Friday, June 29, 2007
Both Pelosi and Reid have come to the conclusion that President Bush's plan for
a "surge" in the number of U.S. troops inside Iraq, has failed and that
Democrats, despite losing their showdown with Bush and the Republicans over the
recent Iraq supplemental funding bill, must continue to force votes to end the
war. Gen. David Petraeus is supposed to report back to Congress in September on
the state of the "surge," but Democrats have decided not to wait for his
"The surge is a failure, it isn't working," said a Democratic aide
familiar with the new initiative. "We just can't leave American soldiers out
there dying and not do anything."
These men are trained for their mission, most are proud to serve their country, and 'forcing' votes doesn't seem like an act of democracy we should be comfortable with.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wray did not tie the gang problem to safety in downtown Madison, which was the
topic that drew about 200 people to DMI's monthly "What's Up Downtown" breakfast at the Madison Club. He devoted most of his remarks to that issue, detailing not only the downtown safety initiative that started last year but also the changes he has seen downtown since he began walking a beat there 23 year ago.
Ok, I'm ready to hear about the changes:
Wray said that when he was walking a beat and saw a college studentThe change is (dramatic pause), he has to report and stop college kids from urinating on the sidewalks at 3:00 am...
urinating on the sidewalk at 3 a.m., he probably wouldn't have done anything.
But now that there are people walking their dogs or going out for coffee at that
hour downtown, the police get complaints and have to deal with those kinds of issues.
Wray said those changes, which many cities would give their right armsWhat you're telling me is cities want college kids urinating on the sidewalks late at night when they are too innebriated to find a restroom, because it reflects vitality? Hmmm.
to have because they reflect vitality downtown, are in part a reflection of the sometimes conflicting expectations of the overlapping districts he sees coexisting there: entertainment, business, art/culture, special events, a university campus and residential neighborhoods.
This is good journalism?
"When I'm president..."
I'm sure I've heard this before. But never in bold lettering. The reality really sinks in. Now recovering and browsing for "Donations to stop Hillary"...
"I don't think the Iraqis will ever be able to take it over, to run this country
the way it should be run," Nichelle said. "They want us here because we do
everything for them."
She is a great spokesperson for our military efforts. (Sense the sarcasm.) Thank goodness this brat has a brother with his head on straight.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sen. George V. Voinovich(R-Ohio), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee,
sent a letter to Bush yesterday urging the president to develop "a comprehensive
plan for our country's gradual military disengagement" from Iraq. "I am also
concerned that we are running out of time," he wrote.
Running out of time before what? (Stumped.) Before we lose the war on terror? Why don't you ask Harry Reid that one.
Who's holding the stopwatch?
This is a global war. It's been happening for decades. No matter when we pull out of Iraq, we will continue to battle the war on terror for years.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This guy can't be for real.
Um, does anyone remember Roy? And crazy GrizzlyMan ?
My favorite part comes from the comment section:
"Big cats are no different from little cats. They also love having their chins
and ears tickled just like domestic moggies.Treat them well, love them, and
they'll love and respect you."
...until they eat you.
Why is this woman STILL a teacher?
Loretta Ocampo, a teacher for 10 years at Story School, 3815 W. Kilbourn Ave.,Milwaukee is no safer for these teachers than it is for the kids, dodging bullets on the streets. And as long as the residency requirement is in place, it will be evident that Milwaukee and the teachers union are putting politics -electing their endorsed candidates with the votes of those resident teachers- before MPS students and their needs.
said in an e-mail, "I am not sure how much longer I want to teach in MPS. I keep
teaching what I am supposed to, no longer really having 'fun' with the kids, and
test scores continue to prove us useless. Teachers are bashed in the media, the
community doesn't value our services, and Central Services tells us to do more.
But as a teacher, if it's not fun, you can't make a difference, and you're more worried about media attention than the scores in your classroom, why are you a teacher?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Here is a case of Islamic militancy desiring to kill Americans, 11 years ago. Islamic terrorists were at war with us then, as they are now.
A grim-faced U.S. President Bill Clinton said the explosion "appears to be the work of terrorists" and vowed to bring those responsible to justice. "The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished," he said. (150K AIFF or WAV sound)...
Tuesday's explosion occurred less than a month after the Saudis beheaded
four Muslim militants convicted of setting off a car bomb last November at a
U.S.-run military training facility, killing five Americans and two Indians.
The men, all Saudi Arabians, were executed despite threats from underground
extremists to attack U.S. interests in the kingdom if the four were
The difference is in the response: We had a president denounce the act of terrorism, vow to catch and punish those responsible, without criticism. Saudi Arabians beheaded (!) militants, not stopping to listen to humanitarian concerns about 'extreme methods of torture,' without criticism. The U.S. would later attempt to deport a man found associated with the same bombing, to face trial in Saudi Arabia, without criticism.
When a bomb goes off in Iraq today, killing American forces, Democrats clamor for withdrawal.
It's purely politics. They hate Bush and want him to fail, even at the expense of our national security. If they were consistent, they would have demanded 11 years ago that we withdraw our military from Saudi Arabia because we provoked the attack and our own men died. (And this doesn't even begin to discuss deportation or closing our borders to middle easterners -who are associated with terrorists and want to kill us on our home soil - because that would be politically incorrect.)
My, how times have changed.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, made clear that if Assembly Republicans block
the measure, Democrats would try to use the issue to take back that house in
next year's elections.
"If their whole program is to block change and protect the status quo, that's terrible for Wisconsin but politically it's great for us," he said.
Sums up the democrats' predictable philosophy: terrible for Wisconsin, but politically great for them.
"It more than doubles all the taxes being collected by the state," Huebsch said.
"I do not know why (Democrats) believe that Wisconsin citizens and Wisconsin
employers have this kind of extra money."
I'll tell you why: they are the legislators of fantasy land.
"If they can do this to me, they can do it to anybody," she said.
Her husband drove her to the office on Tuesday, "and they handcuffed me,"
Meyer said. "They put me in jail and they frisked me and processed me."
Hey Lady, by not being a citizen and voting, you committed fraud, a deportable felony offense, and we are going to enforce our laws and deport you!
"I said 'You're doing this because I voted?"'
As they should.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
What are we learning from this "news"? We certainly can't be feeling secure about our communities or our safety.
The eldest children in families tend to develop slightly higher I.Q.s than
their younger siblings, researchers are reporting...
The difference in I.Q. between siblings was a result of family dynamics,
not biological factors like changes in gestation caused by repeated pregnancies,
the study found.
The new findings, which is to appear in the journal Science on Friday, are
based on detailed records from 241,310 Norwegians, including some 64,000 pairs
of brothers, allowing the researchers to carefully compare scores within
families, as well as between families. The study found that eldest children
scored about three points higher on I.Q. tests than their closest sibling.
Does this count for Norwegian-Americans, say, three generations down?
After correcting for factors known to affect scores, including parents’Who knew my few extra days in the womb would cause this lack of intellect? It was warm in there...
education level, birth weight and family size, the researchers found that eldest
children scored an average of 103.2, about 3 percent higher than second children
and 4 percent higher than the third-born children.
Because gender has little effect on I.Q. scores, the results almost certainly
apply to females as well...
I demand a recount!
Another potential explanation concerns how individual siblings find a niche in
the family. Some studies find that both the older and younger siblings tend to
describe the first-born as more disciplined, responsible, a better student.
Studies suggest — and parents know from experience — that to distinguish
themselves, younger siblings often develop other skills, like social charm, a
good curveball, mastery of the electric bass, acting skills.
“Like Darwin’s finches, they are eking out alternative ways of deriving the maximum benefit out of the environment and not directly competing for the same resources as the eldest,” Dr. Sulloway said. “They are developing diverse interests and expertise that the I.Q. tests do not measure.”
Phew. I mean. I always knew I was unique. Who needs a silly Nobel Prize anyway? My sis can have that.
Anybody want to sponsor a new study for younger siblings?
"Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us," the Illinois senator said.
"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design," according to an advance copy of his speech.
Perhaps it would have been smoother to talk about faith as a personal issue for every man and woman to decide -that you won't change mainstream American policy on the basis of your more liberal religious beliefs- rather than smearing the Christian Right that cares deeply about those issues at the polling location.
Friday, June 22, 2007
The article is called "This Man Wants Your Children: Army Recruiter Chad Christenson" and I only wish it had been mentioned on the cover. Reading over the 10 pages of small magazine type, I wondered why there aren't more stories about these recruiters, the young men and women they sign up for the Army, and their good-will toward defending our nation.
I urge you to read it. Here are some snippits about the recruits Christenson works with:
From the beginning Alt has known the job he wants: infantryman. Christenson
warns him that in this position he may have an 80 percent chance of going to
Iraq, but Alt is untroubled. "This just makes sense to me," he says, speaking in
a calm, clear voice. "I want to fight for the freedom that other people, like my
two grandfathers who served in World War II, gave me.
"I'm not afraid," he continues. "The Army will train me in the M16 rifle,
M9 pistol, M249 light-machine gun, all kinds of grenades and grenade launchers.
I want to go to war. I want to do my duty." Since making his initial inquiry in
late April, he has begun following the news from Iraq on TV. "It's personal
now," he says.
One recruit tells him:
"It's a moral thing with me," he says. "After what happened on 9/11, I
can't live with myself if I don't go to war."
A Honduran-born recruit living in Texas with his American-born wife and two kids on a green card says this:
"First I need to get my citizenship, Pleites says. "It will mean a lot to me to
be able to vote and to defend the country."
Even a 41 year old woman works with Christenson to lose the 20 lbs she needs to join the Army.
Before poo-pooing my sappy tribute to women's periodicals, consider there might be something worthy of your time in these ladies' magazines afterall.
Emily Haas, thank you for your courage. This may not have been religious or sectarian terrorism, but in many ways, it was a hatred of freedom.
My prayers are with the VA Tech families as they continue to heal and recover. Lest we never forget.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Thoughts: Whiner. Whiney-Girly-Baby. Can't play with the men.
Michelle says her injured left wrist is still not back to full strength and says
it would be unwise to take on the best players in the world while not at 100
Yeah sure, not at 100%. Or maybe it's unwise because you aren't good!
If you're going to play with the men, quit acting like an amateur. They won't respect you for the constant pull-outs, embarassing scores in the 80's, and did I mention, um, whining?
You don't see Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Peterson, Morgan Pressel, or even Annika Sorenstam walking off the course, do you? No, they are collecting large checks in their LPGA tournaments. If Wie had her head in the game and not soaring in the clouds chasing after the men, she might actually be competitive and take home a few checks of her own. It seems a tad more credible to get your money from your game- or your job- than endorsement deals? But what do I know about being a professional athlete -maybe I'm the one living in the clouds!
I can not stand women that whine about equal rights, think they're so great, and don't have the balls to back it up, no pun intended. Dominate in your own game. When you do, maybe we'll agree you're ready for the big boys.
The Brown County Board wants its lawyer to draft a proposed ordinance
prohibiting the hiring of undocumented workers by any business licensed by the
county, even though supervisors have been told they don't have the legal
authority to enforce it.
The board voted 18-5 Wednesday night to instruct Corporation Counsel John Jacques to bring a proposed ordinance to the Executive Committee meeting July 9. The ordinance, which some supervisors hope will motivate other Wisconsin counties to take similar action, will include a fee schedule for penalties and a process for revoking licenses for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.
A friend put it best: if the federal government isn't going to enforce immigration laws, kudos to the local and state governments who are trying to do something about it!
The Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment.
Let us reflect on the beauty of voicing opposition to your government, allowed to a near-insulting extent here in the U.S. Or would you prefer to live in one of these countries?
Some of the most highly censored countries in the world, including political censorship of the internet (in no particular order) :
Iraq -before toppling of Saddam
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Mustafa — not his real name — is one of a rare breed of police officers who represent the future of European law enforcement. Despite Europe's large immigrant population, predominantly Muslim, police forces are struggling to integrate and to improve relations with minority communities.
"I am the worst enemy for them," Mustafa says. "I speak their language. I know how they think. I have gotten a lot of threats. They say: 'You are worse than the Americans. The Americans are Christians. They are fighting their crusade. But you are a Muslim traitor.' … One guy told me: 'If I could get hold of one of your guns and it only had one bullet, it would be for you.' "
This, I appreciate immensely:
"I was taught that being Muslim meant being nice, honest, kind — nothing about
killing or hating," he says. "People are using Islam to hate other cultures. So I fight against that. That's my jihad."
"We have religious debates," he says. "I ask them: 'How did you reach this
point? You grew up the same way as me, with the same Koran, the same [sayings of
the prophet Muhammad], yet with a totally different mentality.' They are
radicalized, but some of these guys can't even read. Or they haven't read the Koran. They just believe what they have heard from others."
This guy is a bad-ass, and I'd want him on my team anyday. Read the whole thing.
But, where are the other Muslims denouncing terrorism?
"Teen imprisoned in attic didn't want couple jailed." Unbelievable. I'm with Patrick on this one.
To ensure that the girl did not escape, the bedroom door was locked and
monitored by video camera. Inside the unheated room - where the girl was kept
for 22 hours a day - there was only a urine-soaked mattress, an empty set of
drawers and a bare light bulb.
How far will we let people go before they are punished?
But I've decided to go on the record officially with my pet peeve: People who can't drive. Now, you are in this category if you have been caught going 69 in the left lane of a four-lane highway. If you have been a victim of an SUV on your tail (yes, we own the road), waving frantically, mouthing curse words and yelling "Get over!" while flashing its brights, it's a good chance you are a person who can't drive. (There's also a good chance I am the one behind you)
Yes you may be able to get from point A to point B, throwing your car into drive and obeying the general rules of stop lights and turn signals. However, you are likely to be an annoyance on the highway, four-lane, or two.
Note to you- when driving on a country road in optimum conditions, please allow those who tail-gate you to pass. They do not wish to trail your rear so closely for the smell of your emissions or to peer into your back seat to see what fast food trash you've tossed behind you. Rather, they want to get around you. If you are driving just slow enough to be below or barely at the speed limit, but fast enough that someone can't get around you before the next triangular "no-passing zone" sign, you are a person who cannot drive.
You are incapable of looking in your rear-view mirror. There is a reason highways post signs saying "Slower Traffic Keep Right."
If this is you, I make no apologies. Get out of the left lane. And happy driving!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Resolutions calling for the impeachment investigations of President Bush and Vice President Cheney will be introduced to the Madison City Council and the Dane County Board this Tuesday and Thursday. The resolutions call for the U.S. House to commence impeachment investigations for an illegal war of aggression in Iraq, illegal torture of prisoners, illegal wiretapping of citizens and defrauding Congress and the American people in the run up to the war.
Rummel said, “In April alders and supervisors took our oath of office. My city oath says, ‘I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, and the Charter of the City of Madison …’ I take this oath seriously. President Bush and Vice President Cheney are shredding the Constitution in front of our faces. It is our duty as elected officials to act to repair the damage they have done. We feel the people of Madison and Dane County are very concerned about the direction our nation is headed. More people each day are concluding that Bush and Cheney should be impeached. But Congress is taking little action. It is up to citizens and local government to demand impeachment action.”
No. You represent Madison, fine. Let the wacked-out tree-hugging liberals and disswayed College students show up and chant along with you. But don't speak for the people of Dane County. Let's let Sun Prairie, Oregon, Mt. Horeb, Middleton, Verona, Edgerton, De Forest, Mazomanie, Fitchburg, McFarland, Deerfield, Cross Plains and even UTICA decide for themselves if they'd like to join that list of 79 municipalities who agree with your brilliant impeachment idea.
Do you honestly think this is a valuable use of time for a city council? Could you argue that to your constituents? This bears a striking resemblance to the ridiculous recognition of the 9th planet of Pluto!
Hey Alder Golden, doesn't it seem to be a tad "offensive in the city of tolerance" ?
If I lived in Madison, I would want my city council to do something to combat the crime on Allied Drive, the rapes downtown on State Street, the trolley proposition, etc.
How about drawing some attention to the community, not for it's left-wing wacked-out propositions trying to save the planet from global warming and the United States' government, but for cleaning up crime and making the city an enjoyable, common-sense community to be a part of.
Alicia Colon of the New York Sun has some hope for our "younger, wiser generation" :
Last Thursday I went to an eye-opening event given by Fuel For Truth at the club Arena on West 41st. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was surprised at the turnout of 500 young attractive adults, who had been told they would hear the truth about Israel, Radical Islam, and the reality of what is happening in the Middle East. They came to hear the music, drink, and be merry, and when it was time to listen, they did.
Two large video screens bore messages of the theme of the evening: "Behind Enemy Lines." An hour and a half into the festivities, the music was shut off and the presentation began. The first speaker was Sergeant First Class Terry Schappert, U.S. Special Forces, who explained that we here in New York are the ones behind enemy lines. "Our enemies are fighting an information war with us . . . , a war to convince us that we are the cause of terrorism," he said. He then showed slides on the screen with outrageous quotes by professors and lecturers at our hallowed institutes of learning....
It's hard to be disheartened by current events when witnessing the possible future in the hands of this younger and wiser generation, which may turn out to be the best of all.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took a swipe at Doyle during an anti-tax
rally in Pewaukee Friday, telling the crowd the Democrat would not have won
re-election last fall if he had “campaigned honestly and openly on tax
“Left-wing politicians believe the money is theirs,” Gingrich told the crowd. “It’s not theirs.”
Gingrich also touched on the possibility he’d run for president, saying he won’t make a decision until after he holds a series of workshops in late July. If he does decide to run, he said, he wouldn’t participate in debates at this stage.
“These are not debates, these are auditions,” Gingrich said, “It shrinks the presidency to an irrelevant game comparable to ‘The Bachelor’ or 'American Idol’ or ‘Survivor.’”
I don't think the Presidential candidates will be handing out roses or eating worms anytime soon, but we could sure use a judge like Simon Cowell to tell it like it is. Newt bears a striking resemblance, don't you think?
All touching -- not only fighting or inappropriate touching -- is against the
rules at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna. Hand-holding, handshakes and high-fives? Banned. The rule has been conveyed to students this way: "NO PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!!!"
I'm not advocating teenagers be making out in a hall at school, but a little high-fiving or hugging among friends isn't going to hurt anyone. I can't think of anything more absurd. What if a child's only affection comes from their interaction with friends at school? I remember my days huddling in a hall way with girlfriends, giggling, hugging, linking arms, you name it. I think I'm more expressive because of it, more comfortable among peers, even strangers.
"You get into shades of gray," Hernandez said. "The kids say, 'If he can
high-five, then I can do this.' "
She has seen a poke escalate into a fight and a handshake that is a gang sign. Some students -- and these are friends -- play "bloody knuckles," which involves slamming their knuckles together as hard as they can. Counselors have heard from girls who are uncomfortable hugging boys but embarrassed to tell anyone. And in a culturally diverse school, officials say, families might have different views of what is appropriate.
It isn't as if hug police patrol the Kilmer hallways, Hernandez said. Usually an askance look from a teacher or a reminder to move along is enough to stop girls who are holding hands and giggling in a huddle or a boy who pats a buddy on the back.
Students won't get busted if they high-five in class after answering a difficult math problem.
Thoughts: Girls, assert yourselves if you don't want to be touched. Let 'em have it. Boys, show a little maturity and save the wrestling for the gym mat.
Culturally diverse schools? So what, if a white kid hugs a black kid, or a Latino high-fives an Asian, we've got to break it up because their parents might have differing views on the level of appropriateness? That's a great manifestation of mutual respect, understanding of cultural diversity and the blending of our melting pot.
Let kids be kids, sheesh!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I can't help but pray for those without fathers. (We can say the same of our mothers, but today, please allow my gender bias.) Saturday morning I took a run in the humid drizzle. Taking a turn toward downtown, I saw a woman walking with an umbrella. As I approached, tears were streaming down her face as she called to me to stop. "Excuse me," she said, "have you seen this little boy?" In her other hand she held a crumpled picture of a young boy. I pressed her for details, her 14 year old boy had gone to the park the night before and never came home. At 9 the next morning, his mother was beside herself with fear, knocking on doors and begging for a tip. She had filed a police report, but when I asked if she had called his friends, she had no idea who he had gone to meet.
There I stood, in pain for her and yet torn by the idea that this mother didn't know who her son's friends are, or who he went to meet. Far from being in a position to give her parenting advice, I knew that not holding her son accountable was part of the reason he could leave at night without a sense of responsibility- and I would later come to find there was no father in the picture of this family.
Young boys with no responsibility, hanging out with thugs, ditching school, doing drugs, or what have you - simply can't learn those lessons from a mother. Mothers and fathers have such distinct roles, I think we forget how important it is for children to have both influences. Granted, people can grow up to be fairly balanced individuals with just one parent, or be severely damaged even with two parents. But the typical case seems a young boy without a father will suffer immensely in understanding his role as an adult male, desperate for attention from older peers and tossing off the mother, or women, who demand more of them- perhaps in the way their father tossed their mother off.
So while I will pray this mother finds her child, I will thank God for all the fathers who have stood up to the challenge. To those who have decided no matter the circumstances to be a man and show your children the love, respect, and responsibility they should learn - today is for you. To every child without a father -may at some point you learn from someone what a father's love is. And much like the little boy who's father came home from war, may you be able to run to your father's arms, unabashed in your emotion and joy for him.
Friday, June 15, 2007
This story isn't even about the Party Conventions, it's about global warming.
Let's all do our part for a healthy environment, but who actually put 'global warming' on the political agenda? Why are we all pandering to it?
Pollster John Zogby described global warming as a “sleeper issue” shortly after
the 2006 midterm election. He said the issue was particularly important to
Hispanics and voters under 30, with majorities in both groups saying a
candidate’s position on global warming was important to their votes.
I'm sure it is, so while the politicians are all figuring out how to slow down the warming of the planet they'll forget about immigration policies and deportation....
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"Does it make any sense to speak about warming of the Earth when we see it
in the context of the evolution of our planet over hundreds of millions of
years? Every child is taught at school about temperature variations, about the
ice ages, about the much warmer climate in the Middle Ages. All of us have
noticed that even during our life-time temperature changes occur (in both
Finally common sense is speaking.
The issue of global warming is more about social than natural sciences and
more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in
average global temperature.
As a witness to today’s worldwide debate on climate change, I suggest the following:
■Small climate changes do not demand far-reaching restrictive measures
■Any suppression of freedom and democracy should be avoided
■Instead of organising people from above, let us allow everyone to live as he wants
■Let us resist the politicisation of science and oppose the term “scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority
■Instead of speaking about “the environment”, let us be attentive to it in our personal behaviour
■Let us be humble but confident in the spontaneous evolution of human society. Let us trust its rationality and not try to slow it down or divert it in any direction
■Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives.
Saluting, of course meaning reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
At that time before the Second World War, the Pledge would begin with
the right hand over the heart during the phrase "I pledge allegiance". The arm
was then extended toward the Flag at the phrase "to the Flag", and it remained
outstretched during the rest of the pledge, with the palm facing upward, as if
to lift the flag.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an order adding the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
He would later write in a letter:
'These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep
constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which
alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded.'
The irony is, to me, very apparent. We have two arguments against the pledge: one that it is a false form of idolatry. The other, even more apparent today in our politically correct society, that the pledge excludes those who do not worship a God, and incorrectly and unfairly lumps us all together as faithful people. Some of faith won't say it. Some against faith won't say it.
While the addition of "Under God" would seem to placate Jehovah's Witnesses in one way, acknowledging that a flag or the idea of proclaiming citizenship remains under the importance of faith to one's maker, it now creates an even further divide among Americans. Why can we not pledge allegiance to the idea of humility Eisenhower called upon- humility that freedom should bring us no matter what. Humility, meaning a modest estimate of one's own importance. We are not important without the ability to speak, to invent, to create, to worship, to move. Without freedom, we would have none of those things.
Saluting the stars and stripes does not blaspheme God. And by speaking the words of the Pledge, one is not automatically a Christian by default. You are simply a humble supporter of freedom.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The New York Times began leaking the Pentagon Papers - a 7,000-page report from the Government on internal planning and policy decisions regarding the Vietnam War within the U.S. government.
I use this today to highlight the idea that the NYTimes has been leaking classified information for decades, and no surprise, continues to do so today. Michelle, the Firecracker, has the most here. I can't even begin to imagine the harm they have done to our national security.
Behind closed doors, how much would you want our enemies to actually know?
And sidenote, what about the public? In our society of constant media, 24-hour CNN and Foxnews -of sensationalizing everything (obvious sensationalizing comes to mind: month-long Hurricane Katrina aftermath Watch, Abramoff scandall, most recent Cho/VaTech shootings)- when do we decide we've had enough of something?
We depend on the constant media stream to tell us who's on our side and who's not. The media is always against whatever bureaucracy they can be, but when do journalists and editors draw the line for what is really in the nation's best interest? I'm beginning to think they can't.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Rolling Stone has a good devil's advocate piece.
"Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is
completed within the first trimester of the pregnancy.” - A survey question to
which Thompson checked yes in 1994.
Thompson's change of mind on abortion and skirt-chasing days may be miniscule, but aren't all the hang-ups we have over the majors in the GOP field?
- Romney - flip flopper, Massachusetts 'conservative'
- McCain - 'ingenius' campaign finance reform, ok with gay marriage
- Giuliani - iffy on abortion rights, gun control and gay rights
“The challenge for Fred Thompson,” conservative strategist Frank Luntz told me
recently, “is whether he’s passionate enough. Republicans are so afraid of
losing the White House just like they lost the House and Senate that they will
only vote for someone who they think desperately wants it.”
I don't know if I whole-heartedly agree with Luntz's claim, but I know this Republican wants a passionate conservative who isn't afraid to take a stance and stick to it. If we're going to vote-Fred, shouldn't we give everyone a pass on their past and vote for what they're saying now?
If anything, they should all want to do something, not be something.
Thompson, 64, said much has changed since he rejected calls to run for president in 2000. Encouraged by an effort to draft him into the 2008 race, Thompson said he now finds the prospect appealing for several reasons.I think this Fred Thompson should get in. But let's pick a standard and hold them all to it. It wouldn't be fair to put all our eggs in one basket.
"I am married now, have two children at home. I spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of world that they're going to grow up in, spend a lot of time talking to my wife about that," he said. "And I think the country's different. I think we have challenges now that we didn't have in 2000."
"It's ultimately up to the American people what they think about me," Thompson said. "I've never desired to hold the office, particularly. In fact, not at all. But, at this stage of things, I sometimes think that I do desire the opportunity to do some things that only a president can do."
He said his ambivalence until now about the presidency ultimately might make him a better leader and, thus, a better fit for the White House than others.
"If a person craves power for the sake of power, if he craves the office for the sake of holding the office, he's got his priorities mixed up," Thompson said. "It's a desire to do something not to be something."
MADISON, Wis. - The number of Wisconsin schools that didn't meet standards
set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and could face sanctions increased
from 87 to 95 this year.
Of the 95 schools on the list released Tuesday by the state Department of
Public Instruction, 54 were in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Three were charter
In addition to individual schools on the list, two entire districts
-Kenosha and Milwaukee -were cited as not meeting the standards.
No wonder our young people have little hope.
NEW YORK (AP) - CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves shot back at former CBS news anchor Dan Rather on Tuesday, saying his characterization of the network "tarting" up its newscast with anchor Katie Couric was "sexist."
Rather, speaking by phone on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program with Joe Scarborough Monday, said CBS had made the mistake of taking the evening news broadcast and "dumbing it down, tarting it up," and playing up topics such as celebrities over war coverage. The comments subsequently appeared in blogs and in a story published Tuesday in the New York Daily News and the New York Post.
While referring to his successor, Couric, as a "nice person," Rather said "the mistake was to try to bring the 'Today' show ethos to the 'Evening News,' and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience."
Katie Couric is a tart-let and her ratings are terrible as they should be. I sure don't care for Dan Rather, but let's not cry "sexism" too soon, or the Hillary Duff's and Jessica Simpsons of the world may line up to demand network shows for themselves in the name of "equal opportunity." I can't pretend they have talent anymore.
"It's one thing to be active when people are excited and glad to see you on the
street or knocking on their door. It's another thing when they say, 'Go away.
It's summer,'" he said. "I think we're going to lose some of that impulse, some
of that energy. I think it's flagging already."
I'm afraid I may be saying "Go away" long after it's summer. I know that's what happened in 2006, knocking on doors. Now that it's parade and dairy breakfast season here in Wisconsin, and though I may be a political junkie, I'm tired of politics all the time. If I miss out on the blogs one day, I feel like so much has gone on there's no way I can catch up. On the other hand, I don't seem to care.... The era of the "perpetual campaign," gearing up in January after a November election, seems like it may peak and die sooner than we thought.
If Thompson comes out on July 4th, maybe I'll check back in, but for now, I think I'll wait until Back-to-School 2008.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Al Gore doesn't have to worry about global warming increasing the cat population here in Wisconsin, though. If the snow doesn't last long enough, at least we know residents here would rather kill the feral beasts.
Pets Across America, a national pet adoption organization, reports a 30 percent
increase in animal shelter intake of cats and kittens from 2005 to 2006.
"Cats are typically warm-weather, springtime breeders," says Kathy
Warnick, the organization's president. "States that typically experience
primarily longer and colder winters are now seeing shorter, warmer winters,
leading to year-round breeding. Basically, there is no longer a reproduction
lull with cat-breeding cycles and, unfortunately, it seems more people are
bringing boxes of kittens into our agencies during the winters now."
Who would have thought it? Is global warming really the cause of the excess cat population? Who knows.
In a series of text messages uncovered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after Pfc. Jose Rodrigo Torres was arrested on Thursday, the three soldiers allegedly negotiated the details, price and number of people who would be smuggled north, the complaint said.
"tell them ill only do 1 run @ no more than 20 people @ $150 a person and i want 2 leave @ 1930 hrs and ill go 2 San Anto if they want," Torres typed to Sgt. Clarence Hodge Jr. hours before Torres was arrested along Interstate 35 near Cotulla, Texas, about 68 miles north of the border, according to the complaint.
For Lee Morgan, a retired Customs agent from Arizona, the statistics, including
last week's arrest, attest to how difficult the job has become.
"Any time the money is easy, you are going to find someone," Morgan said.
No excuses. Build the fence.
Michael, clean up your act. You're a disgrace to Virginia.
"What's driving this?" Poindexter said. "Is it this boy's celebrity? Would they
have done this if it wasn't Michael Vick? . . . There's something awful going on
here. I don't know if it's racial. I don't know what it is."
I don't think it's because he's black, bro. Perhaps it's because he had 66 dogs in his house, 55 of which were pit-bulls, a blood-soaked carpet and a pry-bar amidst other evidence. Thank you, African American NFL players like Antonio Pierce, who denounce dog-fighting. The NFL would prosecute any white guy involved just the same.
Moral of the story: trading Matt Schaub = dumb.
Did you know - Franklin made 48 edits to Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration, upon Jefferson's request?
The most important of his edits was small but resounding. He crossed out, using
the heavy backslashes that he often employed, the last three words of
Jefferson's phrase "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" and
changed them to the words now enshrined in history: "We hold these truths to be
Jefferson's second draft, after incorporating those changes, would be presented to the Continental Congress only 17 days later, June 28th. Jefferson had a speedy pen.
I encourage everyone to read aloud to yourself the Declaration before July 4th - truly remind ourselves what Freedom and Independence mean. When we wear our red,white, and blue, let us reflect on the specifically chosen words and the reasons behind them.
Tidbit for thought: At the signing, July 4th - less than a month after the forming of the committee, Franklin is quoted as having stated: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately," a play on words indicating that failure to stay united and succeed would risk being tried and executed, individually, for treason.
What a different united States we live in today. Be grateful.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The budget drafted by the Legislature's budget-writing panel includes Democratic
Gov. Jim Doyle's plans to impose new taxes on oil companies, hospitals and cigarettes. It also includes proposals that could mean higher fees for residents
registering their cars, renewing their driver's licenses, selling their homes or
paying tuition at University of Wisconsin System schools.
Who is safe from the budget tax-increases?
Not oil companies
not students... drivers.... parents.... teenagers.... smokers.... homeowners.... Ipod lovers....
Well, it's sure comforting to know that if you're a healthy, non-smoking individual, over 55, who doesn't drive, doesn't listen to music, would never want any further education at a Wisconsin university, only rents your apartment, doesn't have or plan to have kids, and never needs a hospital visit, the legislature is looking out for you. Don't worry, they're taxing the other 99.99% of Wisconsin residents to help you out in ways you'll never even realize, like building all those new roads for you to...uh... bike on.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Have you ever been in an airport, about to head through security screening, and encountered a vicious assault by the FAA employees simply because you were the number they pulled out of their hat that day to practice their idiotic screening policies on?
I'm talking about Grandma with her nylons and tennis shoes who may have knitting needles or worse in her tote bag. Or the baby in the stroller who might have a box cutter in his diaper. We’ve all seen it happen. As a smart man I know (my dad) says, it’s the “Death of Commonsense.” Do these people look like terrorists? (Yes, I understand I’m opening a box for later discussion, but right now I do not want to instigate argument about racial discrimination, so hold that thought.)
So as I get pulled aside because I refuse to take off my shoes (airports are ghastly, who knows what’s on the floor), left my nail file murder weapon in my carry-on, and must have forgotten lip gloss is a liquid and should fit in my 3 oz. clear plastic bag, I sigh and endure a certain level of screening. But we’re letting people WITHOUT a passport travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda? What has happened to this, the most basic level of screening, of proof of identity and nationality?
WASHINGTON — The government, hoping to placate angry travelers, on Friday
temporarily waived its new anti-terrorism rules and lifted the requirment that
U.S. passports be used for citizens flying to and from Canada, Mexico, the
Caribbean and Bermuda.
The change should ease a long backlog of
applications, triggered by the new rules, that had disrupted many summer
Under the new rules, citizens will be able to fly without
passports to and from those areas through Sept. 30 if they can show a receipt
verifying they have applied, according to U.S. officials.
I understand that most, if not all of those heading to Canada, Mexico and the islands are not associated with terrorist activity, and I certainly am not an advocate for screening them all in the intrusive ways I mention above. However, passports are an institution for international travel –and though you may not cross any sea heading into our neighbors north and south, a passport ensures a certain level of screening that’s already been done. It’s proof of citizenship and birth-certification and all those comforting nationality concerns.
The article states (my response emphasized)
Travelers without passports also would:
- Be required to show another form of government-issued ID, such as a driver's
license. (Since they can’t get one of those without being a
- Face more scrutiny, possibly including questioning by border-security
agents. (Oh no, not questioning. Poor Grandma had a wand in her crotch,
but these travelers might be questioned!)
- Likely have their bags more thoroughly examined. (Key words: likely,
more thoroughly – all very reassuring.)
The passport rules, which
took effect in January as part of a broad post-9/11 effort to tighten security
along the nation's borders and at airports, have contributed to
longer-than-expected backlogs at State Department processing centers.
BOO HOO. You do realize we are relaxing serious rules about international travel so that the State Department processing centers aren’t so “backed up” ? Keep in mind, these may all be Americans, but they’re not just travelling TO somewhere. They’ll be flying back in. So we’re going to let them in and out without a passport, without proof of citizenship, that if they leave they should be allowed back in as well without a passport proving they reside here. How do I know the same person is coming back in? There's no screening there! But don’t worry, they’ll be questioned and examined and required to show that license! Sorry Grandma, you’ll have to sit over here while I check your bags and fondle your underwire bra, but Ahmed over there who doesn’t have a passport, he’ll see you at the gate.
The new easing of passport restrictions has in no way placated this angry traveler. Can I please keep my shoes on now?
Thursday, June 7, 2007
In 2006, 9,580 abortions were performed in Wisconsin. That is the lowest number since 1972.
In 2006, 41,577 abortions were performed in Illinois. That's more than 4 times the number in our state. Sad.
There is hope: 75,911 lives of unborn children have been saved in Wisconsin since 1987.
Keep HOPE alive.
Thank you Goo Goo Dolls:
I need someplace simple where we can live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor Child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them
So take these words and sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I guess every GOP Presidential hopeful will play...and throw darts at his face. What about Tuesday's third Presidential debate was actually new and inspiring? Was there a single glimmering quote of hope from anyone, minus Governor Huckabee's hometown pride?
Frankly, I'm beside myself. President Bush may be the last Republican we want to advocating for cutting spending, but Tommy Thompson is the last man I would want to choose to represent me at the United Nations summit. (Until he can hold his bladder- and his verbal diarrhea - he can close both of his holes.)
McCain, Romney, Giuliani and all you other "front runners": We're tired of the same questions and responses. Cut the Hillary crap, and come over to the Conservative side. I know it's all about re-inventing the GOP, but let's not put the Prez in a trashcan and sit on the lid just so you can feel cleaner and smarter than he is. No one has as pretty a story as Obama, so unless we turn the GOP's attention to why we're better than the DEMOCRATS- I'll be voting for the other Thompson, even if I have to write him in.