regnant Pompous Dissembler Politicians, and for NO OTHER PURPOSE.

Lemmeeesee, hyeah, Gomer--WHO was the President in 2000???

And why does Prague sound so familiar? Wasn't that the place that Iraqi/Hussein agents did NOT meet with terrorists--according to the MSM? Is it just possible that the Prague/Iraq connection is being denied, actively and continuously, by certain Clintonistas who have the MSM's ear?

After all, if US Intelligence knew that a US-based terrorist was meeting with Iraqi Intelligence figures, and did nothing about it during the CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, perhaps the aspirations of a New York Senator would be destroyed....

Friday, August 12, 2005

First Encyclical of Benedict XVI

Dignitatis Felidae
To the Bishops Priests and Deacons
Men and Women religious
lay Faithful and all People of Good Will
on the Dignity, Value and Inviolability
of Feline Life
Rumor has it...

Qualified, or WEAC-Approved?

Most reasonable District Superintendents would hire this background, right?

White has worked for the district for 13 years as a resource teacher and technology coordinator. She holds a master's degree in computer science education and was recognized in 1992 as the "computer teacher of the year" by the Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 1, an agency that provides services to the 43 school districts in the metropolitan area.

Not so fast. In the State of Wisconsin, there are plenty of "requirements" which are imposed before one can obtain "certification" as a "technology director"--not too surprisingly, said "certification" requires "classroom teaching" experience.

Suppose that WEAC helped to write that requirement?

The individual cited above ALSO has a Bachelor's in Medical Technology, and is responsible for creating and implementing "the area's 'premier technology program.'" according to the District Superintendent.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Red China is NOT a Panda


The report ponders the implications of the Chinese build-up: "China does not now face a direct threat from another nation. Yet, it continues to invest heavily in its military, particularly in programs designed to improve power projection. The pace and scope of China's military build-up are, already, such as to put regional military balances at risk. Current trends in China's military modernization could provide China with a force capable of prosecuting a range of military operations in Asia – well beyond Taiwan – potentially posing a credible threat to modern militaries operating in the region."

The report mentions China's growing need for foreign sources of metals and fossil fuels as a "driver of strategy," citing how these account for 60 percent of China's total imports. It is pushing Beijing into closer ties with a variety of regimes hostile to the United States, such as Iran and Venezuela. The Pentagon is not alone in noting this. In the summer issue of The National Interest journal, Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, writes, "It is China's urgent need for secure, long-term access to energy supplies and raw materials that is driving Beijing to define China's national interests much more broadly – and well beyond China's traditional spheres of influence. That dynamic is bringing U.S. and Chinese interests into conflict in unprecedented ways."

("The Military Power of the People's Republic of China.", Pentagon, 8/05)

Our Commerce folks did their damndest to edit this report in order to make PRChina into "a good trading partner," (and to continue telling themselves, the Commander-in-Chief, and the Fortune 500) that, after everybody in China gets rich through "free trade," then China will be well-behaved and only make love, not war.

Maybe. And maybe the Easter Bunny lives on your back porch.

Victor D Hanson and "Guest Workers"

Incisive comments from a historian who LIVED some history:

Growing up in the rural San Joaquin Valley in California in the early 1960s, I remember hardworking, but not happy, braceros. No one considered them "guests" at all, but rather more like helots — a permanent class of serfs in the fields that the public neglected, the employer exploited and other workers resented.

To ensure that braceros went back home to Mexico after harvest, portions of their paychecks were often deposited with the Mexican government. Today thousands of aged and disabled farm workers are still in court trying to reclaim those stolen wages.

In fact, almost every bad immigration stereotype we have today of both Mexico and the United States — corrupt Mexican officials, hard-nosed American contractors, labor camps and exploited workers — crystallized during the bracero era.

Contrary to current popular mythology, most braceros, like most illegal aliens today, never wanted to go back to Mexico after living most of the year in the United States.

But revisit newspapers of the time. The constant theme can be summed up as something like "good enough to work for us, not good enough to live among us." Another constant, still with us today, was that cheap labor from Mexico — at first braceros, later illegal aliens — made it almost impossible for American farm workers to see their own wages rise much.
Aside from the moral considerations...

Hanson refers to the pre-1964 'guest worker' program which JFK shut down. Of course, he refers to the guest workers by the proper name: Helots.

Two-Fisted Truth

Kinda suspicious about CAFTA/NAFTA/FTAA?? Here's a little text on them which should provoke some thought:

In fact, NAFTA and CAFTA, as well as the upcoming FTAA, will ultimately make corporations and politicians richer and more powerful, U.S. citizenship meaningless, the taxpayer more oppressed, and the Constitution and U.S. sovereignty as dated as Hula Hoops.

The idea behind this system of "trade and commerce" is part of a vision for our future and that of the Western Hemisphere which calls for a super state. You and I will be represented by some handpicked clods fingered by the goofs at the CFR, Harvard, some K-Street suits, an investment group, politicians, or any combination of those who swim in the deep waters of the Beltway, international finance or believers in world government.

There is next to nothing in these trade efforts that is going to improve the lives and fortunes of average people in the American lower and middle class. They will do a great deal for the investor class, but, as usual, we peasants are going to get screwed.

Then, of course, the souls who line up to get a day's work at sweatshops in Nicaragua or Guatemala aren't going to be any better off either. As the Mexican working class discovered after NAFTA passed, they work cheap, in sweatshop conditions, and they don't make enough to buy much in the way of American goods. That is why our trade surplus with Mexico became a trade deficit.

The other problem NAFTA was supposed to solve was the invasion of people into the U.S. from Mexico. Instead we absorbed the 14 million poor created by NAFTA.

With passage of CAFTA, the migration of people from the poor countries of Central and South America will continue. After the guest worker amnesty bill is passed this fall, the Mexican invasion will include a stampede from the rest of the world as well. The new guest worker program which Bush supports will allow people from all over the world into the U.S. when some corporate doofus claims they are taking a job no American wants. Count on it.

Diane Alden is not only persuasive (read the REST of the article)--she's willing to call a spade a spade. The Republican Party charade of "limited Government" which gets campaign contributions from average Joe suckers, is just that: a charade.

And the Southern Appeal blog notes the same, naming Bob Dole as a major contributor to the demolition crew. See:

The wonder of it all is that the Dimocrat theorists STILL have not caught on...

"Pants" Berger and 9/11: Ruminations

More and more, the Clintons and their cabal become "parties of interest:"

While the investigation by the 9/11 Commission was in progress, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, who served as Clinton's national security adviser for all of President's Clinton’s second term, was caught removing documents from the national Archives – the very same documents that should have been turned over to the independent commission probing the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Berger ultimately admitted to intentionally taking and destroying various classified documents relating to terrorism collected under the Clinton administration. Berger and his lawyer said on July 19, 2004 that he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also “inadvertently” took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio. Those documents reportedly included an assessment of America's terror vulnerabilities at airports, something very relevant to Able Danger’s findings and key to the 9/11 attacks. What Sandy Berger did was a felony, yet was allowed a generous plea agreement of a fine and a three-year suspension of his security clearance.

Under the prism of Able Danger, we are now able to make sense out of the previously curious actions of Sandy Berger.

In case you don't recall,

Able Danger is the code name of a secret team of U.S. Army military intelligence operatives created in 1999 under a directive signed by General Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to assemble information about al Qaeda networks around the world. In mid-2000, the Able Danger team discovered the existence of the key 9/11 terror cell of Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawar al-Hamzi inside the U.S. and recommended to their military superiors that the FBI be called in to “take out that cell,” according to Representative Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania House member and vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. That information was presented in the summer of 2000 in the form of a chart complete with photographs of the terrorists to the Pentagon's Special Operations Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Our intelligence was dead-on accurate, but was not acted upon a full year before the 9/11 attacks.

To continue the narrative:

According to Weldon, staff members of the 9/11 Commission were briefed on the findings of the Able Danger intelligence unit within the Special Operations Command and about the specific recommendation to break up the Mohammed Atta cell, yet those members reportedly decided not to brief the commission’s members on those matters. Why not?

Clearer now is the conflict of interest of having Jamie Gorelick, the Assistant Attorney General under Bill Clinton serving on the 9/11 Commission. Ms. Gorelick worked directly for Janet Reno and was directly involved in matters that were under review by the 9/11 Commission.

Remember the reason the findings of Able Danger were not acted upon? In his testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft stated the following:

"In 1995, the Justice Department embraced flawed legal reasoning, imposing a series of restrictions on the FBI that went beyond what the law required," he said. "The 1995 Guidelines and the procedures developed around them imposed draconian barriers to communications between the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The wall left intelligence agents afraid to talk with criminal prosecutors or agents. In 1995, the Justice Department designed a system destined to fail."

Continuing his testimony, Ashcroft stated:

"Somebody built this wall.” Ashcroft added: "The basic architecture for the wall . . . was contained in a classified memorandum entitled 'Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations. Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of this Commission."

Ashcroft was referring to Jamie Gorelick, who served as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration as well as general counsel at the Department of Defense. Both jobs put her at the very center of the former administration's anti-terrorism efforts. Consequently, her actions, as well as those of her superiors, were the subject of review by the very commission on which she is a member. Most assuredly, that is a huge conflict of interest. In her position at the Justice Department, Gorelick wrote a memo that provides a picture of the role she played setting policy for intelligence gathering and sharing during the Clinton Administration. The memo stemmed from the Justice Department's prosecution of the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. with a Big Hat Tip to:

We know that the Clinton gang was extremely concerned about its Public Image. It's very clear that their willingness to deal with enemies of the US compromised a number of their decisions.

It's also possible, now, that their commitment to "civil rights" simply obliterated prudent judgment on questions of National Security.

See also:,2933,165268,00.html

Curious Headline

NATO to send plane to protect Pope in Germany
...says the headline, suppported by this copy:
NATO will send an AWACS surveillance aircraft to help protect Pope Benedict during his visit to Germany this month, an alliance official said today.''
At the request of the German government, NATO has agreed to provide security support for the Pope's visit to Cologne by providing the AWACS aircraft,'' the official said.The Pope plans to attend an event to celebrate World Youth Day in the German city from August 18 to August 21.
Well, yes, the Pope will be there.
But so will about 800,000 OTHER people from all over the world, including the USA. In other words, it's not just a "visit by the Pope" which stimulated the German government to ask for AWACS support.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Only Kills Old People"--the Green Party

The mentality of the Environment-Worshippers:

The spraying of any pesticides — let alone DDT — has been greeted by near-hysterical resistance from environmental activists, who have attacked the killing of mosquitoes as "disrupting the food chain." New York's Green-party literature declares that "These diseases only kill the old and people whose health is already poor."

...Since the banning of DDT, insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue — and now West Nile virus — have been on the rise. The World Health Organization estimates that malaria kills about a million people annually, and that there are between 300 million and 500 million new cases each year.

In Congressional testimony about the ban of DDT, another Gaia-Worshipper stated that the increase in malaria resulting from such a ban would 'only kill brown people' [in Southeast Asia.]

You don't have to be a genius to understand that SOME people in other parts of the world are not pleased with all the decisions made by the US Congress. with a hat tip to Betsy's Page:

DoD Intelligence Warned FBI About Moh. Atta?

Just what the hell was going on here?

"Members of the commission that uncovered the government's failures to share intelligence among agencies before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks want to know whether U.S. defense intelligence officials knew for more than a year that four of the hijackers were part of an Al Qaeda cell but failed to tell law enforcement.

...Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who serves as vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, said a classified military intelligence unit known as "Able Danger" identified the men in 1999.

That's an earlier link to Al Qaeda than any previously disclosed intelligence about Atta if the information, which Weldon said came from multiple intelligence sources, is true.

...Defense Department documents shown to an Associated Press reporter Tuesday said the Able Danger team was set up in 1999 to identify potential Al Qaeda operatives for U.S. Special Operations Command. At some point, information provided to the team by the Army's Information Dominance Center pointed to a possible Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, the documents said.

However, because of concerns about pursuing information on "U.S. persons" — a legal term that includes U.S. citizens as well as foreigners admitted to the country for permanent residence — Special Operations Command did not provide the Army information to the FBI. It is unclear whether the Army provided the information to anyone else.

...If the team did identify Atta and the others, it's unclear why the information wasn't forwarded. The prohibition against sharing intelligence on "U.S. persons" should not have applied since they were in the country on visas and did not have permanent resident status.

Well--it wouldn't be the FIRST time that the Clinton Administration fouled up National Security issues. Sweeping the Bad News under the rug, or re-interpreting laws to prevent investigation/apprehension of foreign terrorists, or selling advanced weapons systems to the Red Chinese...all part of the game with Bill, Hildebeeste, and Jamie Gorelick, their DoJustice stooge who served her masters by blocking investigations...,2933,165268,00.html

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Chesterton on The Key(s)

Just worth it:

A key is above all things a thing with a shape. It is a thing that depends entirely upon keeping its shape...the Christian creed is above all things the philosophy of shapes, and the enemy of shapelessness.

Shirley Abrahamson: Imperial Grand Dictator?

When Shirley's gang writes their order forcing Milwaukee County to emplace sexual predators 'in the community,' one hopes that at least ONE elected official will simply stand up and say:

"The Court has so ordered. Let the Court enforce it."

A reasonable facsimile of jury nullification with the same sort of message: "go to hell."

ANOTHER Blogger scoop, by the way, on this bit of news. The MSM was too busy covering hot weather that day, or something...

Da Vinci Codes by Another Name

Most people know that The DaVinci Codes is a work of Gnostic-fiction. It's also snake-oil, attacking the Roman Catholic Church (thus, Christianity as a whole) with a blend of engaging "mystery/romance" storyline and "history-like" calumnies of various Catholic prelates.

The problem with 'DaVinci' is that most people who read it simply cannot separate the fiction from the fact hint: 98% is fiction) because most people are willing to buy into conspiracies. After all, conspiracies are simply not as messy as real history.

Now enter Wes Pruden, with a brilliant and enjoyable analogy--DaVinci reduced to a dozen paragraphs:

Conspiracy theories are the hors d'oeuvres for small minds. You could ask Howard Dean, the Rev. Jesse Jackson or even Oliver Stone (if you knew his e-mail address). The usual cause of evil in the world, as Dean Rusk famously explained to John F. Kennedy, is that at any given time half the people in the world are awake.

Nevertheless, sometimes. ...

Why, for example, are we seeing a spike in the number of new studies purporting to show that nobody much reads Internet Web logs — or "blogs" — except the people who write them? Why are dark and sinister forces trying to persuade us that "blogs" are merely the work of unemployed geeks in pajamas (or worse, geeks in their BVDs), sitting around the house with nothing better to do than let fly into the cosmos half-baked opinions on everything they don't know anything about, which is a lot? Could this be the work of Karl Rove, who is trying to prevent the exposure of his nefarious deeds by public-spirited bloggers, who are (just ask any of them) the last barrier between us and ruin?

Blogdom is big. This frightens evil-doers. The Blogosphere is so big, in fact, that it has even been noticed by the editorial page of the New York Times. By the estimate of Technorati, a Web site that keeps up with such things, there are already 14.2 million blogs, and 900,000 postings are put up every day. All but 11 of them are dedicated to exposing Karl Rove. (The other 11 are dedicated to outing Robert Novak as the outer of Valerie Plame, who baked the infamous yellow cake and blamed the indigestion on her husband.) By other estimates every person in America will have his/her own blog by Halloween, and some of us will have two, having accepted the invitation to "take two, and butter 'em while they're hot."

So you can see why Mr. Rove is desperate to drop the big one on blogdom. Some of us, in fact, expected this to happen on Aug. 6 — last Saturday — since that was the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima's claim to fame. Not all coincidences are coincidental.

One of the most effective of the Rove exposure blogs is written by one Greg Gutfeld on, which is Arianna Huffington's summer-camp project this year. It's Gutfeld scoops like this one that, abetted by the heat of August, are driving the White House nuts:
"Right from day one, Karl Rove cemented his link with the religious right, by being born on Dec. 25, 1950, a day many on the right refer to as 'Christmas,' a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (an influential leader worshipped by the religious right). It was no surprise that Dec. 25, 1950 was ALSO the EXACT day Communist forces recrossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. Clearly, Rove was making an [early] impact."

Mr. Gutfeld follows Karl Rove's life closely, noting what less observant observers would dismiss as trivial coincidences. Wars happened. Rivers flooded. People died. Why? River Phoenix, the actor, died on Halloween. "Where did he die? You guessed it: Los Angeles. The VERY same Los Angeles that Rove had visited ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS." And what wonderful advocates for gay "marriage" Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche would have been if Miss Heche had not gone straight: "Only one person on the planet could have orchestrated this sequence of events."

Sometimes the man once described as George W.'s brain was "conspicuous by his deliberate inconspicuousness." Proof: "In 1979, he did some work on George H.W. Bush's 1980 vice presidential bid. During Rove's involvement [in this campaign], there were EIGHT major plane crashes, including a Western Air Lines DC-10, which collided with a Dumpster truck, killing 72 people in Mexico City at Benito Juarez Airport. One can only wonder what Rove was having for lunch. A burrito? A sizzling plate of fajitas?" His fondness for Mexican food, after all, is well-known.

The evidence of the Rove finger in assorted frijoles becomes irrefutable. Soon after Mr. Rove joined George W.'s gubernatorial campaign in Texas in 1993, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died. "Rove probably did a little Pirouette," writes our blogging scoopmeister, "not unlike something Rudolf Nureyev might have done, if he also had not died that year. Rove had already been [at work for George W.] for a year, and already a black and a Russian had died. Rove's favorite drink? You guessed it: a Black Russian."

We could go on, and Mr. Gutman, in fact, does. But by now it's clear that Democrats and their allies are desperate to destroy Karl Rove — and why Mr. Rove is desperate to stop them, even if he has to destroy the blogosphere to do it.

See!! I saved you the trouble of reading DaVinci!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tax, More Tax, and Trying Harder

Owen over at Boots advises that Wisconsin is still in the hunt for "Most Highly Taxed" status, and his citation comes from:

Rather than going through the details (Owen did just fine), I'll ask a question:

Besides the $0.01 reduction in the gas tax, exactly where are the "Republicans" in the Legislature? Aside from Tom Reynolds' scotched offering of a rebate for private/home-school education, which Republican TAX REDUCTION provision was in the Budget?

Certain Republicans from the Legislature are now running for higher office--or maybe they are just running away from their dismal failure?

Yeah--be sure to call and ask for after-tax support, boys and girls...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ravinia vs. Children in Church

Last night the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus did a gig at Ravinia--Beethoven's 9th.

Ravinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (albeit a lot of substitutes played last night. Kinda resembled the "Esplanade" Boston Symphony group.) In addition, the Ravinia venue hosts shows in various genres: rock, country, jazz, blues, avant-garde (can-banging (!?) girls...) throughout the summer.

It's a splendid facility, initially an amusement park operated by the first owner of the Chicago & Milwaukee Road railroad--who went broke building the tracks--then taken over by private interests and still operated privately. The railroad is about 30 feet from the main gateway to the park.

If you took about 90% of the asphalt from the Summerfest grounds, replaced it with grass, landscaping, and trees, reduced the food/beverage stands by 80%, and put it all in (say) Whitefish Bay, you'd have an approximation of Ravinia.

During the afternoon rehearsal, and right through the first part of the concert (Bruck's Violin Concerto,) the cicadas were astoundingly loud. I'm used to them--they inhabit portions of my home town, as well--but these were steroid-enhanced cicadas who evidently consisted of multiple generations and multiple families--all at full-throat.

In a conversation with one of the Chorus members, he observed that 'bugs and birds are just fine,' to which I responded 'not at a concert.'

The exchange brought to mind the almost strident objections made by some to babies and young children at Mass, who often display vocal abilities matching Wagnerian sopranos (although the gist of their thematic material is often similar.) To those who complain I usually offer the rejoinder that 'children are just fine.'

But there IS a difference, of course: at a concert, the people are present to hear the performers (the ones on stage.) At Mass, the people are present to worship God.

And who's to say that God isn't playful, allowing His voice to articulate through a plaintive "Mommmmmeeeeeee!!!"?? dropped in precisely when the sermon is getting too long--or when a good screech is just what the music really needed?

Liturgeists. Nope. Not a Mis-Spelling

Since I am unable to outright steal the article w/copy& paste, you have to view it here:

Worth the read even if you are not of the Roman Catholic persuasion.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Phoenix Rising

Bishop Olmsted just keeps on keeping on. He must have read that line about "Teach, Rule, Sanctify," eh?

Politicians who support issues like abortion and gay rights have been banned from speaking at Catholic churches in the Phoenix Diocese.

So far, Gov. Janet Napolitano has been the only one affected by the edict from Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.

Napolitano was forbidden to speak last year at a Catholic church in Scottsdale at an event opposing Proposition 200, a ballot measure that denied certain rights of citizenship to non-citizens. The event was moved to another site.

In a letter to pastors in December, Olmsted said churches may not invite to speak any politician or other public figure who disagrees with basic church teaching on abortion, gay marriage or other issues.

An invitation "would provide them with a platform which would suggest support for their actions," Olmsted wrote.

Napolitano, a Methodist, said she was not aware of the ban but had heard about the letter.
Napolitano spoke in June at the annual convention of the United Methodist Church's Desert Southwest Annual Conference. She challenged churches to help find foster homes for children, housing for the homeless and jobs for ex-convicts but abortion rights, gay marriage and other hot button issues were not mentioned.

Olmsted's decision followed a policy passed last year by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Olmsted is among a number of Catholic bishops nationwide who have chosen to take a strict interpretation of the June 2004 statement called "Catholics in Political Life."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Which One is the "Powerful Special Interest"?

Here's the facts:

In 2002, there were 695,000 lawyers in the United States.[7] Their campaign contribution for that year’s election cycle was $95,478,421 or $137 per lawyer.[8] According to Mr. Barnes, this is not “powerful special interests.” During the same cycle, the National Rifle Association contributed $2,027,889.[9] Since the NRA has about 3 million members,[10] this averages out to 68 cents per member.

So the next time the "unbiased" Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel mentions the NRA (which will be followed by the term 'powerful special interest,') you have a better perspective on "unbiased."

HT: John Lott:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Belling: Green is "Insubstantial"


At about the 4:30 break in today's show Belling asserted that Mark Green is "insubstantial."

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Belling likes Walker. And it's not Belling's job to play the even-handed judge in the primary.

However, given Belling's inclination to run his mouth while woefully short of the facts in a number of instances, the remark DOES make me wonder what Green is really all about.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Green actually DOES have substance.

Fat, Dumb, Happy Conservatism?

Ten years ago (or so) RETyrrell wrote "The Conservative Crack-Up" to the chagrin of his conservative friends. He's not the only one who is concerned:

"Austin's basic point is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, modern American Conservatism suffers from intellectual atrophy. Frankly, I tend to agree.

This is no small statement today. For years conservatives, especially those in think tanks, have celebrated the Right's victory in the war of ideas. No doubt the Right has come a long way from the days when Galbraith could credibly state that Conservatism was "bookless." The second half of the Twentieth Century saw the unfettered victory of the Right over the visions of the Liberals.

But the victories of small-government Conservatism ended in late 1994, and the last decade has seen the rise of "National Greatness Republicanism," "Big-Government Conservatism," or whatever else you'd like to call the policies of the Bush Adminsitration. (And I intend no disparagement in my choice of those terms -- I find a lot of President Bush's national policies quite exciting and compelling if not "conservative" in a small-government sense.)

I began to wonder if the "Republicans won the war of ideas" era peaked this spring when Martin Peretz, editor of The New Republic, embraced that message in his own column. Austin's new article highlights many of my own concerns.

Austin suggests that history may be repeating itself: just as the Liberal Left grew fat, happy, and ultimately helpless following two decades of victories, the Conservative Right has grown self-satisfied and atrophied following two terms of Reagan and two terms of Bush (with twelve years of Liberal Republican/New Democrat consensus in between).

It's interesting to note that PJBuchanan, like GWBush and many others, are "Big Gummint Conservatives;" --which to me (and the Southern Appeal author quoted above) is an oxymoron.

At any rate, The American Conservative (8/29) published the essay, not available online. Probably worth a purchase and read.

HT: Southern Appeal:

Rumor: Health Bennies to be Taxed

If you didn't know what your health insurance is worth, the IRS may help you understand:

For 60 years, American workers have received job-sponsored health-care benefits that are excluded from income and payroll taxes, but now they're in danger of taxation.

An odd coalition of groups from both the right and left wants to tax those benefits, and a special presidential commission is weighing whether to recommend ending their tax exemption when issuing its report Sept. 30 on how to overhaul the tax system.

...Left-leaning advocates call for ending the tax exclusion for job-sponsored health benefits in the name of fairness. They think the benefits are an invisible tax break for wealthier Americans that's unavailable to poorer ones, who generally don't get job-based health insurance.

...The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy-research center, says the exclusion leaves consumers in the dark about the real costs of health care, leading them to make uninformed decisions that ripple through the health-care economy, driving up costs.

...Advocates on left and right agree on this: Ending the tax exclusion should be accompanied by a new national tax-credit system for health care.

Tax credits would exempt health plans from taxation up to a set dollar limit. Employers would put price tags on the benefits they provide to employees — many already do this to remind workers why wages aren't rising — and anything above the government-set limit would be treated as taxable income. This would allow the taxation of so-called Cadillac health plans, the generous ones that cover everything from fancy eyeglasses to hair transplants.

...Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office, the legislature's analytical arm, estimated that eliminating the tax exclusion for employers and employees for health-care benefits could raise $195 billion by 2010, and $705 billion through 2015.

(Original story in Jewish World Review)

Here's some math: in SE Wisconsin, the typical family health plan costs around $1,000./month. Assuming that the covered family contributes $250./month, that means that the "income" imputed is around $750./month, or $9,000./year. At 28% or so, that works out to $250+/month in additional Federal Income tax payable.

And you can bet serious money (do it now, before it's unavailable to you) that the State of Wisconsin will find a way to piggyback onto the tax-wagon.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wages in SE Wisconsin

HT to Sykes, king-of-the-hill broadcast blogger...

The J-S ran an article noting that mean wages in SEWisconsin are "flat," which allegedly confuses/confounds the "experts." (

That's because "experts" have agendas. The Governor's "experts" want better numbers because they want the Governor to get the credit. After all, Jim Doyle creates 'good-paying' jobs, right? (Yes, he does--note the TEACHERS' median in the accompanying chart.)

The other "experts" can't understand it because the USA has officially entered the Permanent Workers' Paradise of Global Free Trade. Curmudgeons like yours truly were among those who frequently commented (in vain) that "Free Trade" with slave States such as China, and the concomitant demolition of industrial jobs, would have a negative effect on incomes.

But never mind that little detail. Unprecedented second-mortgage financing led to increases in consumer spending (thus, GDP)--so all's well, right?

Milwaukee Catholic? Who's Your Attorney?

The Diocese of Portland has declared bankruptcy due to the burden of settlements in priest/homosexual/pedophilia cases. That was regarded as an interesting move.

But now, the Diocese has added a nuclear bomb. They have petitioned the Bankruptcy Court to add every registered Parish member in the Diocese as defendants in the bankruptcy.


This has implications. The Legal Beagles who read this blog (yes, at least one) may offer comments regarding the implications.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Second Place on the Wrong List

The American Center for Voting Rights ( has issued a 300+ page report (PDF) stating that Philadelphia, PA., is the single most egregious vote-fraud spot in the USA.

Milwaukee came in second. (, p.4.

Avis, again.

But we're working our way UP the list in taxes!!

Tax for The Culture?

Dan Finley, whose chair at Waukesha County is still warm, now floats an idea--another un-accountable and un-elected bunch who will comprise a District which will have tax and spend authority--this one to support "culture."

To nobody's surprise, the concept has already been in discussion by the Power-Suit group in Milwaukee (the Greater Milwaukee Committee). The initial study is being done by Steve Marcus, Julia Taylor, and Chris Abele.

Finley inadvertently pointed to the challenge: "We've got to come up with a way to support them because we can't afford to lose any one of them." The Journal-Sentinel report specified only the Boerner Gardens and the Museum, but did NOT identify "other financially troubled attractions."

Finley concedes that this may be controversial. We agree: just ask George Petak.

Milwaukee's United Performing Arts Fund supports the Milwaukee Symphony, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Bel Canto Chorus, the Milwaukee Chamber Theater, Danceworks, Bialystock & Bloom, First Stage Children's Theater, the Florentine Opera, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Skylight Theater.

Then there are performance venues in Waukesha and Ozaukee counties, (not part of the public schools,) plus a wide variety of "single-issue" art/museum entities (Black Holocaust, e.g.) another 20 or so performing groups NOT supported by UPAF (The Milwaukee Opera Company, the Sunset Theater, the Milwaukee Children's Chorus)--not to mention specific County-park goodies like the Domes and the Washington Park bandshell...the list is extremely long.

Which ones 'can we not afford to lose?'

Even if that decision can be made without terminal violence being inflicted on a few people (a dubitable proposition,) how much goes to those who remain standing? And then--how much is the Tax?

Dan, you've set a table for more guests than you want to host with this one...

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Future of Random Killings?

The muted crying of mothers mixed with the political preening and posturing can overshadow the horrendous fact which is a precursor--and sadly, a predictor:

Read through the megazillion words on class, income mobility, and poverty in the recent New York Times series “Class Matters” and you still won’t grasp two of the most basic truths on the subject: 1. entrenched, multigenerational poverty is largely black; and 2. it is intricately intertwined with the collapse of the nuclear family in the inner city.

By now, these facts shouldn’t be hard to grasp. Almost 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers.

Anyone who is really serious about the 78 dead in Milwaukee (to date) should be deadly-serious about more healthy nativity patterns in the Inner City. A LOT more serious.

Mayor Barrett? Sheriff Clarke? Radio Pundits? Pastors? Preachers?

Anyone? Anyone?


HT to Tom McMahon, whose site is truly revelatory, every day: