Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The Problem in Madison
She's a civil servant, protected from firing. She's on the payroll (about $75K) of the State of Wisconsin. She's responsible for negotiating in good faith for the benefit of the State, the WHOLE State, and nothing BUT the State.
So where in blazes did she get the idea that the interests of the State and the interests of the Governor are congruent?
Worse: the woman was hired by a Republican ninny-excuse-for-a-Governor--which likely means that her malformed understanding of the Common Good had its genesis long before Doyle.
Even Worse Yet: how many OTHER State civil servants have the same disorder?
Belling's Curious Observation
Besides the fact that ipso facto that means they are NOT 'law-abiding,' one wonders how Belling can support that observation. Did he do a survey? Inquire of all his friends?
It may be the case, of course, and I certainly don't have any objections.
Competitive Industry Reminder
Well, that's fine.
But this is merely another (albeit small) cost imposed on business. A cost NOT imposed by such enlightened places as Red China, or India. A cost that must show up in a price, someplace.
The State of Wisconsin's ethanol-cost-imposition on manufacturing will have repercussions, just like the Chicago proposal. Remember: if you want LESS of something, make it more expensive. Tax or regulate it--you'll kill it.
So the next time someone yaps their flap about the "fact" that businesses in the US are "not competitive," and blame "union thugs," remind them of Richard Daley and
Our Mystified Auxiliary
At the same time, others have observed, the Instruction seems to go beyond external behavior to the mystery which remains at the core of a person's identity.
Ah, sweet Mystery of life...
Right, your Excellency. It's really hard to figure out.
Some wonder why I don't subscribe to the local "Catholic" rag. Simple. My children might read it. Frankly, they can become confused without the assistance of Bp. Sklba.
Reunification with SSPX?
Leaders of the Society of St. Pius X are meeting in Flavigny, France, tomorrow, and a followup meeting is scheduled for February 7-8. More than 20 groups are invited.
They are supposedly very close to a deal with Rome but Bishop Williamson is “resisting” the deal because he say it doesn’t go far enough. Apparently, the deal would “annul the excommunications,” state the legitimacy of the Pian rite, allow Tridentine Masses in privatu for the whole Church (in other words, the universal Indult), and legitimizing Lefebvrist chapels. There would be either one or four geographic apostolic administrations.
There is at least one SSPX chapel in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. From the very sketchy report, it does not seem that Abp. Dolan will have any particular authority over the Chapel should this re-unification come about. He will have, of course, some influence and perhaps more than just that.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Republicans Pass on Social Disease to Mfgr's.
Now, having discovered that manufacturing is no longer important to Legislative campaign coffers, the Republican caucus has decided to infect it with....ah....the Social Disease de jour: paying for someone else's pollution activity.
"A proposed amendment sponsored by the Sierra Club to the ethanol mandate
legislation would deal a crippling blow to Wisconsin’s manufacturing base. The amendment to
Assembly Bill 15 would statutorily require Wisconsin businesses to clean up air pollution
created by burning ethanol.
“This would be the first time in state history that the legislature would force businesses to clean
up pollution they didn’t create,” said Scott Manley, Environmental Policy Director for Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce. “The financial costs and job losses associated with this
amendment would be devastating to our state’s job providers.”
The Sierra Club reports that it negotiated the amendment with Rep. Stephen Freese (R-Hazel Green), who is the lead Assembly sponsor of the bill to mandate all gasoline sold in Wisconsin contain 10 percent ethanol. Freese’s amendment would require industry to reduce ozone forming emissions to compensate for the pollution created by burning ethanol in cars and other engines.
“It sends a terrible message to current and prospective employers that Wisconsin will force
businesses to clean up pollution they didn’t create. In many respects, the Freese amendment
unravels the important reforms enacted in the Job Creation Act,” said Manley.
This cost is relevant to the ethanol mandate because a September, 2005 report issued by the DNR indicated that the mandate would increase NOx pollution by about 2 percent. BBC forecasts 4,000 jobs lost due to the mandate.
“We’re going to lose jobs if this bill passes, and the amendment negotiated between Freese and
the Sierra Club will guarantee those job loses on a statewide basis,” Manley said. “The
legislature cannot allow this bill to cripple our manufacturing base when we already have the
fifth-highest taxes in the nation and a liability crisis in our state. How many reasons will we give
employers to locate elsewhere?”
Earlier this week, WMC released the findings of a report showing which concluded that forcing
utilities to clean up ethanol pollution would cause utility rates to skyrocket
We have Republicans who are so scared of WEAC that they will continue to support taxation-without-representation (the Tech School Boards.) We have Republicans who, until put under enormous and forceful pressure, were perfectly happy with taxation-without-representation in the auto-gas-tax-increase. And now we have Republicans who have tossed manufacturing overboard (evidently WMC didn't pony up enough campaign cash, eh?) because Archer-Daniels-Midland wants to jam Corn-A-Hole up Wisconsin motorists' .....gas tanks.
And these jackasses expect support from us?
One more thing: note carefully the "utilities" line in WMC's release. If you think for ONE SECOND that the "utilities" will pay those costs, instead of passing them on to YOU--you've spent far too many years on your home planet, wherever it may be.
HT: Wigderson and Wheeler Report
Blind, Deaf, Dumb, and Our Governor!
Sunday, January 29, 2006
New Song for the Tax-Pigs
It's going to return, but now starring Tom Barrett, BagManJim Doyle, and your local School Board members...
I Love you So, and always will,
Because you can do the things that taxes never will!
You can take money for things that I cannot tax for...
You can make suckers pay more
For things they have paid for,
And in the long run, carry me
and my bloodsucker pals,
I love you so, and always will,
'Cause you fleece all the Saps...
Texas Hold'em Gets It
They have already derogated from the concept with their ridiculous, self-serving, and labrynthine "reforms," which have squelched Wisconsin Right-to-Life (among others) and which may generate a fair amount of lawsuits beginning in September of this year, when the "60-day period of omerta" kicks in prior to the November elections.
Pete points out that it's not just Rush, Da Godfoddah, and Belling which will be targets; it's bloggers who have opinions, as well. (See the right-hand column on this blog for a convenient list of targets.)
More can be found here.
Journal-Sentinel Is Doyle Campaign Consultant
Doyle is apparently the Governor of Wisconsin, despite his apparent best efforts to be a compliant and well-placed buttboy of certain special interests, which apparently include Indian tribes, WEAC, public utilities, a travel agent, and PI lawyers.
At this time, it is not apparent that Doyle will remain the Governor long enough to campaign for a second term, however.
The Journal-Sentinel apparently hired "Xoff" a well-known and apparently leftist spinner for its political writing-assignment. This conclusion can be drawn by comparing the apparent shock and horror of the writer of the Green/Graul story to the apparent indifference of the Journal-Sentinel to the Governor's un-Constitutional and completely illegal re-writing of the apparent State budget, where the apparent Governor handed control of $400+million in State tax funds to the apparent Director of Administration.
HT: (Concept): Jessica McBride
How "competitive" is a winning bid when there's $10, 15, 0r $20K (or more, God knows) left over to put into a campaign fund?
We Are NOT Number One
The best they can achieve is #3. I mean, Vince Lombardi never even SPIT on #3.
What the Hell kind of governance are we buying here? A bunch of LOSERS. Perennial ne'er-do-wells. Not even bridesmaids. Can't make "second-rate," even with help from Adelman Travel, WEAC, the Tribes, Roadbuilders, General Contractors, PI scumsuckers, Utilities, and AFSCME, to boot.
Time to throw out these failures and elect a Government that will be Number One! You know, people with VISION!! People who understand that the taxpayers are NOT entitled to that spare change left in their pockets!
As Senator Risser said--the Legislature wastes time debating God-given rights, instead of really important stuff like a War on Poverty, or a Great Leap Forward, and like that, hey.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Not at all unthinkable, but Tom will actually have to show face more often.
His opening gambit, a sensible proposal for re-design of the Choice program dollar-flows, was interesting largely because it does not seem to gore anyone's ox, yet gets the job done.
If Barrett comes out of his hole on Groundhog Day, and stays out, you can lay bets.
It will also tell you that BagMan's reign of corruption is over--and possibly that even worse things are in store for the most corrupt Governor in Wisconsin's modern history.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Da Godfoddah Hits the Target
Spend enough time in Madison and it’s all about keeping the majority (if you’re a Republican) or losing it (if you’re a Democrat.) The reason you came in the first place? Who can remember? Who cares?
Yup. Are term limits the answer? I tend to vote "yes," and just like Charlie, I have reservations.
Call it a qualified and somewhat strained "yes."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Only in Wisconsin
Notice how Wisconsin's tax schedule does NOT 'conform' to Federal? Like if you have an HRA--Wisconsin taxes the company's contribution, but allows deduction of money spent from the HRA, whereas the Feds don't count the contribution as taxable but they don't allow deduction of the expenditures?
How about that Federal-only 6,000+ lb. (GVW) "bonus depreciation" that Wisconsin doesn't recognize?
While our erstwhile Leggies were finding more money to pour into highways, and the Governor was stealing THAT money to spend on the schools, you've had to hire $300.00/hour tax attorneys to do your math, because NONE of those rummies in Madistan will bring Wisconsin tax law into line with Federal tax law.
And when you realize that you pay all those additional taxes on the Wisconsin schedule and have the spectre of the Feds' Alternative Minimum Tax looming in the foreground (which simply doesn't care a whit about the high-spending/high-taxing Wisconsin Gummint)--you know that some other State--ANY other State--becomes an attractive possibility.
Well, Chuckles, that's when you realize that even more forceful language is required the next time you see your State Leggie bopping around town.
If Doyle returns from Iraq, maybe you should talk to him, forcefully, too.
GOOD News From Detroit
Catholic World News reports as follows, quoting Gumbleton:
On Thursday of this past week, Pope Benedict XVI accepted my resignation from the office of auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Maida. In the revised Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1983, there is a canon directing every bishop to request permission of the Pope to resign from the Episcopal office at the age of 75. For a variety of reasons when I turned 75 last year, I wrote a letter requesting that I not resign at that time.
During the past year I have carried on correspondence with Cardinal Giovanni Re, the head of the Congregation for Bishops, regarding this request. However, some time ago he indicated that my request to defer my resignation was not acceptable. Finally, I decided to end the discussion. On January 21, 2006, I wrote to Pope Benedict asking him to accept my resignation from my office as auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Maida.
This poor schlep actually thought he could simply remain Bishop-ing (after a fashion)--but Cdl. Re was adamant.
Another sign of the times, folks.
George Weigel Warns...
Whatever the intentions of those who negotiated the Truce of 1968, the net result of this remarkable episode was to promote intellectual, moral, and disciplinary disorder in the Catholic Church in the United States. The lesson learned was that rejecting moral doctrines solemnly proclaimed by the Church’s teaching authority was, essentially, penalty-free. Obedience to what the Church taught to be the truth, and obedience to legitimate ecclesiastical superiors, were now, somehow, optional. That disorder and indiscipline followed should not have been surprising.
It's also worth noting that this comment is almost a year old. Albeit the left's screeching has diminished, it is understood that they will (or have already) dig in, keep quiet about it, and do what they damn well please.
Since the left occupies a hefty percentage of Diocesan/seminary bureaucracy, we'll only know about "obedience" to the mandate after a few more years.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders." —Mark Twain
Get it? It applies to States, not just countries.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Tech College Boards, Taxes, and Elections
Jensen prefers to subject Tech College levies to the approval of each County Board within the Tech College's district.
Jensen is concerned that a teachers' union will see to favorable election results should the Boards be elected.
Frankly, Rep. Jensen's idea is screwy. Stark, raving, fear of teachers' unions should NOT drive legislation. The public interest should drive legislation.
Tech College boards can be replaced, if elected. Requiring 2, 3, or 6 County Boards to approve a levy strikes me as inherently un-workable.
Perhaps the MSM Was Out of the Room?
“Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al Qaeda operatives in the United States, and we would have identified them as such.”
Referring, of course, to the wiretaps of NON-US CITIZENS making calls to destinations OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY--or of calls originating outside the country to NON-US CITIZENS.
Russ Feingold (D-AlQuaeda) will be in Monotony Falls on Friday to answer your questions.
Monday, January 23, 2006
More Political Shenanigans Cost YOU Money
So our Leggies went back to "work," coming up with another law. Doyle vetoed it. Now, of course, the screaming commences: "Doyle's in the Pocket of the Trial Lawyers!!" or in the alternative: "The Republicans' Cap is Too Small!!"
A friend called and mentioned that the deal could be done. While the PI lawyers want a $1 million cap and the MD's/Hospitals want a $450K cap, it would be no big deal to split the difference and simply call it a day at (say) $750K. Everybody would be happy, including the Supremes.
So why not?
Because certain Republican Leggies will NOT allow this to happen. They want a Gubernatorial campaign issue (can you say Mark Green/John Gard?) and if common sense prevails, there will be no ISSUE!!
Another reminder why Conservatives are often NOT Republicans. Who needs their crap?
"Gun Ban" Works--Just Like WE Said It Would
Figures published this week by the Home Office are expected to show that offences involving guns have soared by as much as 50 per cent in some parts of the country. . . .
In London, a major area of concern is still black-on-black gun crime, despite huge efforts by the Met to combat such violence. According to Operation Trident, the Met's unit combating black gun crime, offences in the capital rose by more than 50 per cent during 2005, with 164 offences recorded between April and October. This is compared with only 108 the previous year. . . .
Outside London, the figures also show a disturbing rise in the use of guns. In Bedfordshire, gun-related offences have risen by 20 per cent over the past two years, from 173 in 2004 to 207 in 2005.
Maybe only Washington, DC, and Australia will replicate these results.
Shred the Target
Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.
That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.
Metal Storm Inc., a munitions company headquartered in Virginia but with its roots in Australia, has been developing a gun that can shoot at blistering speeds, albeit in short bursts as each barrel is reloaded.
A Metal Storm gun of any size -- from a 9 mm hand-gun up to a machine gun size or a grenade launcher -- has no moving parts other than the bullets or munition inside the barrel. Rather than chambering a single slug for each shot - very quickly in the case of machine guns -- the bullets come pre-stacked inside the barrel and can be shot all at once, or one at a time, as the shooter decides through the electronic controls.
Because there are no moving parts, the weapon is less likely to jam, and will presumably need less maintenance.
Ammo costs likely to rise.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
It makes our Sgt/Senator a whole lot more malevolent, and a lot less likeable, especially when he uses his power to jam corncobs into that hole towards the rear of your car . Gehr' steh?
Campaign-finance records will not be very helpful; as we pointed out below, the money-interests in Corn-a-Hole are individual farmers (and tax-scam folks otherwise known as "investors") and Archer-Daniels-Midland. Schultz didn't raise a lot for his last campaign ($125K.)
Much more foggy are the trails in the "Republican Senate Campaign" committee...
Wisconsin's Sgt Schultz is hellbent on increasing the cost of transportation for Wisconsin taxpayers/residents by forcing them to use a less-efficient, highly-subsidized (read: taxpayer-supported) pollution-creating fuel "blend." He can do it. But it really won't "reduce foreign oil imports" and don't even THINK about storing the crap for your lawnmower over the winter; it doesn't last that long. (Ask Paul Harvey why he's now taking money from Sta-Bil. Answer: Corn-a-Hole)
OK, Dale. Maybe you'll pull this one off. But we have the ability to remember, and the will to punish. Perhaps your next job will be with Luther Olsen's brother--at his Corn-A-Hole plant.
Paul Harvey: Paid Buttboy. Good Day!!
- Making a gallon of ethanol costs 70% MORE than it delivers in energy (Cornell U.)
- Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates that the proposed mandate will increase nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, which contribute to ozone smog, by 6.9-13 tons per day. This is double the reduction in NOX emissions that Wisconsin achieves through vehicle inspection and maintenance programs in six southeastern counties.
- Without the 71 cents in state and federal subsidies, ethanol is by the most conservative estimates, twice as expensive to produce as gasoline — and has less energy (BTUs). A survey of gasoline prices through out Wisconsin on 12/26/05 showed that the lowest gas price of $2.242 for non-ethanol unleaded was in Green Bay, compared to $2.253 for 10% ethanol blended gas in Milwaukee.
- Farmer-owned ethanol plants are investment schemes to rake in profits from subsidies. The 2005 energy bill passed by Congress, allows non-farmer investors to make out with tax credits. If a farmer-owned cooperative builds an ethanol refinery, the investors get a share of the refinery's annual $1.5 million tax credit allowed by the federal government. If the credit equals an investor's tax bill, the investor owes no federal taxes. If it exceeds the tax bill, the investor is entitled to carry it over. The U.S. currently has several hundred ethanol plants, mostly farmer owned. Some are structured as limited-liability corporations to let non-farmer investors in on the feast.”
In other words: the stuff is NOT efficient, it is NOT really 'less expensive' to the consumer, it WILL cause pollution problems, and it is driven by tax-scamming subsidies.
Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Paul Harvey's puppetmaster, has already been through Federal investigations for influence-peddling. The Company has earned a reputation as one which will buy influence anywhere it can.
It has been quite involved in the Wisconsin legislation. This is ONE veto that BagManJim should slam home, in broad daylight, at noon on Capitol Square.
Eat fertilizer, Paul Harvey.
Either CCW or the Courts
Some of them are going to assist Doyle based on principle--that is, they have always opposed concealed-carry weapons (knives fall into the category) and always will--for whatever reason.
Others are going to assist Doyle because they want butter on their bread: BagManJim will 'take care of them' downstream.
BOTH of these groups have a problem, however, and I think both of them know it.
The "principled" opponents of CCW have the difficulty of the State Constitution and the State Supreme Court. The Constitution explicitly grants the right to bear arms 'for any lawful purpose,' and the Court has found that a 'reasonable fear' of bodily harm to oneself constitutes justification for carrying a concealed weapon. So far, this only applies to "place of business." (One could always legally have concealed weapons in one's own home.) But there's another case now in the docket which most likely will expand the right to "in one's car."
The point is that somewhere along the line, the Court will rule in favor of concealed carry under dozens of circumstances, based on the Constitution's clear language. It is entirely possible that such rulings could include carrying under circumstances proscribed by the proposed legislation (e.g., into Government offices.) Moreover, such rulings do NOT require that the individual who carries register, nor obtain training. In other words, the Court's rulings will produce a helter-skelter "map" of who may/may not, where/where not--and no law-enforcement agency will have foreknowledge of individuals who are legitimately carrying.
It's a nightmare scenario; but voting to sustain the veto WILL lead there, whether by accident or design.
The OTHER group of Democrats may vote to sustain the veto based on gaining favor from the Governor. But they, too, have a problem: the polls. At this time, BagManJim is not doing well at all and it is very likely that he will lose his office in November (all things remaining equal.)
So exactly what 'favors' can BagManJim DO for them? And how long will those 'favors' last?
The case for legal concealed-carry is compelling on principle--who can argue that law-abiding citizens should NOT be able to defend themselves from attack? Which legislator wants to tell their daughter (or mine) to "lay back and enjoy it?"--or tell their Mom (or wife) to just "take a few rounds in the gut--you shouldn't have been in that area of town anyway"? Forty-six other States understand that self-defense is a God-given right, and the law does not COMPEL citizens to carry; if you don't like guns, or knives, or Mace--don't use them. No problem.
The choices for those who would sustain the veto are not appealing: either Court-imposed patchwork, or a "reward" from a guy who has less than 365 days left in power.
Seems like a no-brainer to me.
More Facts, Better Decision
From the initial news reports, one was led to believe that the teacher in question had accessed adult porn sites for only a minute or so on a Sunday afternoon. Although he was using school computers to do so, this seemed like a minor case; thus, some folks were shocked and disturbed to hear that the Cedarburg School Board fired the guy.
But Nichols did his homework, and reports that:
The bizarre background to this case is that at some
point early in the 2004-'05 school year, somebody from the community approached
Cedarburg School Superintendent Daryl Herrick with concerns about Zellner's
interest in porn outside of school, Herrick said at the hearing
Zellner's computer had to be totally rebuilt in both
November of 2004 and September of 2005 because it was, I guess, oddly hospitable
to porn pop-up ads.
Zellner, who chaperoned student trips to Hawaii, had
pictures of about three dozen bikini-clad students on his computer.
Now we're getting to the "pattern of practice" crucible, which is far more important than a single isolated incident.
Many of the libertarian folks will recoil in horror at the thesis that porn (adult, child, or otherwise) is, by its very nature, bad for individuals and, thus, bad for communities. But porn IS bad. Viewing porn is "an occasion of sin" as the Catholic church teaches. Porn derogates women (or children, or boys, ...whomever) to "objects." It establishes other people as inferiors to the viewer--just objects.
In this regard, there is no difference between porn and the Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, for de-humanizing a person, or a class of people--making them into an "object"--is a fundamental crime against nature as God created it. Similarly, "The Vagina Monologues" reduce the totality of female sexuality to, ah, well,...a vagina, and abortion advocates reduce the baby to "fetal matter." This sort of reductionism, in ANY of its manifestations, is simply a lie. And the crime against truth becomes a crime against natural and divine law, thus against humanity and God.
Thanks, Mike, for a job well done.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Stupid Smoking Ban? No Problem!!
At the very moment smokers around Chicago were learning not to light up on train platforms, in sports stadiums and in some restaurants, a subsidiary of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was preparing for the grand opening on Thursday of its answer to the smoke-free set: the Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge, what its creators intend to be the nation's first upscale, luxury lounge dedicated to the smoking of cigarettes, especially a new R. J. Reynolds variety.
The timing, Brian Stebbins, a senior marketing director at R. J. Reynolds, said, was purely coincidental. And the shop, he insists, does not fall under the city's new ban since it fits the exempt category of a "tobacco retail store," even though it also sells alcoholic drinks, cheese plates and espresso drinks.
"That's incidental," Mr. Stebbins said, as he wandered the lounge on Wednesday, pointing out the dark wood, the marble bar, the cozy seats by a fireplace. "This is about a select, super premium brand of cigarettes, just like what we've seen with the super premium tier of beer, wine, chocolate and pastries. It's about elegance and having fun."
"This is not what I intended," Alderman Ed Smith, who led efforts to pass the ordinance here, said Wednesday. "I am going to have to make some calls to find out if it's really allowed."
Some antismoking advocates nationally said they worried that the Chicago store might mark a new front in the tobacco industry's efforts to market their products as glamorous, particularly to a young, cutting-edge audience, despite efforts by the industry to comply with a 1998 settlement agreement with scores of states that limits advertising.
"It's trying to get an 18-to-25 demographic here, to make smoking seem desirable, attractive, like a secret club," said Bronson Frick, associate director for Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, a group based in Berkeley, Calif.
HT the hottest Law Student in Texas
The "Peace-niks" In Full Force
North Avenue at Hy. 100, there were 20 or so, with "Peace Now!!" signs, flags with the 'peace' symbol, "Honk for Peace," etc., etc.
Not many honks while I was waiting at the stoplight.
Not many people demonstrating, either--although I'm sure that some MSM bozo photog could tighten up the focus enough to make it look like 2,000, not twenty...
A federal grand jury in Milwaukee is reviewing the controversial decision to award a major state travel contract to one of Gov. Jim Doyle’s campaign donors, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
The news is the latest turn in a joint investigation by federal, state, and local authorities into the awarding of an exclusive five-year, $750,000 contract for all state travel arrangements to Adelman Travel.
Members of the firm’s board of directors and their families have donated more than $22,000 to Doyle’s re-election campaign.
Suppose the "news" desk at the Journal-Sentinel will awaken by Tuesday? Wednesday? November 20th?
Cute. Makes nice pictures.
However, State employees (legislative staff) become baby-sitters as a result. Rather than actually doing their jobs, they wind up chasing Muffy around the offices, keeping her from jacking around with the computer systems, providing paper/crayons, and maybe even serving as Solid-Waste disposal assistants.
The Leggies seem to think that the staff are, in effect, personal servants--except, of course, that the Leggies don't have to pay for the servants. The State taxpayers do.
Friday, January 20, 2006
“This is a list of the various ways in which citizens of the U S of A are taxed:
NOTE: Some of these taxes are called "fees"
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Interest expense (tax on the money)
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Local Income Tax
Marriage License Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
“COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and only one parent had to work to support the family.
REALLY Bold School Choice Idea
How about State-wide School Choice, no-holds-barred?
Somebody ought to propose it in a Gubernatorial campaign. Why not?
X42! Hildebeeste!! Jamie!!! What Happened to the Cole?
The Able Danger team had uncovered evidence of five “hot spots” of Al Qaeda activity: Mauritania; Malaysia; Hamburg, Germany; Brooklyn, New York; and Aden, Yemen. Captain Phillpott even briefed then-SOCOM head General Peter Schoomaker (now Chief of Staff, U.S. Army) on the findings just two days prior to the attack on the Cole. Phillpott reportedly warned Schoomaker that Able Danger had uncovered information of increased al-Qaeda “activity” in Aden harbor — a warning that was gleaned through a search of bin Laden’s business ties.
Able Danger analysts also passed along the information to the brass at CENTCOM, who had authority over the Fifth Fleet to which the Cole was assigned, but inexplicably took no action to head off the attack on the Cole. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pennsylvania), who has been leading the push inside Congress to get to the bottom of the Able Danger affair, later told Fox News: “[T]wo weeks before the attack on the Cole, in fact, two days before the attack on the Cole, [Able Danger] saw an increase of activity that led them to say to the senior leadership in the Pentagon at that time, in the Clinton administration, there’s something going to happen in Yemen and we better be on high alert, but it was discounted.”
In any event, since the Able Danger alert was classified SCI (special compartmented information) no one onboard the Cole, including Commander Lippold, was even cleared to receive it.
As more bits and pieces of the Bill and Hildebeeste Co-Presidency are revealed, the Junior Senator from New York's presidential aspirations will continue to melt--evaporate--disappear.
STATE Hy. 59 and New Berlin Wallet-Busters
The Town's position: "DOT is overcharging."
The City of New Berlin, which is FAR more generous with their tax dollars, is now into name-calling mode when referring to Town of Brookfield officials.
Specifically, some New Berlin alderman named Gallagher was indirectly quoted:
Ald. Paul Gallagher called town officials selfish and said the state should pay the town's portion to finish the reconstruction as a four-lane highway.
"The DOT needs to do what's right, and I believe they should go ahead and finish the road regardless of the cost sharing," Gallagher said. "They need to consider the safety issues."
We could point out that there are dozens of places where 4-lane roads become 2-lane roads around the Milwaukee area and there are no apparent "safety hazards" which come to mind.
Perhaps Alderman Gallagher's cavalier attitude toward DOT's spending habits is really the "safety hazard"--if you wish to keep your wallet safe.
US Bishops STILL in Denial
In an annual interview with Chicago Sun Times reporter Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Cardinal Francis George revealed that last year the United States Bishops visiting with the Pope asked the Vatican to delay release of the long-awaited document on homosexuality and the priesthood.
The document entitled, "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders", reinforced Church teaching barring men "who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'", from becoming priests.
"We asked them not not to publish it, but to delay it -- to wait -- otherwise it would color the visitations," Cardinal George told the Times.
He said the bishops were concerned that the document would be released during the official visits of US bishops with the Pope over the issue of sexual abuse in seminaries, and thus would ignite the sensitivities of homosexuals activists. Explained George: "We said, 'If you do this, it will be taken as a commentary on the visitations and we'll get into this whole business that the gay community is so sensitive to of, 'You're blaming us for the pedophilia.'"
In fact, however, the study on sexual abuse commissioned by the US Bishops after the scandals broke in 2002, confirmed that homosexuality indeed was a major part of the problem. The John Jay study (available online: http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/ ) noted that 80% of the sexual abuse in the priesthood involved adolescent males rather than young boys, pointing to the core problem being one of homosexuality, not strictly pedophilia.
Facts are just so darned inconvenient. The spin has been overwhelming, with the latest tactic to deny that "Pedophilia" was the problem. That is TRUE: the technical name is "Ephebophilia," which refers to sexual abuse of children over the age of (roughly) 12. As the John Jay study points out, 80% of the ephebophilia was homosexual.
Judas Rehabilitation? No
On Jan. 12 an article in the Times newspaper of London claimed that Monsignor Brandmüller is leading a campaign from the Vatican to convince believers of Judas' goodness.The Times also stated that some biblical scholars believe that the negative view of Judas has been influenced by anti-Semitic texts.
But in statements to ZENIT, Monsignor Brandmüller clarified that "this news has no foundation."
"Reading the Times I discovered that a campaign exists to rehabilitate Judas and that I am the leader," the Vatican official said. "I have not talked with the Times. I can't imagine where this idea came from."
In regard to the manuscript, it must be emphasized that the apocryphal gospels belong in the main to a special literary genre, a sort of religious novel that cannot be considered as a documentary source for the historical figure of Judas."
Monsignor Brandmüller continued: "We await the critical edition, which will certainly be interesting from the point of view of the history of ancient literature, but it is impossible to express judgments in advance."
He added: "Around 180 A.D., Irenaeus of Lyon, [in] 'Against the Heretics,' I,31,1, spoke of an alleged apocryphal gospel of Judas. Later, Epiphanius and a pseudo-Tertullian spoke of it. According to these sources, the apocryphal gospel of Judas was a Greek text of Gnostic origin, written by the Cainites' sect, in the middle of the second century."
The Gnostic sect of the Cainites attributed a positive value to all the negative figures of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, such as the tempter serpent, Cain -- hence their name -- Esau and Judas. In any case, the discovery of this manuscript is very interesting, from the point of view of knowledge of paleo-Christian literature."
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Doyle Fueling the Racist Fires?
Some self-flagellating bloggers who DID watch it brought out the point that Jimbo mentioned the Mercedes-driving Choice-school "principal" (whatever) in his speech.
That's a very interesting comment, Jimbo. Is it just....possible...Jimbo, that you're trying to fire up those folks who may be racists? Who think that Milwaukee is just filled with black flim-flam artists who take State tax money and piss it away on fancy cars?
Naaaaahhhh. Couldn't be. Could it?
Standin' in the Schoolhouse Door
You'll note that the white folks in the Legislature (of the Democrat stripe--just a co-incidence, of course) STILL don't want black folks to have guns, for WHATEVER reason.
And by the way, Jimbo/BagManJim/DiamondJim (D-WEAC)--there's a Kleagle position open since your Democrat colleage, Robert Byrd, vacated it to become a U S Senator.
"Liturgy Learning" in Milwaukee
From the Archdiocesan Liturgy office:
...you will have many opportunities to grow in your ministry and to develop new relationships. [Wow. Grow!!! Develop!!! Relationships!!!]
From handbells to gospel music, from worship with children to welcoming young adults, from praying the psalms to walking the labyrinth, from being good stewards of God's creation to the use of audio-visuals in our church environments, from hymnody to daily prayer, a host of workshops will stimulate and encourage liturgists, committee members, musicians, choir members, lectors, pastors, laity and all those interested in liturgy, music and ecumenical fellowship.
unnhhhh...'walking the labrynth'? Is this sorta like 'developing consistent tone quality and enunciation from your choral singers?' Or maybe like 'Reading Gregorian Chant for beginners?' And that "audio-visual" stuff: you talkin' preaching while gesticulating? Or hearing musica sacra while watching the Elevation of the Sacred Host?
And they will get MONEY for this!!!
BodySlam to Jimbo (D-WEAC)
Doyle has already conveyed legal-action threats to Sykes for running the spot. Doyle's father, a Federal judge of good repute, is now smoking up the graveyard with his RPM's, spinning in his grave. It's a shame that the old man's name will forever be sullied by his familial association, eh?
Da Godfoddah, however, may actually wind up spending a few bucks on counsel, as was pointed out below (here's the pertinent extract:)
The Left has also begun to use campaign-finance reform—not McCain-Feingold but equally onerous state regulations—to try to shush political talk radio. Wilbur’s and Carlson’s on-air commentaries [Washington State] were “in-kind contributions” and that the anti-tax campaign had failed to report them to the proper state authorities. The suit sought to stop NNGT from accepting any more of these “contributions” until it disclosed their worth—though how the initiative’s organizers could control media discussions or calculate their monetary value remained unclear. The complaint also socked NNGT with civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other damages. Even more offensively, to litigate the suit the politicians hired a private law firm, Foster Pepper & Shefelman, which serves as bond counsel to Washington State. The firm, which represents unions, hospitals, and retirement funds among its other clients, could thus clean up from the state’s plan to sell gas-tax-backed bonds. Appearance of corruption, anyone?
The real target of the suit was clearly Wilbur and Carlson, or, more accurately, their corporate employer, Fisher Communications.
“McCain-Feingold could definitely be used in the same fashion,” Mauer tells me. “In fact, the prosecutors in this case say McCain-Feingold permits them to do this. But pretty much any state that has campaign-finance laws that restrict contributions is subject to this abuse, too.”
Frankly, if Jimbo & Co. (which includes Crybaby Christofferson) proceed with suit, it's likely to be one of the last actions he takes as Governor of Wisconsin. His dis-election will follow promptly.
Orval, George, and Jim.
Tree-Huggers Attack NASCAR
Noting that an Environmental Protection Agency report warns of possible "serious health risks" from NASCAR leaded gasoline fumes, the non-profit Clean Air Watch is urging the agency to begin checking for toxic lead in the air at NASCAR races.
The EPA warning came in a draft report that was quietly issued last month. The report, a compendium of health information about lead pollution, noted that NASCAR vehicles have been exempted from the ban on leaded gasoline. EPA scientists cautioned that the combustion of leaded gasoline during NASCAR events "likely" increases airborne lead concentrations in nearby areas.
Just one more reason not to put your nose on the tailpipe of a moving race-car, eh?
HT: Ankle-Biting Pundits
Mike Reagan on the "Party of Reagan"
Mike's right, and here's just a taste of the level of corruption in the Swamp:
When the transportation bill was being marked up, the bill’s supporters in the leadership promised every member of Congress that they would each be allotted $14 million in free earmarks if they would vote for the legislation.
Added to projects already in the bill, and even with some members not taking the deal, the bill came to a total of 6,300 earmarked projects costing the taxpayers $24 billion.
This is a clear case of bribery. The people being bribed were members of Congress. The people making the bribes were members of Congress. Congressmen bribing congressmen.
Yah, well. It's only (YOUR) money...
Top 10 SCOTUS Decisions To REVERSE:
10. U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton1995 decision that denied the peoples of the states the right to set term limits on their congressional representatives even though the Constitution is silent on term limits and the 10th Amendment leaves to the states and the people powers that the Constitution does not explicitly give to the federal government or expressly deny to the states.
9. Baker v. Carr1962 decision that laid the groundwork for the “one man, one vote” standard ending county representation in state legislatures and forcing states, unlike the U.S. Senate, to redistrict based solely on population.
8. Plyer v. Doe1982 decision that said that the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires state governments to provide public education to illegal aliens.
7. Grutter v. Bollinger2003 decision that said the University of Michigan Law School could use race as a factor in admissions so it could achieve a “critical mass” of a particular racial group.
6. Wickard v. Filburn1942 decision that said Congress could regulate a farmer’s growing of wheat for his own use on his own property under the constitutional language that authorizes Congress to regulate commerce “among the several states.”
5. McConnell v. Federal Election Commission2003 decision that upheld the McCain-Feingold law’s prohibitions on political speech.
4. Berman v. Parker1954 case that said the District of Columbia could seize a department store and hand it over to a private developer to redevelop a “blighted” neighborhood, even though the department store itself wasn’t “blighted.” Decision set the stage for the 2005 Kelo v. New London decision allowing government to take property other than for direct “public use.”
3. Everson v. Board of Education1947 decision that said 1st Amendment Establishment Clause erected a “wall of separation” between church and state. Precursor to the 1971 Lemon v. Kurtzman decision that created a three-pronged test for when “wall of separation” was breached and led to cases such as McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, which prohibited the posting of the 10 Commandments in a courthouse.
2. Lawrence v. Texas2003 decision that declared same-sex sodomy a constitutional right, creating the rationale for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to declare a right to same-sex marriage.
1. Roe v. Wade1973 decision that declared abortion-on-demand a constitutional right, overturning the abortion laws of the states, and led to further abominations such as Stenberg v. Carhart, which declared partial birth abortion a constitutional right.
Let us pray.
Senator Plale is RIGHT
To say that irony abounds is, perhaps, the understatement of the century.
The most avid baby-killing organization in the USA worries about concealed carry.
Good thing their abortionists don't conceal their vacuums and scalpels, eh?
Barrett Report: It Could Be Told
The report details how the IRS in Washington interfered with and squelched prosecution of Henry Cisneros for various illegal activities. We hardly need mention that Bill Clinton and the Hildebeeste were "co-Presidents" at the time, do we?
In any case, Bob Novak reports that while Barrett himself cannot reveal the contents of the 120 pages which are missing (he'd be penalized for contempt), ANY Congressman or Senator who chooses to read the report and divulge its contents, including the 120 pages, can do so without fear of penalty.
Let's not discuss "contempt of court" too much. It's too easy. Rather, let's find a Congressman who thinks that the American public deserves its $23MM's worth--in full.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
<$2.1 BILLION> = BagManJim's "Balanced Budget"
In about 18 months, Wisconsin taxpayers have to come up with a balloon of $2.1 billion to plug Jimbo's Big Hole.
Good to know that we can plug his Pie Hole in November, instead.
So. Mr. Uebelacker made a $25.00 contribution (WOW!!!) to the effort to unseat Holloway. Big deal.
If we dig further, it may come out that Uebelacker once belonged to a Princeton alumni group which published a humor article about Princeton's admissions process.
Uebelacker simply did what he thought was right. That's ample qualification for an Ethics Board chairmanship, isn't it?
Feingold vs. Free Speech
Since WRTL used 'corporate' funds to do this, rather than PAC funds, the ads were a violation of the McCain-Feingold Act--which is to say, the ads were an exercise of Free Speech.
Under the terms of McCain-Feingold, such ads COULD be run if they were "grassroots lobbying" ads--and WRTL claims that they were such.
The term "Grassroots Lobbying" should strike a bell--because our Congress is now being urged to restrict "Grassroots Lobbying" as well--not to mention re-establishing the "Fairness Doctrine" which forces broadcast media to run equal-time opposing viewpoints. Finally, both the FEC and Congress are being urged to regulate the blogosphere in a similar fashion.
All of this, of course, is merely "Incumbency Protection" dressed up. It remains to be seen whether Justices Thomas and Scalia are able to persuade the other members of the Court that McCain/Feingold is simply an un-Constitutional restriction on Free Speech (which it most certainly IS.)
Failing that, the pitchforks may have to emerge from the closets and appear at one of Feinie's next "listening sessions."
Sunday, January 15, 2006
So You Want to Join AlQaeda?
Allahu akbar! So you've decided to join the fastest-growing organization of psychopathic murderers in the world today. Due to the exciting type of work we perform, we always have room for more volunteers, and so we welcome you to our ranks. We'd like to get to know you, while we can, so please answer a few questions for us:
Name: Abu ____________
Real name: __________________
Gender: ______ Male __________ Chattel (if so, stop here)
Marital Status: ____ Single _____ Married (# of wives: ______)
Reason For Interest In al-Qaeda (circle all that apply):
a. Hatred for everything Western, except those hot babes on Baywatch
b. Suicidal impulse but lacking the skills to carry it out
c. Inability to get women to date me
d. Want to travel and see the world before I realize my ambition to destroy it
e. Having 72 inexperienced young girls later sounds better than dealing with one nagging woman now
Would you be willing to relocate? Y/N If Y, in pieces? Y/N
Do you have any of the following disqualifying conditions?
c. Survival instinct
d. Half a brain or more
e. Fear of flying
Thank you again, mujaheddin, on behalf of al-Qaeda -- an Equal Opportunity Destroyer
Stolen with HT from Captain's Quarters
Government, Highways, and The Common Good
As we were just discussing the other day, for both Plato and Aristotle the correct politics were a natural outgrowth of the correct ethics. The two things were natural in the sense that correct ethics was directly related to the nature of man; and correct politics was merely an extension of ethics to society. Once you know what the right kind of man is, you build a society that encourages and develops that type. This understanding is the foundation of Western culture.
Ethics and modern American politics are only very barely connected.
Grim goes on, through the President/Congress mess, to the State level:
Teddy Lee just got fired as executive secretary of the [Georgia] State Ethics Commission.
It is your loss - and a big one. He was sacked by a bunch of politicians who couldn't bend him, fold him or intimidate him from representing your interests above theirs....
Ethics - like motherhood and apple pie - is something all politicians pay homage to, but that's about all they do. Perdue is touting new ethics laws that have just gone into effect, but the law has more holes in it than Bonnie and Clyde.
And he concludes, correctly:
We need ethics and politics to be rejoined, or the nation will not survive. It cannot survive, with half of its populace believing the most active [Executive] branch to be in violation of its basic principles, and with no one that half can trust [in the Legislative] to engage in oversight. The matter has become critical
In a discussion I had this morning with a VERY responsible, moral, and ethical roadbuilder, he raised the point that the roadbuilders may have been unfairly targeted in the recent 'gas-tax' dustup. I demurred, offering the opinion that the principle of the tax was the issue--but I conceded that the roadbuilders were hit by a lot of stray bullets--they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, so to speak.
But he made an interesting point. While a few of the Madison-politician gang took some bullets on this, most of the pols managed to drop to the ground at let the roadbuilders take the lead.
As he pointed out, it may be useful to take a hard look at highway-financing in Wisconsin. Should the tax be a set-amount of cents/gallon? Should it be like the sales tax: a set-percentage of the sale? Or should "Maintenance" dollars be derived from fuel taxes, with "New Road" dollars derived from income taxes? Tolls?
Should the State of Wisconsin ensure 4-lane access to East Noplace because (say) General Megalopoly Industries wants to put a plant there? Or should General Megalopoly pay for the road, with the State picking up maintenance?
Most important: what is the "common good," and are our politicians now as ethically-challenged that they can no longer determine it?
Grim DOES have a point.
Paving the State
"We are not partisan," Stevens [Wisconsin Roadbuilders Ass'n.] said. "There is no such thing as a Democratic road or a Republican road. There's just Wisconsin roads."
A LOT of Wisconsin roads.
In a very good article, Patrick Marley tries to sort it all out and furthers a discussion about the Wisconsin highway-creation/maintenance monster.
One of the major points:
Since 1990, lawmakers have approved an increase of more than 140% in construction - pushing it from $458 million to $1.1 billion a year. Spending on maintenance grew by less than 40%, from $119.5 million to $165.5 million.
After adjusting for inflation, the construction budget saw a 68% boost, while the maintenance budget declined by more than 6%, according to Department of Transportation figures.
In the world according to John Gard, this is good:
Gard, the Assembly speaker, said donations were not linked to increased spending on roads, adding that lawmakers spend more on highways because they help spur the economy.
"One of the core responsibilities of government is infrastructure, and most of our constituents demand an aggressive approach to job growth," he said.
However, one also gets a sense that Gard is at least a little bit paranoid:
Gard, who is running for the U.S. House, noted that he has found himself in the cross hairs of the Forest County Potawatomi and other tribes for his successful lawsuit against Doyle over casino compacts the governor signed with the tribes.
Another way to read that: "We must pave new roads (to hell with maintenance) so that the roadbuilders will contribute to our campaigns."
Look, boys and girls: if you can't or won't pay for the upkeep, why bother?
But this one is the "money" quote:
Gard, the Assembly speaker, said donations were not linked to increased spending on roads, adding that lawmakers spend more on highways because they help spur the economy.
Maybe. There are cross-currents here. By and large, economic development is more a result of succesful business ideas. A successful business will attract suppliers and other, like-minded businesses, to their area (that's why there is such a place as "Silicon Valley," or why lower Michigan/Northern Ohio has so many automotive suppliers.)
Gard's thesis is different: he maintains that building a road will (in effect) attract entrepreneurs. In some cases, he's right. The problem is that (as we know so very well) State spending requires State taxation; and State taxation eventually drives out the money.
In other words, Gard thinks that the State can and will determine business success. He's certainly not alone; the Big Government class of politicians and bureaucrats have been saying that for years.
The question is: where is the balance point?
Saturday, January 14, 2006
That's true, folks. He knows the rules of rhetoric and uses 'em.
Balance of the observations:
The Buchers' baby is really cute. Not Paul's fault.
J. B. Van Hollen is a hell of a shooter. Put a lot of lead through the silhouette.
Zien is really a character.
The Madison Conservative-Radio-Babette is slightly wacky.
Walker has excellent stage presence.
Green can't seem to find Milwaukee. I know there are maps--Zien hands them out like candy.
It's not PC to slam John (I'M CAMPAIGNING FOR CONGRESS) Gard in Republican company.
When you go to a shooting range, take along a couple of daughters. Gets you free use of an AR-15.
Kleismet is paripatetic at CRG events. In a 100' room, I'll bet he put on 4 miles in 30 minutes.
The best brains around counted 'em up. There are 6 known conservatives who live in Madison.
As if they didn't have more important things to do
It's part of The Hunt for Red October (AKA Dennis York) who is a suspect.
Actually, Jess raises a good question. It's something we've all sort of thought about: what do these creatures actually DO out there which is oriented toward the Common Good of Wisconsin residents?
Maybe Sue Jeskewitz' legislative initiative to create a State Tartar is really useless?
If the "leadership" of the Legislature wishes to derogate from the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, then perhaps it's time to cut their pay and send them home. Perhaps they need real jobs in the real world.
IOW, screw 'em.
Genetic Engineering--the REAL Reason
There's a lot more to "Calvin and Hobbes" than a cute little tiger...
Cable TV Competition? How Long for SE Wis?
Now some other big boys are playing in the field, and Tampa residents may soon see Actual Competition.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The War on Terror: It's Here, It's In Your Face
You do NOT recall (the MSM buried it) that the Italians broke up a terror-group which was planning to blow up (among other things) STADIUMS.
Courtesy RedState, here's a tantalizing connection of the dots:
Three Algerians arrested in an anti-terrorist operation in southern Italy are suspected of being linked to a planned new series of attacks in the United States, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said Friday.
The attacks would have targeted ships, stadiums or railway stations in a bid to outdo the September 11, 2001 strikes by Al-Qaeda in New York and Washington which killed some 2,700 people, Pisanu said. (Last weekend's news, except in the USA.)
Got it? Here's Part 2:
...a search of Hinrichs' [the U of O student] apartment turned up an airline ticket in the name of Fazal M. Cheema, a Pakistani who was Hinrichs' roommate. Destination? Algeria. In addition, according to the Daily Oklahoman, Cheema just happened to be visiting a nearby apartment shared by men of "Middle Eastern descent" when police arrived to arrest him. One of the men in the apartment was a visiting professor from Algeria... who had his suitcases packed and was ready to leave the country on an airplane the following day.
...the explosive used by Hinrichs was TATP. As the Times in London tells us, "the al-Qaeda network has adopted TATP for its terror missions abroad," including the London 'tube' bombings.
OK. You put 2+2 together. These *&^%$ are very active, and likely using untraceable cellphones, too.
Buy more ammo.
NYSlimes--and Slimier, and Now Treason?
The jihdoterrorists might now each be using a series of phones (each only once or twice) to communicate with other jihadoterrorists who are also using a series of disposable phones - each only once or twice. All they have to do is tell their comrade which cellphone number to use next. NOW HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET WARRANTS ON THAT!? It's impossible. Which is why it's ABOSLUTELY necessary for the POTUS, as CinC, to use his Article II powers during wartime in order to get the foreign intelligence we need to DEFEND OURSELVES.
By exposing the NSA intercept program, the leakers and their comrades at the NYTIMES have CONFIRMED valuable information to the enemy, alerted the enemy to the information, and NOW - AS A RESULT - the enemy has adjusted. Therefore, the leakers and the NYTIMES have endangered the lives OF MILLIONS of Americans, and our entire economy and also the world's economy (which after all depends on the US economy). They should ALL be charged, tried, convicted, and executed for TREASON.
That's ReliaPundit's take on the following story:
Federal agents have launched an investigation into a surge in the purchase of large quantities of disposable cell phones by individuals from the Middle East and Pakistan, ABC News has learned.
The phones — which do not require purchasers to sign a contract or have a credit card — have many legitimate uses, and are popular with people who have bad credit or for use as emergency phones tucked away in glove compartments or tackle boxes. But since they can be difficult or impossible to track, law enforcement officials say the phones are widely used by criminal gangs and terrorists. ... "
There's very little audit trail assigned to this phone. One can walk in, purchase it in cash, you don't have to put down a credit card, buy any amount of minutes to it, and you don't, frankly, know who bought this," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI official who is now an ABC News consultant.
Law enforcement officials say the phones were used to detonate the bombs terrorists used in the Madrid train attacks in March 2004. The FBI is closely monitoring the potentially dangerous development, which came to light following recent large-quantity purchases in California and Texas, officials confirmed. (ABC News)
Obviously, the FBI has adjusted as well, likely issuing bulletins about 'large-quantity purchasers' of these phones. But the NYSlimes and its book-selling "reporter" Risen are certainly "giving aid" to an enemy when they publish information about US defenses.
B-16's Next Target
Following is a brief quote from Mgr. Marini:
Today one cannot organize a celebration without first having thought: who is celebrating, what is being celebrated, where is it being celebrated. The celebration is the point toward which converge diverse and reciprocally coordinated elements under the guide of that spirit of adaptation that is the soul of post-conciliar reform. ...One finds oneself acting, in a certain way, upon a theatrical stage [palcoscenico]. Liturgy is also a spectacle
In refreshing and VERY stark contrast, the words of Cdl. Ratzinger:
"The liturgical reform, in its concrete realisation, has certainly distanced itself from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but a devastation. On one hand, there is a degenerate show-style liturgy, in which religion is rendered interesting with the aide of fashionable stupidities and seductive moral rules, with temporary success in the gang of liturgical fabricators and with an attitude of very pronounced rejection by those who search in the liturgy not the spiritual "showmaster", but an encounter with the living God for whom all 'making' becomes insignificant, an encounter itself capable of allowing us to climb the true riches of the being."
HT: Rorate Coeli
Church/State: More for Roberts' Court
ALBANY, N.Y. -- An appeals court on Thursday rejected a challenge by Roman Catholic groups to a state law that requires employers to offer prescription contraceptives.The law exempts churches and other religious institutions that primarily serve followers of that religion. However, groups such as Catholic Charities of Albany -- which sought to overturn the three-year-old law -- were not exempted because their missions were not deemed to be religious.
"We are very disappointed with the decision," said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference.
"The state is arbitrarily deciding which ministries are religious and which are secular," he said. "That's not the way the Catholic church is formulated. You can't separate the two. We don't do charity as a sideline."Poust said the plaintiffs will appeal to the state's highest court and to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
After Alito's confirmation, SCOTUS will have 5 Roman Catholics on the bench. We've noted that there will be some minor procedural changes--all arguments will be in Latin; candles will be lit prior to the entrance of the Justices; incense will be burning throughout the day, and the color of the Justices' robes will vary by the liturgical season.
Hope the NY AG studies up on Canon Law.
Rudolf's Red Nose Goes Modern
The state of Colorado is testing radio frequency identification (RFID) tags as one way to help protect elk herds from contagious disease.
Working with three ranchers and a vendor of animal-tracking systems, the state last month wrapped up a pilot test that involved tracking animals using passive RFID tags. Now the state is looking to launch another test with active RFID tags, which will hopefully extend the tracking range, said Scott Leach, a field investigator for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Active RFID tags are battery powered and can send out a signal at predetermined intervals. Passive tags only transmit data when scanned and tend to have a smaller range.
Yes, I know elk and reindeer are different. But it's just a matter of time.
Net up: RFID "Naughty" or "Nice" tags for the kiddies. All in the name of Lean Logistics...
Something for the Roberts Court to Nullify
Campaign-finance reform has a squeaky-clean image, but the dirty truth is that this speech-throttling legislation is partly the result of a hoax perpetrated by a handful of liberal foundations, led by the venerable Pew Charitable Trusts. New York Post reporter Ryan Sager exposed the scam when he got hold of a 2004 videotape of former Pew official Sean Treglia telling a roomful of journalists and professors how Pew and other foundations spent years bankrolling various experts, ostensibly independent nonprofits (including the Center for Public Integrity and Democracy 21), and media outlets (NPR got $1.2 million for “news coverage of financial influence in political decision-making”)—all aimed at fooling Washington into thinking that Americans were clamoring for reform, when in truth there was little public pressure to “clean up the system.” “The target group for all this activity was 535 people in Washington,” said Treglia matter-of-factly, referring to Congress. “The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot—that everywhere they looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform.”
Treglia urged grantees to keep Pew’s role hush-hush. “If Congress thought this was a Pew effort,” he confided, “it’d be worthless. It’d be 20 million bucks thrown down the drain.” At one point, late in the congressional debate over McCain-Feingold, “we had a scare,” Treglia said. “George Will stumbled across a report we had done. . . . He started to reference the fact that Pew was playing a large role . . . [and] that it was a liberal attempt to hoodwink Congress. . . . The good news, from my perspective, was that journalists . . . just didn’t care and nobody followed up.” The hoaxers—a conspiracy of eight left-wing foundations, including George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation—have actually spent $123 million trying to get other people’s money out of politics since 1994, Sager reports—nearly 90 percent of the spending by the entire campaign-finance lobby over this period.
This notion of corruption—really a Marxoid opposition to inequality of wealth—would have horrified the Founding Fathers, who believed in private property with its attendant inequalities, and who trusted to the clash of factions to ensure that none oppressed the others. The Founders would have seen in the reformers’ utopian schemes, in which the power of government makes all equally weak, the embodiment of tyranny.
Campaign-finance reform now has the blogosphere in its crosshairs. When the Federal Election Commission wrote specific rules in 2002 to implement McCain-Feingold, it voted 4 to 2 to exempt the Web. After all, observed the majority of three Republicans and one Democrat (the agency divides its seats evenly between the two parties), Congress didn’t list the Internet among the “public communications”—everything from television to roadside billboards—that the FEC should regulate. Further, “the Internet is virtually a limitless resource, where the speech of one person does not interfere with the speech of anyone else,” reasoned Republican commissioner Michael Toner. “Whereas campaign finance regulation is meant to ensure that money in politics does not corrupt candidates or officeholders, or create the appearance thereof, such rationales cannot plausibly be applied to the Internet, where on-line activists can communicate about politics with millions of people at little or no cost.”
But when the chief House architects of campaign-finance reform, joined by McCain and Feingold, sued—claiming that the Internet was one big “loophole” that allowed big money to keep on corrupting—a federal judge agreed, ordering the FEC to clamp down on Web politics. Then-commissioner Bradley Smith and the two other Republicans on the FEC couldn’t persuade their Democratic colleagues to vote to appeal.
The FEC thus has plunged into what Smith calls a “bizarre” rule-making process that could shackle the political blogosphere
...consider the case of Bill Liles, who faced an FEC inquiry when Smith was commissioner. In 2000, a businessman in the little Texas town of Muleshoe, Harvey Bass, painted save our nation: vote democrat al gore for president on a beat-up box and plunked it on his furniture store’s porch. Sick of looking at it, Liles and a friend pasted a “bigger and better” poster praising W. on a trailer and parked it right across from Bass’s store. This was too much for another local, Don Dyer, who complained to the FEC that Liles’s sign lacked mandated disclosures about who paid for it and whether Bush had signed off on it.
Though the FEC in the end let Liles and his fellow activists off, the men had in fact broken not just disclosure rules but any number of other regulations, too, recalls Smith. They had clearly spent a bit more than $250 on their makeshift sign, for example, but hadn’t reported it, as required, to the FEC. “Total statutory penalties could have easily exceeded $25,000,” Smith observes. How different is Liles’s praiseworthy activism from that of many political bloggers? The medium differs, but Liles, like a blogger, is simply voicing his opinion. And this was pre-McCain-Feingold.
(Godfoddah: PAY ATTENTION:)
The Left has also begun to use campaign-finance reform—not McCain-Feingold but equally onerous state regulations—to try to shush political talk radio
Wilbur’s and Carlson’s on-air commentaries were “in-kind contributions” and that the anti-tax campaign had failed to report them to the proper state authorities. The suit sought to stop NNGT from accepting any more of these “contributions” until it disclosed their worth—though how the initiative’s organizers could control media discussions or calculate their monetary value remained unclear. The complaint also socked NNGT with civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other damages. Even more offensively, to litigate the suit the politicians hired a private law firm, Foster Pepper & Shefelman, which serves as bond counsel to Washington State. The firm, which represents unions, hospitals, and retirement funds among its other clients, could thus clean up from the state’s plan to sell gas-tax-backed bonds. Appearance of corruption, anyone?
The real target of the suit was clearly Wilbur and Carlson, or, more accurately, their corporate employer, Fisher Communications.
“This is one of the most important cases nationally about the right of the press to speak freely, without the interference of the government or regulation of the government—because the power to regulate is the power to suppress.” Should the appeal lose, the days of political talk radio could be over not only in Washington State but everywhere. “McCain-Feingold could definitely be used in the same fashion,” Mauer tells me. “In fact, the prosecutors in this case say McCain-Feingold permits them to do this. But pretty much any state that has campaign-finance laws that restrict contributions is subject to this abuse, too.”
“The ‘appearance of corruption’ can mean anything,” says former FEC commissioner Smith. “If the ‘appearance of corruption’ is sufficient to justify regulation, the practical effect is to eliminate the need for the government to show any justification for the regulation in question.” In fact, even John McCain, now incorruptible after his involvement as one of the scandalous Keating Five, could appear corrupt. Several aides from his 2000 presidential run, including his former campaign manager, press secretary, finance director, and legal counsel have been working for the Reform Institute, a nonprofit group dedicated to (you guessed it) campaign-finance reform—though it primarily seems to be the 2008 McCain-for-President campaign-in-waiting. Some months back, when Cablevision sought approval for a pricing change from the Senate Commerce Committee, then chaired by McCain, the company developed a sudden interest in campaign-finance reform and gave the Reform Institute a $200,000 “soft” donation. Looks fishy, no?Besides John McPain's Personal Glamor Infatuation, there's little to him...
In his powerful McConnell dissent, Clarence Thomas spelled out “the chilling endpoint” of the Court’s reasoning: “outright regulation of the press”—exactly what the campaign-reform theorists ultimately seek. “Media companies can run pro-candidate editorials as easily as nonmedia corporations can pay for advertisements,” Thomas explained. “Media corporations are influential. There is little doubt that the editorials and commentary they run can affect elections.” The Supreme Court has found little to distinguish media and non-media corporations.
Asked Thomas: “What is to stop a future Congress from determining that the press is ‘too influential,’ and that the ‘appearance of corruption’ is significant when media organizations endorse candidates or run ‘slanted’ or ‘biased’ news stories in favor of candidates or parties?”
“Although today’s opinion does not expressly strip the press of First Amendment protection,” Thomas warned, “there is no principle of law or logic that would prevent the application of the Court’s reasoning in that setting. The press now operates at the whim of Congress.”
(snip)Though campaign-finance madness is the Number One regulatory threat to the new media, it’s not the only one. The Left is now pushing Congress to restore the Fairness Doctrine, which would kill talk radio and possibly conservative-friendly Fox News, too.
Today, more than 1,400 stations feature the talk format exclusively—and the vast majority broadcast conservative voices, because that’s what draws the listeners, desperate for an alternative to the liberal mainstream press.
Small wonder, then, that House Democrats proposed two bills in 2005 to bring the Fairness Doctrine back—and as a law, rather than a mere agency regulation. New York Democratic representative Louise Slaughter, who introduced the first of the two bills, says that Right-ruled radio is a grave threat to American freedoms, “a waste of good broadcast time, and a waste of our airwaves.” People “may hear whatever they please and whatever they choose,” she tells PBS’s Bill Moyers, in a statement as incoherent as it is illiberal. “And of course they have the right to turn it off. But that’s not good enough either. The fact is that they need the responsibility of the people who are licensed to use our airwaves judiciously and responsibly to call them to account if they don’t.” In other words, people can’t be trusted with freedom but need the supervision of a paternalist government.
Slaughter doesn’t want to re-regulate only radio. When asked by Moyers if she was also proposing the new Fairness Doctrine for Fox News or MSNBC, Slaughter responded: “You bet. . . . Fairness isn’t going to hurt anybody.”
Finally, in early 2005, an online petition drive called for Americans to “renew the Fairness Doctrine.” The imbalance favoring conservative media voices, especially in talk radio, the petition argued, “results in issues of public importance receiving little or no attention, while others are presented in a manner not conducive to listeners’ receiving the facts and range of opinions necessary to make informed decisions.” One of the three sponsors of this paternalistic document: Media Matters for America, a left-wing press watchdog group, founded by conservative-turned-lefty David Brock, with help from ex–Clinton advisor John Podesta.
Well, well, well. Another Hildebeeste surrogate emerges from the Milorganite pond...one hardly has to say more.
...read it all.
Personally, I'd LOVE to have Sen. Feingold (D-AlQuaeda) stop by and attempt to halt my blogging. He might learn a little about pitchforks and "riding to the sound of the guns." But Feinie doesn't have the guts.