Tuesday, April 25, 2006
ON HIATUS FOR NOW, thanks anyway
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Republicans Announce Joint Theme For 2006, And Unveil Promotional T-Shirts
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
just wanted you all to know that I haven't changed my position on Iraq or Donald Rumsfeld
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Happy Eostre - Don't Forget The Reason For The Season
According to Bede (c. 672 - 735), writing in De Tempore Ratione ("On the Reckoning of Time"), Ch. xv, "The English months", the word easter is derived from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month of Eostremonat, corresponding to our April, was dedicated:
"Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance."
What is secure in Bede's passage is that the lunar month around the month of April in the Julian calendar was called the Eostre-monath. And as the Christian tradition of Easter, which has also fallen in April, arrived in some Germanic-speaking regions, the people named the then-unnamed Christian day after the festival, that is, in English as Easter, and in German as Ostern. It is alleged that remnants of Eostre's characteristics can also be found in the Easter Bunny celebrations, based on Jacob Grimm's research into connections between the 'Ostern Hare' and the Germanic Ostara, which he believed to be another name for the same goddess.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
He lives now, only in my memory.
My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max". To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the black fuel. And the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men. On the roads it was a white line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed. Men like Max. The warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything. And became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Jim Doyle's Gein-Dahmer Wisconsin Tourism Initiative
Ed Gein's Plainfield, Wisconsin, property is for sale on Ebay. Governor Doyle, are you paying attention? What would say Wisconsin better than a state-run tourist attraction for the father of serial killerdom. Maybe we could buy it with taxpayer money, but have Adelman Travel actually own and manage the property.
Why have Milwaukee and Plainfield done so much to wipe out traces of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein from the landscape? Serial killer buffs all over the world would flock to a reconstruction of the home created by Augusta Gein, and then the serial tourists could continue their Wisconsin visit in Jeffrey Dahmer's Milwaukee. If we have historical markers for the founders of Boscobel's Gideon Bible, shouldn't we also highlight our more interesting and macabre history?
And Mark Gundrum could author legislation to assure that the revenue from these Wisconsin historical sites would go to faith-based institutions working to stamp out filth and depravity in Wisconsin. Come to think of it, neither Gein or Dahmer were married were they? But that's neither here nor there, and I, for one, trust Reresentative Gundrum to work out the details.
Raise money for the state, promote tourism, highlight Wisconsin history, and stop filth and depravity. What's not to like about this latest land deal? Jim Doyle and Jim Holperin -- the time to act is now.
SOME BACKGROUND ON WISCONSIN'S ED GEIN
Ed Gein grew up on a farm a few miles outside of the town of Plainfield, Wisconsin. His father, George, was a hard-luck farmer with little talent for working the soil and with a taste for alcohol. He also had a tendency to be quick with his fists after he had been drinking, but as rough as he was, he was no match for his wife, Augusta.
Augusta had been raised in a fiercely religious home and with this sort of influence, developed into a raving opponent of anything related to sex. All around her, she saw nothing but filth and depravity and how she managed to become pregnant with her two sons, Eddie and Henry, remains a mystery. Shortly after Ed's birth, she forced her husband to leave the "sinkhole of filth" called LaCrosse and moved to what she believed to be a more righteous location, Plainfield. However, this small, God-fearing town turned out to be no better, at least in Augusta's eyes. She considered the place to be a "hellhole" and kept her two sons on the farm and away from anything she considered dangerous or of a sinful influence, namely whorish women and the wickedness of carnal love...
The stunned and sickened officers immediately called for reinforcements. A short time later, more than a dozen lawmen were combing the farm and exploring the contents of what would become known as Ed Gein's "house of horrors". What they found that night was like nothing that had ever been recorded in the annals of American crime.
Soup bowls had been made from the sawed-off tops of human skulls. Chairs had been upholstered in human skin. Lamp shades had been fashioned from flesh, giving off an eerie and putrid glow. A box was discovered that contained nothing but human noses. A belt had been made from female nipples. A shade pull had been decorated with a pair of woman's lips. A shoe box under a bed contained a collection of dried, female genitalia. The faces of nine women, carefully stuffed and mounted, were hanging on one wall.... and there was much more, including a bracelet of skin, a drum made from a coffee can and human flesh, and more. A shirt of human skin, complete with breasts, had been fashioned from the tanned torso of a middle-aged woman. Gein would later confess that he often put the shirt on at night and pretended to be his mother.
To make matters worse, the refrigerator turned out to be stocked with frozen human organs and a human heart was found in a pan on the stove. The local sheriff estimated that the various body parts added up to fifteen women, maybe more.
Friday, April 07, 2006
THE PATRON SAINT OF WOOD-GROTHMAN
"I don't know what to do or where to turn in this taxation matter. Somewhere there must be a book that tells all about it, where I could go to straighten it out in my mind. But I don't know where the book is, and maybe I couldn't read it if I found it."
-- Warren G. Harding
INCONVENIENCING MUSICIANS WITH THE WAR ON TERROR -- "and that isn't so good."
Musicians and Terrorists
I don't usually read the Journal Sentinel's editorials due to a consistent lack of insight or utility, but today's message on musicians and terrorists just cracks me up. The Journal Sentinel Leftys are clearly more concerned about musician visas than terrorist attacks. They intone that something must be done to make sure international musicians can get to town for the latest Brahms concerto.
Are you kidding me?
Someone needs to inform these bumblers about the War on Terror.
The changes were imposed for a very good reason, which was to make it more difficult for terrorists to get into this country. But the changes also have made it more difficult for non-terrorists - including musicians - to get here. And that isn't so good.
Journal Sentinal Editorial, April 7, 2006
"Why are there people like Frank? Why is there so much trouble in this world?"
Okay, I was taking my dogs for a walk along a stretch of the Milwaukee River. Far off the beaten path, after walking past 2 areas blocked off by police crime tape, I came upon the lovely scene in these pictures. A baby doll, that had clearly been in the river, hanging suspended in a tree.
The three movies that immediately came to mind were The River's Edge, Blue Velvet, and Child's Play. I looked around for a human ear or a body or something else to complete the scene. But all I could see was rushing water, river trash, and nervous geese. I took a couple of quick pictures and headed back to the car.
Milwaukee's underside is definitely not a place for the faint of heart. Kind of makes you wonder about the kind of people that frequent dirt paths along the river -- including myself. Jeffrey Beaumont would probably start a more detailed investigation, but I think I better get back to work.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Things To Emulate From American History
THE COURAGE, STYLE, AND ATTITUDE OF JACK JOHNSON
About Jack Johnson: Early 20th century boxer, Jack Johnson, was one of the few black men in history that created white anxiety about black equality. He was unafraid, his actions in and out of the ring were bold, and with the black public in his corner, he achieved his greatest accomplishment. He challenged racial views about equality when he beat a white boxer and became the first black international heavyweight-boxing champion.
Jack Johnson Quotations:
I know the bitterness of being accused and being harassed by prosecutors. I know the horror of being hunted and haunted. I have dashed across continents and oceans as a fugitive and have matched my wits with the police and secret agents seeking to deprive me of one of the greatest blessings man can have--liberty.
I made a lot of mistakes out of the ring, but I never made any in it.
The possession of muscular strength and the courage to use it in contests with other men for physical supremacy does not necessarily imply a lack of appreciation for the finer and better things of life.
I never doubted the issue from the beginning. I knew I was too good for Burns. I have forgotten more about fighting than Burns ever knew.
For every point I'm given, I'll have earned two, because I'm a Negro.
THE GROTHMAN-WOOD TAXPAYER PROTECTION FIASCO
Are these really the guys that should have been in charge of Republican plans for a constitutional amendment to protect taxpayers? I hate to be disparaging, but we maybe should have mixed a little expertise and strategic thinking in there with all that ideology. Neither of these guys has ever been a real player in the Legislature, and they're known more for pissing people off than resolving complex challenges. Now Frank Lasee has abandoned ship, and the wheels seem to be coming off Republican efforts to protect taxpayers with a constitutional amendment.
Is it possible that Dale Schultz and John Gard wanted this effort to fail, so they stepped back and allowed the conservative dream team to chart their own course? Or perhaps Gard didn't care, and Schultz wanted it to fail. However it happened, no Republican can feel good about the policy and PR disaster to date. Republican candidates for re-election have to be cringing every time they read the latest story about TPA, and the Xoffs and Kreusers of the world have to be feeling pretty good.
All of the outsider conservatives out there who have condemned Scott Jensen and praised Glenn Grothman perhaps ought to reconsider their preferences. Conservatives would be in hog heaven if Scott Jensen been in charge of the taxpayer amendment and the spin surrounding it. The language would be solid, the strategy would be clear, and the battle would be won. But the team in charge just can't seem to shoot straight.
Maybe we can delay Jensen's sentencing a bit and hire him as a consultant to straighten out this mess. Or Huebsch, Kanavas, or someone needs to step in and reform the reformers. The reality, however, is that it is probably too late this year to salvage a winning amendment season for the GOP. Perhaps we can we just focus on not embarrassing ourselves further?
Bob Jauch is the poster child for everything wrong with the Wisconsin Legislature.
Bob Jauch is the poster child for everything wrong with the Wisconsin Legislature. Not a single knowledgeable person respects this guy. He's been there too long. He's not smart. His constituents aren't paying attention. And he rants and raves like an unhinged lunatic. He's lazy. He always blames the other party, and never does anything meaningful for his "extremely poor" constitutents. He screams about, "Charlie Sykes and his fearmongering associates!", and just commented that, "the will of the people recognize this for what it is, and that is a proposal being pushed by extreme zealots who neither like taxes, spending, nor government." Why do worthless bums like Bob Jauch survive in the endlessly drunken world of Wisconsin politics?
I will never understand why the people that elect Bob Jauch and Frank Boyle seem to expect so little from their representatives.
He is like a junior Dave Obey without the brains. Both of these guys have spent their careers bemoaning how bad things are in their districts and pointing their fingers of blame at everyone but themselves. It used to be Ronald Reagan and Tommy Thompson's fault that Superior sucks, and now GW Bush and John Gard are labeled the bad guys. Jauch consistently argues that the successful part of the state should send our money up to save his region. What about accepting personal responsibility, improving the business climate, and lowering taxes to improve the prospects of the far Northwest?
And, of course, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that he utilized state employees to run campaigns during his failed tenure as the Senate Democratic Leader. I may have missed it, but have Jay Heck or Mike McCabe called for Jauch's prosecution or censure?
Now people are welcome to do whatever they want in their private lives, but Jauch is one of the over-the-top legends at the Inn on the Park bar and the rooms above. And falling down the steps at Genna's Bar tangled up with the also legendary Jolene Plautz has to be one of the defining moments of the modern political era. One has to wonder if this lifestyle is the reason this blowhard is still here. Party time in Madison must be a lot more fun for him than watching satellite television from his home in Poplar. The brain cells killed, however, might have something to do with the undistinguished nature of Jauch's long tenure in public service.
As a good lobbyist friend of mine says repeatedly, "Bob Jauch is a fraud in the first degree." He poses for political holy pictures and blames the opposition and blows smoke every day to obscure the reality of his nothingness. He's a joke to colleagues and lobbyists alike, and only the "he's in office" code of silence allows him to fly under the radar. He always scores near the bottom in insider rankings of state legislators. If you've worked with him or seen him in backroom negotiations then you will inevitably discover that he's not someone that can be relied upon to keep his word or solve a problem. And he's taken angry and insecure immaturity to new heights.
In a healthy democracy with engaged voters, a guy like Bob Jauch would be shown the door at the first available opportunity. It's not hard to understand his contempt for talk radio and citizen action, since he seems untouched by responsible voters in his own district. He's left alone to do as he pleases, untroubled by informed public opinion or any sense of accountability. Perhaps Sykes could expand his conspiracy of zealots by getting on the radio Up North.
One thing is absolutely certain -- until voters do something about the Bob Jauchs of the world, the Wisconsin State Legislature will remain a very sick and disappointing place, indeed.
THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK
Finally, the Waukesha Taxpayer League with their ultra-secretive unnamed leadership/membership shouldn’t be considered anything more than a paper tiger if they can’t deliver in a race like this.
Brian Nemoir letter to Charlie Sykes
April 5, 2006
Who are these guys?
A new organization to stop off-reservation Indian gaming popped up on the local scene the other day.
And that’s all we know.
The group calling itself Enough!, is releasing info about itself on a need-to-know basis, and so far, it thinks the public has no need to know.
Brian Nemoir, a one-time GOP operative turned PR guy, won’t say who – if anybody – is backing the group… "At this stage of the game we are not prepared to release our members," Nemoir said.
Spivak and Bice, May 18, 2005
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
CUT AND RUN MAPLE ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES
This recipe is based on not having to do much of anything at all, and not making any sacrifices that might prove difficult. You don't have to take on any brutal dictators to make this recipe, or take any steps whatsoever to try and make the world a better place. It's also really good, and can be enjoyed equally by Shorewood pacifists and Watertown warmongers.
CUT AND RUN MAPLE ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES
3 1/2 to 4 pound cut up chicken (preferably killed far away by people other than yourself)
1 yellow (and I mean yellow) onion cut into 1-inch wedges
2 small sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks (be very careful here)
2 tblsp olive oil (preferably from France, not Italy)
1 tsp kosher salt (but not from Israel)
1/4 tsp pepper (don't be offensively strong here)
3 tblsp maple syrup (from either Vermont or northern Wisconsin)
6 sprigs fresh thyme (preferably from an organic hippy commune)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9-by-13 baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme. Roast, stirrring the vegetables once, until the chikcen is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let rest, alone and unprotected, 11 minutes before serving.
THE ANTI-WAR REFERENDUM -- The People of Shorewood, Madison, and La Crosse Send a Message to the Terrorists.
REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11 - SUPPORT THE WAR ON TERROR.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
CONGRATULATIONS DEMOCRATS -- you have the tools to destroy your most effective enemies. Noteworthy how this ends up happening time and time again.
Your apologia for Jensen was sweet in an old-fashioned loyalty sort of way but accusing the fall of the Exterminator on the Left is just sad.
Ragnar Mentaire said...
You are such a hater. The Jensen and DeLay situations are, in fact, eerily similar. In both cases, the most powerful, effective, and ruthless opponents of Democrats end up being selectively prosecuted and deposed for breaking creative and retroactive rules. These are political persecutions, carried out by Democrats, with the creative use of a partisan reading of the statutes. Jensen and DeLay crushing you and your team is not a legitimate reason for coup by judiciary. Now that you've succeeded, you should at least be honest about the tactic.
The tools referred to at the top of the post are, I assume, the law, the judiciary, and the good people who serve on juries. Not to mention public disgust.
Am I missing something here?
I carry no little hatred, that's a fact. I hate that the venal have taken over the government for personal gain. I hate that the coarseness which Delay brought to the Hill has so permeated governance that ordinary citizens have no chance for input or relief. I hate that Insiders have made ours a government for the rich and lawless. I hate that the politics of distrust has so usurped our system that we fight one another over scraps while the powerful pull power to themselves.
We have gone back to the days of the Robber Barons, greedy, petty men who care little for others. As Delay's henchmen plead guilty it becomes clearer how deep the stink has gone.
The time has come for those who hate the American system and people to be gone from government. That their own greed has become the instrument of their downfall and the disgust of the people the lamentations they hear on their way out seems only fitting.
Don't cry to me about Scott Jensen's children when you raised not a peep about Chuck Chvala's. Don't call me a hater when you defend two men who have made America a worse place for our children and grandchildren.
Jensen may have done some good things. Delay may have smoothed things for his friends. Neither gave a rat's red rectum for anyone who disagreed with them and I hate that they've debased our government.
Ragnar Mentaire said...
They are bad only because you disagree with them on strategy and policy. They believe sincerely in their philosophy, and each of them has more integrity than a handful of the likes of Frank Boyle, Spencer Black, and Dave Travis. Neither of them are greedy, petty men. And neither of them misused their positions for personal gain. You condemn them and are glad they're going down because they out-thought and out-worked you and your team all these years. Your diatribe about the evils of today's government has little to do with reality, and everything to do with the outsider bitterness of either cluelessness or life in the minority. You're the one who hates the American system, and you ought to stop kidding yourself.
Why are you people so intent on killing the golden goose?
More than half of Packer nation seem to have joined Mark Chmura in decrying the selfishness of Brett Favre. Local talk radio is abuzz with commentators -- who aren't from here -- slamming Favre on a daily basis. Even Jim Rome has weighed in by comparing Favre's stalled decision with the "pay-me" holdout threats of Javon Walker and Terrell Owens.
Why are you people so intent on killing the golden goose?
Favre's situation has little or nothing to do with the Walker-Owens scenarios. Brett is making an off-season decision about retirement, while the other two selfish bozos were demanding more money, threatening holdouts, and ignoring contracts. Would it be nice for the organization for him to decide? Of course. But this delay hardly warrants the excoriation Favre is receiving from fans and talk radio jabber.
Javon Walker is a big disloyal crybaby, who is welcome to leave as soon as the Packers figure out a way to get something for the trouble. He's a great receiver, but just as is the case with all relationships, if the guy doesn't want to be in Green Bay than he should get the hell out. Then I can say good riddance, and hope that his knee never heals.
Favre has taken a lot of heat for his "what are they going to do? Cut me?" comment. While that would have been something better left unsaid, he was merely being honest about his take on the situation. Favre's non-spinning honesty has always been one of his best traits. He's right, the season is still many months away, and Packer draft plans are unlikely to change regardless of Favre's decision.
So give the guy a break for chrissakes. Favre is not perfect, but he is the best quarterback that the Green Bay Packers will ever have. He is the guy most responsible for delivering a Super Bowl to modern Green Bay, and none of you should ever forget it. He also is more than capable of doing it again with the right supporting cast.
He deserves whatever time he needs.
Taking your time on a retirement decision is hardly holding the Packers hostage. If you've been criticizing him, please send Favre a postcard today and apologize. Thank goodness the man himself doesn't have to listen to all this critically mindless chatter.
Where Vice Goes Before, Vengeance Follows After.
CONFIDENCE IS HIGH -- VOTE NO ON THE RESOLUTIONS THAT OPPOSE IRAQI FREEDOM
A LESSON IN DECENCY FOR WISCONSIN FROM THE PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND
April 3, 2006, 3:36PM
Ireland Backs Legalizing Gay Partnerships
© 2006 The Associated Press
DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland will legalize civil partnerships for gay couples, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern pledged Monday as he opened new offices for the country's main gay rights group.
Civil partnerships allow gay couples the same rights to inheritance, state benefits and other financial rights as held by married heterosexual couples.
"Sexual orientation cannot, and must not, be the basis of a second-class citizenship. Our laws have changed, and will continue to change, to reflect this principle," Ahern told an audience at Ireland's Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.
Ahern said it would be more difficult to legalize gay marriage in Ireland than it was in the United Kingdom, which approved the civil unions in December. Ireland's constitution has a clause requiring the predominantly Roman Catholic state to protect the institution of marriage, whereas the UK, which includes neighboring Northern Ireland, has no written constitution.
"This challenge, however, is one that the government is determined to meet. We are committed to legislating on this issue," said Ahern, who noted that a government-appointed group of experts would recommend several possible options in a report expected in November.
"Although there is a growing climate of equality and support for anti-discrimination action, I also recognize that members of the gay community still face isolation, abuse and victimization on the basis of their sexuality," Ahern said.
Monday, April 03, 2006
And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.
"Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world."
God's Favorite Pie Crust
Since I have been sharing so many wonderful pie recipes, I thought it was about time for me to deliver my foolproof pie crust recipe as well. This may not be as exciting as some of my other entries, but it is probably much more productive. If you mess up the crust, even my upcoming splendiferous banana cream pie recipe will fail. As I prayed about this issue, God spoke to me, thanked me for my writings on Hell, expressed regret that his candidate would not be Governor, and gave me the following recipe. This is what God wants for you.
God's Favorite Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cup lard
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Mix with large spoon and then hands until lard disseminates.
1 egg beaten
5 tblsp water
1 tblsp vinegar
And pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix with hands until dough comes together. Break into four pieces, make them flat and circular, and roll out the first pie crust. Fold into quarters, and unfold in the pan, then trim and crimp the edges. If you only need one, then Saran Wrap the remaining disks, put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. The extras will then be available when you need them, thawing in just a couple of hours.
God endorsed, Mom tested.
WELCOME TO OPENING DAY
For a much more exuberant take on Brewers baseball, please check out Fraley's Daily Takes. Brian seems to really care about this issue, and I commend him for that. And belated thanks to David Prosser and George Petak for getting the roofed stadium done. If it wasn't for the two of them not caring about voter opinion, today's tailgaters would have to keep their parkas on during the game. And another belated thanks to former Senator Gary George, who tried to get the stadium in downtown Milwaukee. Come home soon, Gary, and we'll see you all at the game. Go Brewers!
Don't let anyone ever tell you that we don't have a lot of things to see in Wisconsin.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that we don't have a lot of things to see in Wisconsin. This is a great place to scare your children late at night.
Phillips, WI 54555
Toll-Free: (800) 762-2709
Fred Smith's concrete and glass statues include northwoods people, folklore, fantasies, historic personages, Native Americans, angels, and animals. (Daily)
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Please vote on Tuesday, and oppose the cut-and-run WITHDRAW resolution.
There is a permanent portion of the population that will never support a war under any circumstances. I just received the pro and con flyers from the organizations fighting it out on the "cut and run" resolution. The proponents of the resolution certainly have a lot to say, and have used a lot of words to say it. They virtually ooze with self-righteousness, with an additional dose of Frankenian naivete.
I don't support the President on everything, and I have always had some doubt that Iraq was the region most worthy of our national focus. But the danger was real in the minds of Bush, Gore, Kerry, and Clinton and we moved forward to stop the threat and build a better world. Naive? Perhaps. But ambitious and idealistic at the same time. Similar to G.W. Bush's commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa, the War on Terror and the War in Iraq and Afghanistan were started as an effort to transform and improve the world. Nothing whatsoever selfish or evil about what we've been trying to do.
So the same extremists with the "War Is Not The Answer" yard signs have now organized the upcoming vote to condemn what George Bush and our troops are trying to accomplish. Unlike some, I don't think it's unpatriotic to oppose a specific military action, but I do believe that opposing every war is simplistic and shallow. There are causes worth the loss of American life, and the anti-war activists deserve our contempt for failing to recognize that fact. Is hating George Bush and Republicans a good enough reason to tell our soldiers that we do not support their mission?
I, for one, am grateful to have a President willing to think big and take risks in a post-9/11 world, and a military with the ability to fight the good fight and meet every challenge. Telling both the President and our troops that their decisions and sacrifice have been a mistake, seems somehow blasphemous in my mind. I'd like to think that I would support Bill Clinton if he had made this decision as our Commander in Chief. The Naderites would never do that, of course. But the good people of America ought to get behind our efforts to build a better world.
For better or for worse, we made the decision as a nation to liberate Iraq from Hussein and help them build an independent nation, free of dictatorship and ethnic or sectarian cleansing. It was and is a worthy goal. I would encourage all of you to dismiss the anti-war zealots and reject this "cut and run" referendum. The people and ideas behind this effort do not represent the best of what America has to offer the world. Turning our back on the great challenges of the day is no way to make the world a better place.
Please vote on Tuesday, and oppose the cut-and-run WITHDRAW resolution.
YOU'RE INVITED TO THE MODERN DRUNKARD CONVENTION
The 3rd Annual Modern Drunkard Convention
When: Friday June 23rd through Sunday, June 25th.
Where: The Celebrity Ballroom, Las Vegas, NV.
What to Expect: Three solid days of heavy drinking and full-bore entertainment.
These people seem to have something going on, so I plan to attend their convention and find out what it is. In our moralistic times, it's comforting to know that the Modern Drunkard still has a place to go in our society. Unashamed revelry and binge drinking -- although we must never admit this to our children -- have been key ingredients in some of life's most interesting moments. Let the good times roll, let them knock you around, and all that.
Something is achieved if you celebrate the cocktail hour that is missed by those eating tuna fish hotdish while watching the Wheel of Fortune. Something is lost to us when we step back and decide that going out and getting wasted might not be all that productive. Admittedly, there are side effects and consequences, but I'm glad that at least a few hardy souls are still willing to celebrate Bacchus and the good, good times.
Live all you can, it's a mistake not to. And I'll see you in Las Vegas and at the Inflation Fighter.
LIBEL LAW AND THE WISCONSIN BLOGOSPHERE -- Shut Up Or Face The Consequences.
I assume that most of you have read the story below outlining a Fond du Lac Judge's decision to shut down a weblog named in a libel suit. I was reminded of the warnings from the attorney at the most recent blog conference, turns out she was making a lot of sense. Just like in Lassa v Rongstad, politicians have figured out that they can use libel law to silence political opposition.
As Judge Wirtz has just demonstrated, a mere allegation of libel and a sympathetic court is enough to shut down a blog or stifle an opponent. The lessons from Wisconsin courts to date should be enough to shut down every good blog in the state. The Man has discovered a new tool, do you think for a moment that it won't be used against the Enemies of the Man?
I happen to think that Jim Doyle is a crook. But I suppose I shouldn't be saying that, should I? If he wanted to shut me up and down, all the Governor would need to do is file a libel complaint in Dane County Court and he would likely get his wish. And even though I, Xoff, and the Recess Supervisor are all independently wealthy, it would still be unpleasant to have to pay for the hundreds of hours in attorneys' fees that would result from a lawsuit.
Is this the way things should be? Have I got my bill of rights all wrong? Is criticizing elected officials a very dangerous game of Russian roulette? Many judges and politicians in Wisconsin certainly seem to think so. In my humble opinion, the Founding Fathers would not agree. They created our system based on an aversion to an all-powerful state that can crush the life out of puny critics. It would be prudent, however, to just shut up.
My guess is that the highest courts will eventually agree with me and stop these judicial threats to free speech. But until that definitively happens, circuit court judges and their political friends will feel free to misuse libel law to silence opposition. As evidenced by the Jensen trial, circuit court judges operate personal fiefdoms where they mete out punishment and bend rules at will. What's the worst thing that could happen to them? Being overturned on appeal doesn't cost them their jobs, or erase any of the damage done to defendants.
Which direction is in our society's best interest? Should we be encouraging or discouraging the freewheeling political debate that virtually defines the Wisconsin blogosphere? Should I be able to opine that Jim Doyle is a crook or not? Society will have to remake a decision that I have always considered to be already made. If that decision goes in the wrong direction, Ragnar Mentaire will not follow. Contempt of court here I come.
Posted April 1, 2006
Free speech advocates are shocked
Site shutdown launches debate
By Jim Collar
Of The Northwestern
National free speech advocates Friday expressed shock at a judge's decision to shut down a Web site based on allegations of libel from a local official.
Fond du Lac County Judge Robert Wirtz on Thursday ordered local Web site owner Dennis Payne to cease operations of the bulletin board site, fullofbologna. com, based on the allegations of a libel lawsuit filed by Winnebago County Clerk of Courts Diane Fremgen.
As part of the temporary injunction, Wirtz also prohibited Payne and other defendants listed from operating any similar Web sites until the order is lifted. Failure to abide by the order would be considered contempt and could be punishable with jail time and fines, according to the order.
Sandy Baron, executive director of the New York-based Media Law Resource Center, said injunctions against speech are "beyond rare," and in terms of libel cases, "it's almost unheard of."
Baron Friday said the rarity of such an injunction goes back to the earliest days of constitutional thinking, and suggested that the First Amendment is in the constitution based on its framers' own rebellion against speech restraints.
"The Constitution simply doesn't allow courts to prohibit people from speaking," she said.