Saturday, April 30, 2005

More Woodpecker, Interesting

Left I on the News: "Woodpecker

When I started posting pictures of birds a few days ago, I had no idea that there would be any kind of political connection; I was just taking a break from posting about politics while I'm on vacation (and taking pictures of birds that I was so proud of I had to share). But, lo and behold, out pops a story with not one but two political angles to it - the confirmed sighting of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, last seen in the United States in 1944. This is, indeed, huge news in the scientific (and birdwatching) community.

The first angle is the American chauvinist angle. If you read the New York Times coverage of the story (or any other coverage, for that matter), you will read that this bird has been 'long given up for extinct' and that 'the last documented sighting was in Louisiana in 1944.' But this isn't true - a pair of Ivory-billeds was seen in Cuba as recently as 1987, as noted in Birds of Cuba. Of course that has no relevance if you think the world ends at the borders of the United States, as so many Americans do.

The second political angle to this story is to understand why the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been so decimated, and why it had been thought to be extirpated (extinct within a given range) in North America. The answer? War is not healthy for human beings and other living things. More specifically, according to the Birds of North America:

'The first great wave of habitat loss occurred during 1880–1910. During World War I, Northern industries were getting the bulk of money spent for the war effort, and Southern politicians demanded their share. A bill was passed to build 1,000 ships of southern pine, sounding the death knell for remaining virgin pine forests. It was considered patriotic to cut the forests, although only 320 ships were ever built and none saw war action

'World War II was the final blow. Again in response to war 'needs' and under the banner of patriotism, many remaining old-growth southern forests were cut. Some of the wood was used for the decks of PT boats, other for pallets for shipping ammunition; much of it fueled the demands of industry.'

The bottom line? Whether it's deformed babies being born in Iraq as a result of the use of depleted uranium, the pollution of the Danube resulting from the deliberate NATO bombing of chemical plants in Yugoslavia, the destruction of the southern U.S. forests described above, or simply the incredible amounts of gasoline used during wartime by mileage-inefficient and pollution-releasing planes, tanks, and humvees, war is an environmental disaster.
// posted by Eli @ 4/29/2005 03:59:00 PM : Comment (1)"

& The Wheels Go Round and Round

I watch the numbers turning over & over & wonder about how the Ashland School Board WILL need to cut its budget, no matter what the pompous new board members think. & unless we stop this fool, the football team will be next, which wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing. Don't think it won't happen. This is a great place to see what the financial costs that Bushco have inflicted on the country. I think you will be amazed at what it is costing us. & I think back to that benefit for the paralyzed soldier out in Benoit. The money being raised was to be used to offset the costs of experimental stem cell treatments IN EUROPE! The emotional, physical, & psychic costs go far beyond the money & will be with us for a long, long time. Bastards.

New Blog Links #1

I have learned how to make links to other blogs on the sidebar of this page. I've listed two. The first is from my good friend Elka who lives in Oakland, but really belongs back in, as she says, Wisco. Maybe by listing her blog, she will be forced to actually blog once in awhile. The other blog listed is Atrios. He is about the only blogger you may need, since his bloglist is soooo long, you probably won't be able to read them all in one day, unless you have a lot of down time. He's also a good lefty, who understands what it means to give a crap about the country. He's the first blog I go to after I read my on-line papers in the morning. I do plan to add some more - I guess they would be the blogs that make me feel good, from realizing I'm not the Lone Ranger, to making me laugh out loud. Later.


Pretty funny, from Hoffmania.

Jeff Danzinger, via Hoffmania, reason #3 to buy an Apple. But I have the strangest elistist, yuppie feeling in my foot, oh, wait a minute it's my plantar's fascitis.

In Spite of It Being the Last Day of April

I'm posting four of my own poems. Enjoy.

The moon is half
what it used to be
& what it will become
cold looking
this April night
bright through
yet bare tree limbs
it’s too easy
looking forward
into May
when April’s
snow clouds
blow in over
the low horizon
& the evening grosbeaks


If the sun revolves(it does)
then there is nothing
behind the sun
that isn’t also
(in front of the sun)
some of the time
so the singer
in the park
with the guitar
& leather soled shoe
should not wonder

or try too hard


for Stewart, Malia, Bella, & Lola

You opened your home
& wore your hearts
on your sleeves
right where they belong
sick baby
ailing grandfather
& since your hearts
are in the open air
we see
the red beat
the blue beat
the road with no forks
going so far west
you’re almost east
with the sweet voice of the ne ne



it’s a long way south
to get to where
you don’t
have to waste
the gin
by throwing it
like bad medicine

or swallowing

one more heartbreak

good gin

in a plastic cup
is good gin
& sipping it
while walking
down Magazine St.
under the big

live oaks

& on to some
side street
like Jena
or Camp
under the thickly
green magnolias
with Carnival
in the air
& on the streets
& in the hearts
& dance steps
& groove walks

of everyone
under the

crescent moon

of New Orleans
& each gin sip
one smooth step
closer to heaven

or whatever erotic

pillow fight

it’s called
& what’s the coolest
but to walk with the go cup

into Le Bon Temps Roule

& start over
one more time


Up Is Down, & Thinking of Carl

Thanks for ending racism as we knew it. That Bush, what a guy. We are so going backward.

Last Day of Poetry Month

Here's an article in the Times about Dial-a-Poem.Go here for the real stuff. Pretty cool, even if you weren't around in 1969. It brought back a lot of memories for me. That was the year I had Gwendolyn Brooks as a teacher at Madison. She was quite something for a white boy from the woods. I am a very lucky person.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Interesting numbers on this Social Security debate. Bushco invented this crisis so that he could destroy another good program for regular people. Makes me want to puke.

For Your Friday Night I Don't Even Have A Date With My Spouse Or Honey Reading Pleasure

We don't have to care about the law, we're Republicans.

It's about time!

It's interesting that the mainstream press just won't follow up on stories like this. It takes a Scottish woman to do the work. When did being a journalist mean you did no work?

Even some conservatives are waking up. Hope some of the locals can get it. I'm not holding my breath.

This is not surprising, it's typical of BushCheney & the rest of the chickenhawks. I mean, really, America WAKE THE EFF UP.

More Woodpecker, No Snickering, Please

Go here for a video of the the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in flight. Those with dial-up will need to get a cup of coffee, but it's worth it.

Will Bush Read This?

Hot item.
Mikey, plus bonus Rocky the Lab blogging. Posted by Hello

Good Night, Last Night

It was a good night for drinking liberally. We had some new people show up & join in. Several young people donned the high class name tags, but with the exception of Jackie, Student Trustee, they segregated themselves at the riff-raff table. We’'ll try & integrate them into the main group next week. This is fun - people are learning more about each other & there is quite a mix of folks - water treatment workers, potters, IT guys, nurses, teachers, bag-pipe players, baristas, retirees & more. Next Thursday, 6-9 p.m. at the Black Cat in Ashland, WI.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Sadly, One of "Our" Own

This moron represents the district that has my wife's hometown in it. It almost makes me want to move back just to defeat him. That would bring me closer to the in-laws & the Milwaukee Brewers & I hate the Brewers.

NW WI School Board Letter

Sadly, not every bad thing happens in the big city. This response shows that theocrats/wingnuts are everywhere. Of course, Ashland, WI, has its own school board problems. More on that later.

Another Good & Smart Man


Don't Forget

Tomorrow night - Thursday - Drinking Liberally - 6 to 9 - at the Black Cat, Ashland, WI. We may have a surprise guest.

The rumors are true, Honore had a kid, I actually saw him today. Cute, in an alien sort of way. Looks like Paul, oh, I'm sorry, Frank.


Sorry about the dead end links. I fixed a couple & am attempting to fix the rest. I'm not sure what happened, except for the fact that one little character can put the kibosh on a link. It's cold, my foot hurts, & I wish I was going to be a Jazz Fest tomorrow.

Louisiana Sinking

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) voted to drill for oil in ANWR in hopes of getting support to fix this. Any bets Bushco will do nothing? I thought so. She, among other "moderate" Dems, have yet to learn the lesson - cooperate with Bushco & we'll still hammer you, you weakling scum.

It's Over, For Now

We don't need no stinking class warfare. The rich have apparently won. We need to take back this country. The infrastructure, among other things, is falling apart & the rich just get richer & don't pay their FAIR SHARE of taxes.

All Wayne, All The Time

I don't know what's up this morning. One more post for someone who ought to develop a fly-tying budget this year, in addition to his SB budget.

It's Mary, Not Peter


OK, the link is not working. Mary of Peter, Paul, & Mary, is having a bone marrow transplant. I think I said it was Peter.

Maybe NOT

What's with Apple?

Very Interesting


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Reason # 7622 to Impeach

Bush is such a dope. This from Holden at First Draft.

Time once again to belittle folks with book-larnin'.

"One of the things I try to do is surround myself with experts. We've got a Ph.D. with us today -- Syl, it's good to have you. He is a fellow who's studied the Social Security issue. For those of you who are students, there's an interesting lesson to be learned here. Syl obviously is a really smart guy, Ph.D.; I'm a C student. (Laughter and applause.) A couple of B's scattered in there. (Laughter.) I want you to notice who's the advisor and who's the President. (Laughter and applause.)"

Ha ha, jeez, let's make fun of education from the "education" president, no, no, stop the madness....

The Extent of My Cosmolgy


Local Politics #132

Here's a letter I'm sending the local paper. The original letter writer may, may, have a good heart. But this blame everybody but me thing is getting old. Here's the letter:

26 April, 2005


I wish to respond to a letter written by a Mr. Joel M. Langholz that appeared in the Daily Press. First, I wish to applaud Mr. Langholz for his description of Mr. Peterson. He is spot on. Secondly, he analyzes the recent election in Ward 4 correctly. But the rest of the letter, including its goofy fraternity subplot, leaves much to be desired.

If we follow Mr. Langholz’s logic of individual, independent thinkers to its fullest extension, we wind up with an anarchic system, where things get done only for & by the strongest or richest. The whole point of “belonging”, & I am sorry Mr. Langholz was unable to find a fraternal home while at college, is to be able to have some collective effect on the existential conditions that either plague or nurture us.

Another problem with Mr. Langholz’s argument is that he gives both sides equal status. He assumes that both sides of this argument are equally true. This is absurd. This notion references certain cable TV shows that “balance” a news story at the expense of the truth. As an example, it is obvious to any thinking person that the vast majority of climate scientists believe we have a huge problem with global warming. Just because the anti-global warming folks can flush one, just one, scientist out to deny it, doesn’t mean that they should have equal footing, or equal time, during discussion involving global warming. Mr. Langholz seems to think that the agenda of Mr. Peterson & his five cohorts on the city council, is somehow equal to the progressive agenda of the Mayor & his supporters on the council. Sure, the numbers are close, but if you honestly read the results of the last election, 60% of the city wards involved in the election wanted a big change & the city got a big change.

Mr. Langholz also makes this factual error: he says the mayor is a Teflon mayor. I suppose the lawsuit filed by Martinson & Linton didn’t stick?

The last error Mr. Langholz makes concerns the mayor’s popularity. The reason the mayor is building support, instead of losing it, is that his policies for the city are right. Mr. Langholz never even considers that option.

In closing I wish to paraphrase a wise statement made by a wise friend today at the Black Cat: when you write a “pox on both houses manifesto” you ought to stop for a moment & realize that one house probably needs a lot more pox than the other. I know where my pox goes. Mr. Langholz ought to step up & tell us where his pox should go.



We need to make clear that the progressives are the right choice. & as a final note, I believe that the 4th Ward could have easily been won. In fact, I surprised that Mr. Peterson won as easily as he did. More on that later.

Do I Smell

a Mac in my future? Maybe.

Poor Doctors

Yeah, it's all those frivolous malpractice suits that are driving up medical costs. Yeah, sure, wait a minute...oops.

Whose Mainstream?

The ReThugs keep braying about how they are the mainstream party, yet, once again, the American people prove them wrong. Make sure to remind all the Bush supporters of the results of this poll. & don't let them off the hook.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Let's Kill All the Salmon, Too


So Much for a Legacy


Too Bad, So Sad

I was going to offer an all-expense paid trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest this year to the 100th visitor to my blog, but, darn, I couldn't figure out who it was. So maybe if some of you left comments I could figure it out. Then again, maybe not. I'm just feeling sorry for myself, I should be there. Why, oh, why don't children listen to their parents? What's the world coming to? I wish I knew. I suppose I ought to buy a couple of Powerball tickets once in a while. Then, if I won, I could buy a house in that city & practice saying y'all more than I do & drink mint julips at St. Joe's bar. I could visit people I know & people I don't know. But the odds are against me, so I'll drink the julips here, along with the Sazarecs & count myself lucky to be a living liberal in an increasingly nasty country. Then fish bluegills instead of bream, speckled trout instead of speckled trout (saltwater variety), crappies instead of sac-a-lait. It could be worse.

It's Poetry Month & I just bought the newest book by a poet from Duluth, MN, named Louis Jenkins. He is a great writer of the prose poem, a form not much used lately, which is too bad. & so sad. Here is a fine example:


I pick up thistles and burdock, seeds of all sorts, on my pants
legs as I walk the fields and ditches. Somewhere, way down
the road, some will fall on fertile ground and begin the
haphazard garden all over again. I pick up pebbles in my shoe
treads and when they fall out they spawn streambeds, glacial
eskers, mountain ranges. One day there will be a huge boulder
right where your house is now, but it will take awhile.

Very good. If you can't find the book, order it from Holy Cow! Press, also of Duluth & of George Will fame. Later.

New WI Blog

Go to this blog for good information about one of the embarassments of WI. For a state with such great lumiaries as LaFollette, Nelson, Obey & others, it also has its share of morons.

Well, well. Where does Gannon/Gucket fit into this picture? Again, just asking? Posted by Hello

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Does this story explain the above picture? Just asking.

OK, Can't Wait

Good news for all music lovers.


I've nothing this morning. Read an article about Thom Gunn, who, frankly, cares? Bushco is as crooked & hateful as ever. & I think I'm not feeling well, but another cup of coffee will tell. What do you have?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Earth Day?

Did anyone else around here realize that Earth Day has come & gone? Nothing going on? What happened? I thought Northland College was supposed to be a liberal arts-environmental college? They had nothing to say? To do? If they did do something, how come they didn't involve the community as a whole? So many questions, so little minds. Go hug a tree & apologize.

From a Kentucky Newspaper! Indeed.

Things are looking a bit up again. The sick, but now recovered kitty is sleeping on my chest, & I read this smart piece from a bit south of me. I'll be glad when Monday comes.

Oh, well....

Things were looking up when I read in a small weekly newspaper that there was going to be a lecture by a professional quilter & costumer at a local library. I called some friends interested in quilting, plus the sun is shining, though it is cold. Then Atrios posts this:


Josh Marshall writes this, but it's stunning that he even has to bother.

Broder's reference to the power of the president's bully pulpit as the lever that will shift public opinion against the Democrats is just another example of his inability to grasp that the public turn against the Republicans in late 1995 and early 1996 was a reaction, on the merits, to Republican excesses, not the result of some inscrutable black magic Bill Clinton managed to pull off with a few press availabilities.

The more obvious flaw in Broder's reasoning stems from another bit of Washington myopia. What killed the Republicans on the government shutdown, in addition to the pure recklessness of the stunt, was that the government did shut down. National parks closed. Various government services and functions stopped operating. It had an immediate and direct effect on people's lives.

Most people really don't give a shit if the Senate is operating smoothly or not. They won't notice, they don't care. Shutting down business in the Senate is not shutting down the operation of the federal government. The fact that Broder and the Note's mystical "gang of 500" are unable to comprehend this (plus, as Marshall points out, their cheerleading of Newt's bold action back in the day) does mean it's time for them to put down their pens and go into a line of work which is less damaging to the rest of us.
-Atrios 11:02 AM

& I'm yup, yupping it to the liquor cabinet. It's afternoon CDT, BTW.

Centrists Go Home

Atrios has this from Josh Marshall. I guess we need to keep repeating over & over - be a Democrat, be a progressive, be a real human being for crying out loud. I wish these "centrists" would just shut up & let the rest of us win back the country by majorities that can't easily be stolen.

Coleman Is Awful

The editorial in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune is a good one concerning the ReThugs attempt to do away with the filibuster.

We Don't Need No Stinking Open Society

Yup,yup,yup. Downhill. Where's the Pernod? The Herbsaint? The Peychaud Bitters? Where's my dog? / News / Nation / Washington / In terror war's name, public loses information / News / Nation / Washington / In terror war's name, public loses information

Compassionate, My Butt!

The utter..., you know, I'm sitting here thinking how low this awful administration can go & this little item from the Times shows up on my computer screen. There are days when I feel there is no point, this day's beginning to have that feeling. Hateful bastards.

Bush's War Against the American People #3394

How much longer? It's painfully, pun intended, clear that Bushco could care less about the American people, unless you're totally rich or a raving religious maniac. More here.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Gimme That Old Single Payer Rag

We spend so much money on health care in this country, yet we do not "lead" the world in taking care of our citizens. Just one example is infant mortality. We rank somewhere around 15th world in preventing infant mortality. How come? We don't have to "wait" for health care in the USA, like in some of those commie countries like Canada. Of course, I had to wait two months for an appointment with a foot specialist, then, once the problem was isolated, I had to wait another six weeks for the fix. Read Paul Krugman here for an explanation.

What Would Mick Jagger Do?

Wild horses slaughtered by a "man of God." Nice country you got here Bush, the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!

Sleeping On The Beach

A long time ago, I slept a beach in Oregon. It was great. About ten years ago, my wife, daughter & I slept in a nice tent in a campground in Oregon & were amazed at what we initially thought was a fresh pile of dog crap; it turned out to be one big slug. & now there is this. Another reason to be proud of some Americans. We must all continue to fight this attempt by Bush, the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, to turn the country into a police state. Go Portland!

& These Are The Adults?

Apparently, Bush's, the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, inability to accept responsibility has now spread to the armed forces. If it looks, walks, smells, if you know what I mean, it's a scandal. Yet again, no one is responsible. What will the children learn from this?

Friday, April 22, 2005

You Don't Need A Weatherman

To know which way the wind blows, but you may need to pay for it next time, among other things. Enjoy.

Wouldn't it be nice if these nutcase ReThugs would just leave us alone?

More from The Howler on A** C******, who really ought to eat something besides crow.

Bush, the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, gets his hands dirty."

More Earth Day stuff here.

This is good news.

More boni cat blogging. Tolouse the kid's cat. Posted by Hello

Jaguar kittens, New Orleans zoo, 2004. Posted by Hello

Bonus Gordon Setter blogging. She needs a haircut, but she's cute. Posted by Hello

Tipitina before her serious illness this week. She's all better now. Posted by Hello

Mikey, photoshopped. Posted by Hello


Are these guys nuts? We need to let all of our friends & non-friends know about this attempt to take over, not only the courts, but all of the country. Apparently, Dobson,, want total control over all of our lives, no exceptions. Sick.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Drinking Liberally, Chequamegon Style #2

So we had a good time tonight. Several people from the old (that would be me) to the young (that would be the child-bride; an inside joke, relax). We'll do it again next week from 6-9 p.m. at the Black Cat in Ashland, WI. Oh, & don't listen to any music by that never was Ted Nugent, what a troll. I'll bet, however, that the WORST PRESIDENT EVER adores him. See you next week.

It's A Start

Good for Connecticut. Read.

A** C******

From The Howler, more on the Time magazine deification of Ann Coulter. All you subscribers need to cancel. Here's all you need to know. Read.


This is good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jeez...When Will It End?

While I have been known to make fun of the yuppie Apple folks, mostly for their superior attitude & overpriced computers, this makes me sick & if the price of a Mac ever comes down into the working man's price range, I'll be first in line. Do what John's post asks, it is, among many, many things, very important to all of us. & I mean ALL of us.

Ashland City Council

So the backward thinkers elected R. Maiwald again as council president. The ballot was secret, 6-5 in favor of Maiwald over Kathy Allen. While secret, it appears to be clear that Rodney elected himself by voting for himself, which is, of course, perfectly legal. My reccomendation to the 5 forward thinkers, on all matters of true importance for the city of Ashland, & the surrounding area which it influences, keep the vote at 5-5 & make Rodney Maiwald show where he stands, with the citizens of the city or with others. We see with the strike of honesty from the senator from Ohio in regards to the Bolton issue, maybe the five other councilors will understand what progress means & do the right thing. Stay tuned, I'll soon have some stats concerning certain councilors attendance at meetings over the last year. It ought to be interesting. To the progressives on the council, you've more or less done well so far, keep the spine stiff, there can be no compromise with the dark side.

No Child Left Untouched

The states & now the NEA are starting to put some major pressure on the WORST PRESIDENT EVER & his awful education law. Read about the news lawsuits being filed here. This is good news for all the kids in public schools. I don't care how many standardized tests you make them suffer through, it won't help educate them one bit. To be fair, it will teach them one thing- that a convicted DWI offender can "grow" up & bully the Congress into passing a particularly stupid law. We need to encourage our newly elected Supt. of Public Instruction to consider doing the same thing.

Don't forget: Drinking Liberally - tomorrow evening 6-9 p.m. at the Black Cat in Ashland, WI.


This is what they meant when they said "What's good for General Motors is good for America?" Buscho economics is really working, really working, really working, oh, what's that over there? A WMD? A brain-dead woman? Tom DeLay? A new pope?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope - Really Old Ideas

I really don't care much about a Roman Catholic pope, yes, I was raised an Episcopalian. But it needs to be said & people need to be reminded that the new pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. & don't give me any of that stuff about how young he was, or that later, he deserted (not soon enough). We all make choices, the 1967 incident remains uncommented on, & we must live with them. While it's true that once a Hilter Youth doesn't mean always a Hilter Youth, still, look at what he says he stands for... & the biggest obscenity - no condoms for Africa - let them all die. What were they thinking? What have they been thinking for centuries? Where's the Gospel of Thomas? Hidden away by the "princes" of the church. Absolutely stupid & tragic & why do I care? This has become so hideous. I'm watching "House" the best damn TV show I've seen in a long time. & to think, the main character was Bertie on the Jeeves series on PBS a few years ago. Quite a casting. Oh, yeah, remember the etchings of all the infidels hanging from the live oaks in Spain? Makes a person just warm all over. Doctrine of the Faith, my butt.


Thanks are due dear Wayne for teaching me how to do the one word link. Jeez, I'm writing computer code now. Next, well, I don't want to go there. I'm sorry I missed Joel Glickman & his jazz band last night. Word has it that it was hot. Tonight's the big Ashland City Council reorganization meeting. Some intrigue concerning the council president. I hope it goes the right way. Ashland has a good mayor, who will be giving his State of the City address tonight as well, & needs a council that is working for progress for every citizen, not a priviledged few, or less. While the ReThugs would like to go back to a fuedal system, most people do not.

Bolton Slip Sliding Away?

We can only hope. Here is the guy Bush, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, nominated for the U.N. job who is abusive to women, refuses intelligence if it doesn't agree with him, & has the worst mustache I've seen in a while. Go here for all your Bolton info. Bush should not get every nominee. In fact, we should contest every one of them with the same vigor we are opposing this ridiculous fool. You should also make sure to contact Voinovich & give him some kind words. I know it's tough to be nice to ReThugs, but in this case it is necessary. He seems to have a conscience that finally kicked in, so good for him.

Monday, April 18, 2005

True Talking Points

One of the things that is most frustrating about talking to people about how Bush is THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER is that they throw right-wing talking points at you as if they were the truth. So, as a further public service, I suggest you read this list from Hoffmania. I think I'll print up a few for the Drinking Liberally get-together this Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at The Black Cat in Ashland, WI.

Mini Road Trip Ends

We're back. I'm listening to the blues on Sirius radio & found out Martha Stewart just signed a contract with them. This is coupled with Sirius losing Air America, which is why I bought Sirius, instead of XM, which will now carry Air.

Last night the Dr. Michael White quartet did a great version of "The Basin St. Blues". Gregory Stafford, the trumpet player, did a sweet job on vocals. I was moved. Dr. White, a teacher, as well as a musician did a bit of education in between pieces. That was worth the modest ticket price. Kermit Ruffins did a bunch of standards. My favorites were "What a Wonderful World" & an outstanding version of "Little Liza Jane." His trombone player was a revelation as was the piano player, David Torkanowski, which I may be misspelling. The second show had a lot of seating left, so the Dakota allowed those of us there for the first show to stay. That was good of them. My only complaint about the whole evening was that the tonic water comes out of the same nozzle as the coke, etc., so the G & T had an unfortunate sweet taste. I guess I'll need to carry the tonic in with me. The tribulations of life & the efficiancies of capitalism.

Monday, Monday

Still having the cool glow of last night, even if my traveling companion seems concerned that I referred to the waiter as "cute." He's so 20th century. As Kurtis Ruffins said last night, "If you don't own a Kurtis Ruffins CD, shame on you! Shame on you!" I agree completely. & as I was talking to Dr. Michael White, he noted that he is teaching one class this term, be envious Joel. In typical, as least in my experience, New Orleans fashion, all the musicians hung out with the fans in a cordial, friendly way. We found out Kermit just taped an episode with Emeril. That ought to be a great show. Cooking & music, what could be holier? Back to the greater north woods today. Read the post below via Kos about the "transparency" of the Bush adminstration. I agree: THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Walleye Dumplings & New Orleans Jazz

The music was more than I expected.
The gin was what I expected.
The atmosphere could have been worse.
The waiter was cute & efficient.
I'm tired, goodnight.
Oh, & the walleye dumplings were exquisite.

Comrade Max - Speaks Truth

Had to take a quick break from the euphoria of tonight's concert. Thanks for beer & catfish. Otherwise, I'd have to throw myself off the porch or deck. Jeez....

MaxSpeak, You Listen!: "April 16, 2005

Matt aroused a ignorant furor over his estate tax post. The House of Paleozoic Hominids has voted for repeal, as it has in the past; the fate of the tax will be decided in the Billionaire Boyz Club, a.k.a. the U.S. Senate. A few basics, as the tax hovers on the brink:

1. The event that triggers the tax is NOT death. 'Death tax' is a politically-interested misnomer. Most who die (98%) pay no such tax. The occasion for the tax is the transfer of a large amount of wealth. That's why it is called 'The Estate and Gift Tax.'

2. Those to whom the tax applies DO NOT give up half their estate. The average effective rate for the larger estates is under 20 percent. The marginal rate is around 50 percent. A few years ago, I had to try and explain the distinction to Bill O'Reilly on national television.

3. Estate taxation IS NOT double-taxation. Much of the income accumulated in estates has NEVER been taxed. This includes appreciation in the value of financial assets, unincorporated businesses, and farms held until death. Even so, double taxation is not exactly unknown. If they don't like double-taxation, why don't the wingnuts campaign for the abolition of the sales tax? It taxes the use of income that has already been taxed. I think I know why.

4. There is NO NEED for the recipient of a family business or farm to liquidate in order to pay tax. In today's world of marvelous financial intermediation, it is a trivial matter to securitize that portion of an illiquid firm required to pay the tax, which incidentally need not be paid all at once. Contrary to Matt, the Gov already facilitates paying the tax on the installment plan for 'small business.' Some say the value of the business lies in the expertise of the decedent. If this is so, the business is worthless and no tax would be due with appropriate appraisal of the firm's value.

5. Matt's distinction between an estate tax and an inheritance tax is meaningless. An estate tax with a million dollar exemption and an inheritance tax doled out to ten people, each with a $100K exemption, are equivalent.

6. We do know of at least one family farm forced to liquidate under Government Oppression. That was the chicken farm of a lady who, along with other landowners, was expropriated so that the stadium of the Texas Rangers could be built. The culprit was a well-known acolyte of enterprise and freedom. O Justice, where art thou?

7. Come to think of it, the build-up in the value of the Texas Rangers, since it is owed partly to forced sales of land, is another example of income that has never been taxed. Kind of a parable on Weath in the U.S.A. There ya go.

Best single reference on the E&G Tax is here.
Posted by max at 12:26 PM Comments (34) | Trackbacks (2) Other blogs commenting on this post"

Read #2933 reason to impeach

slacktivist: And have not charity

Sunday Update #something

So we're here & spent some time at Famous Dave's having a Rolling Rock(s) & chicken wings. Done with that & now on to the Dakota & burgers & Kurtis & Dr. Michael. Wish Joel was here to listen to this. We'll buy some CDs for him, maybe, if he reigns in his kid's dopey attitude about smallmouth bass.

I like this type of shouldering on. Later.

Sunny Sunday Morning

So, I'm going to try & blog via email today & maybe right after the concert tonight. I'm hoping I understand the process correctly. On another technology front, it appears we may finally be getting DSL service out here in the what represents the bush in the lower 48. We took a deep breath & decided to pay our dialup service by the month, just in case, & that worked. It will be so much fun moving into the 21st century. Well, I'm taking my red shoes, in honor of Mr. Breaux, & heading to Kermit Ruffins.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

19 years old & now dead

For Bushco, if you don't like the facts, just eliminate them.

WTF Is It Now??: "The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.

Current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered 'Patterns of Global Terrorism' eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism"


Tommorrow I'm going to take a friend of my down to the kid's in the Cities. I'm going to do some musical education on the bio-boy, aka, Whitey B. We're going to see Kermit Ruffins, trumpet player, & Dr. Michael White, clarinet player. They're playing at the Dakota. They are both wonderful New Orleans jazz musicians. It will be great. I'll update you on Monday.

Remember, the extreme, radical ReThuglian party wants to force all of to be under the rule of a theocracy. We must fight this in every way possible. One thing is to enjoy great music. Another way is to laugh. Another is to not take yourself too seriously. So I encourage you to listen to the blues, U2, the Stones, good jazz, Louis Armstrong, the Meters, Joe Ely, it goes on & on. The backward religous right wants us to not have any fun, believe me, just look at the cat-torturer Bill Frist - when's the last time he had any fun? What about Tom "Bugman" DeLay? Not a fun guy. This Thursday at the Black Cat in Ashland, WI; Drinking Liberally, with name tags & other info to use against Bush & his minions. Shoulder on, oh ye of great faith.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Drinking Liberally, Chequamegon Style

Let's Drink Liberally on Thursday night from 6-9 at the Black Cat Coffee House in Ashland, WI. If that night doesn't work, we can try some other day or place. I think people interested in psychic phenomena also meet at the Black Cat on Thursdays, but maybe they'll join us. Oh, & Honore had her kid, a boy, rumor has it that it will be named ... oh, I just can't repeat it. Congrats. So remember, next Thursday, 21 April, 2005 for Drinking Liberally. Spread the word & see you there.

Philly Supports Cat Lovers

The WI Conservation Congress is becoming the laughing stock in America. What happened to an organization that used to be concerned with the state's natural resources? Taken over, apparently, by dingbats. What's next, parakeet shoots?
corrente / Leah, Lambert, Tresy, the farmer, Tom, Xan, RDF, and Riggsveda

Stats We Can Use

Read this:
corrente / Leah, Lambert, Tresy, the farmer, Tom, Xan, RDF, and Riggsveda

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Long Post, But Read It

Digby gets it right. I know it's a long post, but it's worth reading, plus, I haven't figured out how to link to just this post on his blog. I'm working on it, I promise. Just read.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Believe It

This whole argument about pop culture reminds me of a conversation I had in 1977. I was sitting around with my friends and somebody put "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols on the stereo. Afterwards, I said I thought it wasn't really music --- to which a friend of mine replied that I sounded just like his parents when he first played the Beatles. I was only 21 at the time, so this hit me pretty hard. I never forgot it.

This "kids today" stuff has been going on for a long, long time. Anybody who was a kid in the 60's like I was, remembers endless sermons and lectures and handwringing about how the world was coming to an end because the boys were growing their hair long and the girls weren't shaving their armpits and marijuana was going to fry your brain like an egg. Before that, in 1956, there was the fear of "juvenile delinquents":

Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks!

Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!

Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
My parents treat me rough.
With all their marijuana,
They won't give me a puff.
They didn't wanna have me,
But somehow I was had.
Leapin' lizards! That's why I'm so bad!

Officer Krupke, you're really a square;
This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care!
It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
He's psychologic'ly disturbed!

My father is a bastard,
My ma's an S.O.B.
My grandpa's always plastered,
My grandma pushes tea.
My sister wears a mustache,
My brother wears a dress.
Goodness gracious, that's why I'm a mess!

Officer Krupke, you're really a slob.
This boy don't need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick!

Gee, Officer Krupke,
We're down on our knees,
'Cause no one wants a fellow with a social disease.
Gee, Officer Krupke,
What are we to do?
Gee, Officer Krupke,
Krup you!

And that was in the golden age of "Leave It To Beaver" and "I Love Lucy."

All these people who are so afraid of what their kids are doing and thinking are just like my parents were. Afraid of the new world they'd built and were leaving behind for their kids. And so it goes.

Ed Kilgore writes today on the subject:

If there's a problem, and at least some sorts of tangible public-policy solutions, then the argument that this is "all about politics" loses some of its sting. But of course, you "can't take the politics out of politics," so yeah, Democrats should look at this politically as well. And Amy is absolutely right that Democrats tend to view "cultural issues" as limited to abortion and gay marriage and other Republican-dictated agenda items, and Gerstein is absolutely right that such issues are often just the ways voters use to figure out whether politicians actually believe (a) there are principles more important than politics, and (b) there is such a thing as right and wrong.

The whole hep Democratic world right now, from Howard Dean to George Lackoff to Bill Bradley right over to the DLC, says it's important that Democrats clearly identify "what they believe" and "where they stand" and "what values they cherish." If all the evidence--some scientific, some anecdotal or intuitive--suggesting that parents believe they are fighting an unequal battle with powerful cultural forces over the upbringing of their children is at all correct, then we have to take a stand there, too. It may matter a whole lot, if you look at the Democratic vote among marrieds-with-children--steadily dropping from a Clinton win in 1996 to an eighteen-point loss in 2004, a disproportionately large swing

Yes, the public does wonder what we stand for. And in this debate it seems we can either stand for better V chips and Terri Schiavo's mother-in-law, or we can stand for this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I don't know about you, but that sounds like it actually means something. Even has a bit of a ring to it.

Look, I don't care if we legislate for "better" V-chips. (From what I have read people aren't using the one we have available, not because it's too hard, but because they just don't want to be bothered. But whatever.) We can express our empathy for how difficult it is to parent in this environment. We can bemoan the coarsening of the culture and try shame people to stop selling useless consumer items to children. None of those things are particularly dangerous in themselves. But neither are they going to be politically advantageous.

Everytime we try to move in this "moderate" cultural direction that we think people will choose over the GOP vision, the more we appear to be a large puddle of lukewarm water. Because, let's face it. If you really think that the government should do something about popular culture because it's harmful then you really should step up to the plate and admit that you think censorship in some form or another would be a good thing. Because that's the only thing that government can really do to make a difference --- compel people to stop saying and selling and watching and buying.

And that's what the conservatives have to offer. Clear, simple, straightforward. They believe that this swill is harming society and they want it taken care of. They don't play around with studies and "oh I understand what you are going through." They offer a real solution. Censor the garbage. Impeach the judges. Fix the damn problem. The bully in their pulpit sounds a hell of a lot more competent than ours.

And, conversely, they have won the gun issue by being rigid absolutists about the second amendment and giving no quarter. In fact, I think that their rhetoric has been so widespread and so successful that we would benefit from making our argument explicitly about the first amendment in much the same way. Some people may just wonder why, if the second is sacred, the first shouldn't be also.

Now, I don't think that any Democrats really want censorship. They want magic. They want people to stop wanting what they want. And if that doesn't work, they want the manufacturers and producers to feel bad about what they are doing and stop providing what the people want. This is an unrealistic political goal. (It seems much more suited to religion than government and it makes me wonder, if religion is sweeping the nation in a new Great Awakening, why it is having so little effect?)

And there is the truly serious problem that these culture war issues are exploited by the right for the very reason that they are willing to offer these simple solutions to issues that we necessarily find complicated. They tie us in knots with this stuff. That's why we shouldn't walk into their trap time after time after time by trying to split the difference. It isn't working.

Kilgore says:

Gerstein is absolutely right that such issues are often just the ways voters use to figure out whether politicians actually believe (a) there are principles more important than politics, and (b) there is such a thing as right and wrong.

Why do we have to play the game on their "culture war" turf? Why can't we say that the principle of free speech is more important than politics (which I actually believe has the virtue of being true.) Why can't we say that it is wrong for people to impose their religious views on others? Are these not principles worth fighting for? Do they not have the ring of clear common sense? These seem like first principles to me.

Why people continue to believe that we can convince people that we "believe in something" by validating the GOP's calumnious rhetoric about deviant liberal culture I will never understand. I think we convince people that we believe in something by well ... believing in something. How about the constitution, for a starter?

Update: Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money makes a number of exceptional insights into this issue (read the whole post) but I think this one is particularly apt:

There's an additional problem evident in the way Sullivan frames the debate. One might ask why so many people are obsessed with culture, when the evidence for the influences attributed to it are so weak. Could it be that politicians and pundits like Sullivan continually tell parents that they should be obsessed with culture? This isn't just harmless misdirection, either. The national political agenda can only be focused on a fraction of the policy solutions being advocated. The more people are convinced that TV is causing certain social pathologies, the less likely they are to agitate for solutions that might actually be relevant to the problem (which, of course, is why the cultural conservative agenda is so effective for Republicans.) I would like liberals to point out that other liberal democracies have lower rates of violence and teen pregnancy despite their children being exposed to similar cultural influences, which suggests that other factors may be more relevant that pop culture. But according to Sullivan, you're not even allowed to point this out, because if parents believe what politicians tell them you're not allowed to say anything different.

It's the old Cokie Roberts line "It doesn't matter if it's true. It's out there."

And frankly, I'm not ever sure it is. Is there any hard data, other than the fact that married women are voting more Republican, that this culture clash is a voting issue? And even if it is, I think Lemiuex's observation is likely correct. Republicans are laughing themselves silly everytime we validate their winning misdirection strategy.

digby 1:21 PM Comments (40) | Trackback (0)

No More, Please, No More

Another discussion at the coffee house & again, all we need to do is "use" a different rhetoric. I hate rhetoric because of the way it is spelled, among other things. So when the next great Dem candidate is asked about gay marriage, s/he is supposed to respond - "No one should be forced to marry a gay person." That's cute, right up there with "safe, legal, & rare." Y'all note where that got us. Getting married is two people's decision; not mine, not the neighbor's, & certainly not the government's. Jeez, Louise, leave us alone. The more gay marriage the better, gays can't be any worse at marriage that herteros, for cripes sake. & my 33 year old marriage can not be damaged by gay marriage, it can only be helped, believe me. The croci, I'm sure that's wrong - but I like it, are up & love is in the air. Mayflies & caddis aren't far off, baby robins falling out of nests will soon be upon us, & those damn feral cats or Fluffy, will be feasting & there will be sad ceremonies in back yards all over the nation, plus, there will be a run on shoeboxes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

& I Thought I Was A Downer

Read & respond. Any takers on a Drinking Liberally chapter around here? Let us know. Click & cheers.

corrente / Leah, Lambert, Tresy, the farmer, Tom, Xan, RDF, and Riggsveda

Works For Me

As I sit in my onliest coffee house, I think it's true that we have got to stop listening to these "centrist" Dems who really are just from the other party, but want to have fun, at our expense. The values most people hold concern their salaries, their families, i.e., supporting them, their vacations, or lack thereof. They also value clean air, clean water, happiness, coffee, beautiful men, handsome women, below average kids, & cars that start in the winter. They also want a dog that listens once in awhile & doesn't crap in the house. They also want a cat that won't be shot by some moron hunter. More on cat hunting later. It really is too funny - I mean, a state record non-typical Maine Coon Cat? Let's worry about habitat destruction, guys (a non-gendered term for me, OK?)
Click the link & read.

Daily Kos :: Pandering To the Mythical Values Voter
Daily Kos :: Pandering To the Mythical Values Voter

Bushco Economics

Why was he reelected? Jeez....

The New York Times > Business > Falling Fortunes of the Wage Earner

Monday, April 11, 2005

Drop The Hammer

Read & take action, we are making a difference.

Tom DeLay's Web of Corruption
Dear xxxx,

I'm Brian Komar of the American Progress Action Fund, and part of the Drop the Hammer team. In just five days, more than 11,687 of you have asked corporate America to say "no" to Tom DeLay's unethical behavior. You are making a difference.

Your efforts to hold Bacardi, Nissan, American Airlines, Verizon and RJR accountable was the subject of stories last week on CNN, NPR, the Associated Press, and the Dallas Morning News. Yesterday, Republican Congressman Chris Shays publicly called for Tom DeLay to step down from his position as House Majority Leader - and Republican Senator Rick Santorum said DeLay "has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it."

Take Action Now!

1. Call American Airlines and ask them to Drop the Hammer:
* Tim Wagner, Spokesman, (817) 967-1577
* Dan Garton, EVP, Marketing (817) 931-9351
* Ralph Richardi, SVP, Customer Service (817) 967-2000

Unlike Representative Shays, American Airlines has not yet dropped their support for Tom DeLay. This is how American Airlines' Spokesman, Tim Wagner, explained the donation to DeLay's legal defense fund on NPR:

"We were told that Mr. DeLay, a member of Congress from our headquarters state was facing substantial legal bills that he was unable to pay personally because of their size and his limited resources." (Click Here to hear this exchange on NPR)

There are millions of ordinary Americans that have bills to pay and limited resources. American Airlines should be helping those folks, not an ethically-challenged Congressman like Tom DeLay.

Call senior American Airlines officials and ask why they gave money to defend Tom DeLay's unethical behavior and demand that they ask for their money back:

* Tim Wagner, Spokesman, Corporate Communications – (817) 967-1577
* Dan Garton, Executive Vice President, Marketing – (817) 931-9351
* Ralph Richardi, Senior Vice President, Customer Service – (817) 967-2000

Please remember to be firm but polite when you call.

No Longer Fringe

Read this & remember it when you vote, breathe, eat, sleep, rock the van, & just about every other normal thing. These people are no longer the nutty right-wing fringe, they are the mainstream reThuglian party. So, don't let your relatives joke about being reThugs, never allow them to speak without you answering with the truth.

This article can be found on the web at

In Contempt of Courts


[posted online on April 11, 2005]


Michael Schwartz must have thought I was just another attendee of the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference. I approached the chief of staff of Oklahoma's GOP Senator Tom Coburn outside the conference in downtown Washington last Thursday afternoon after he spoke there. Before I could introduce myself, he turned to me and another observer with a crooked smile and exclaimed, "I'm a radical! I'm a real extremist. I don't want to impeach judges. I want to impale them!"

For two days, on April 7 and 8, conservative activists and top GOP staffers summoned the raw rage of the Christian right following the Terri Schiavo affair, and likened judges to communists, terrorists and murderers. The remedies they suggested for what they termed "judicial tyranny" ranged from the mass impeachment of judges to their physical elimination.

The speakers included embattled House majority leader Tom DeLay, conservative matriarch Phyllis Schlafly and failed Republican senatorial candidate Alan Keyes. Like a perform­ance artist, Keyes riled the crowd up, mixing animadversions on constitutional law with sudden, stentorian salvos against judges. "Ronald Reagan said the Soviet Union was the focus of evil during the cold war. I believe that the judiciary is the focus of evil in our society today," Keyes declared, slapping the lectern for emphasis.

At a banquet the previous evening, the Constitution Party's 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, called the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube "an act of terror in broad daylight aided and abetted by the police under the authority of the governor." Red-faced and sweating profusely, Peroutka added, "This was the very definition of state-sponsored terror." Edwin Vieira, a lawyer and author of How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary, went even further, suggesting during a panel discussion that Joseph Stalin offered the best method for reining in the Supreme Court. "He had a slogan," Vieira said, "and it worked very well for him whenever he ran into difficulty: 'No man, no problem.'"

The complete Stalin quote is, "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."

The threatening tenor of the conference speakers was a calculated tactic. As Gary Cass, the director of Rev. D. James Kennedy's lobbying front, the Center for Reclaiming America, explained, they are arousing the anger of their base in order to harness it politically. The rising tide of threats against judges "is understandable," Cass told me, "but we have to take the opportunity to channel that into a constitutional solution."

Cass's "solution" is the "Constitution Restoration Act," a bill relentlessly promoted during the conference that authorizes Congress to impeach judges who fail to abide by "the standard of good behavior" required by the Constitution. If they refuse to acknowledge "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government," or rely in any way on international law in their rulings, judges also invite impeachment. In essence, the bill would turn judges' gavels into mere instruments of "The Hammer," Tom DeLay, and Christian-right cadres.

Conference speakers framed the Constitution Restoration Act in pseudo-populist terms--the only means of controlling a branch of government hijacked by a haughty liberal aristocracy against the will of the American people. As Michael Schwartz remarked during a panel discussion, "The Supreme Court says we have the right to kill babies and the right to commit buggery. They say the people have no right to express themselves, that the people have no right to make laws. Until we have a court that reflects a majority," Schwartz continued, his voice rising steadily, "it is a sick and sad joke that we have a Constitution here."

The right wing claims that judges should reflect majority opinion. But what is the majority opinion? After DeLay and Senate majority leader Bill Frist passed special bills ordering federal courts to consider the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, according to a Gallup poll, Congress's public approval rating sank to 37 percent, lower than at any time since shortly after Republicans impeached President Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, 66 percent of respondents to a March 23 CBS News poll thought Schiavo's feeding tube should be removed. The notion that the Christian right's agenda is playing well in Peoria must be accepted on faith alone.

The recent right-wing fixation on impeaching judges was conceptualized by David Barton, Republican consultant and vice chairman of the Texas GOP. In 1996 Barton published a handbook called Impeachment: Restraining an Overactive Judiciary, which was timed to coincide with Tom DeLay's bid for legislation authorizing Congress to impeach judges. "The judges need to be intimidated," DeLay told reporters that year.

In 1989 Barton published a book titled The Myth of Separation, which proclaims, "This book proves that the separation of church and state is a myth." The Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, in a critique of his 1995 documentary America's Godly Heritage, stated that it was "laced with exaggerations, half-truths, and misstatements of fact." Barton is on the board of advisers of the Providence Foundation, a Christian Reconstructionist group that promotes the idea that biblical law should be instituted in America. In 1991 Barton spoke at a Colorado retreat sponsored by Pastor Pete Peters, an adherent of racist Christian Identity theology with well-established neo-Nazi ties. During the 2004 presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee hired him as a paid consultant for "evangelical outreach." The RNC sponsored more than 300 events for him.

DeLay's bill, based on Barton's writings, failed due to lack of GOP support. But the judicial impeachment campaign was reignited six years later when a federal court ordered the removal of then-Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument from courthouse grounds. In February 2004 a group of about twenty-five enraged ministers and movement leaders gathered in Dallas to plot a new response. The Constitution Restoration Act was the result. According to Moore, he was a principal author, along with Herb Titus, the former dean of Pat Robertson's Regent University law school, and Howard Phillips, a veteran third-party activist whose US Taxpayers' Party served as a vehicle for the antigovernment militia movement during the 1990s. All three men stalked the halls of the downtown Marriott last Thursday and Friday.

In the Senate the bill was sponsored by Richard Shelby, a senator from Roy Moore's home state; among the co-sponsors is Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is contemplating a run for the Republican nomination for President. The bill was introduced on March 3, before the Terri Schiavo affair erupted, before Florida Circuit Judge George Greer ordered the removal of her feeding tube and before he became the poster-child for the right's judicial impeachment campaign.

Now, according to Howard Phillips in a speech to the conference, his "good friend" Wisconsin GOP Representative James Sensenbrenner is planning to hold hearings on the Constitution Restoration Act in the House. DeLay, who appeared on a big screen during a Thursday morning session to call for the removal of "a judiciary run amok," has put his name on the act as the House sponsor.

The Schiavo case remains the flashpoint for the right. That was apparent at a Thursday evening banquet honoring the lead attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents, David Gibbs. After a breathless introduction from Peroutka, who called the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube "an act of terror," Gibbs confidently strode to the lectern while a crowd of about 100 regaled him with a thunderous standing ovation. Baby-faced, with his hair molded tightly against his scalp and clad in a well-tailored navy blue suit, Gibbs maintained a cool disposition during his speech, presenting a sharp visual contrast to the wildly gesticulating, bedraggled figures who held the microphone throughout most of the conference. But Gibbs's impeccable appearance and measured tone were not enough to mask the lurid nature of his speech.

First, Gibbs suggested that Schiavo fell into a persistent vegetative state not because of an eating disorder but as the result of "some form of strangulation or abuse at the hands of her husband, possibly." Then, Gibbs asserted that after Schiavo's parents were awarded millions of dollars by the state to provide for her care, Michael Schiavo "began moving against the family to kill his wife." These claims, however, did not hold up in court because, as Gibbs explained, "a judge that never went to see [Schiavo] was the judge who made the decision that her life did not matter."

As members of the audience gasped, Gibbs painted a vivid portrait of Schiavo in her hospital bed. "Terri Schiavo was as alive as anyone you see sitting here," he said. "She liked my voice. It was loud and deep and she would roll over and try to talk back." But after Judge Greer "literally ordered her barbaric death," everything changed.

Gibbs described his visit to Schiavo's hospital room after her feeding tube had been removed. Schiavo lay in bed "with her eyes sunken deep in her head...she was skeletal," Gibbs recounted. "Then she turned to her mother suddenly, like she wanted to speak, and she just started sobbing." By now, members of the audience were crying.

As soon as he left the stage, one of the event's planners asked all the men in the room to get down on the floor and pray. With no other choice, I moved my plastic-upholstered chair aside, took to my hands and knees and listened as plaintive voices arose all around me with prayers for Schiavo's parents and maledictions against judicial tyranny. A saccharine version of Pachelbel's Canon emanating from the player piano in the hotel lobby seeped through the banquet hall's open doors, suffusing the ceremony with a dreamlike atmosphere. When I finally dared to look up from the ground, I realized that my head was only inches from an enormous posterior belonging to William Dannemeyer, the former congressman who once issued a letter to his colleagues listing twenty-four people with some connection to Bill Clinton who died "under other than natural circumstances."

As the conference attendees filed out of the banquet hall and into the rain-flecked night, mostly silent except for the few who were still sobbing, they seemed prepared to do anything--absolutely anything--against judges. "I want to impale them!" as Michael Schwartz told me.

"This isn't Colombia. This isn't drug lords terrorizing the judiciary. It's America," Florida Judge George Greer declared recently. Greer remains under police guard.

On Monday, April 11, at Senator Frist's invitation, David Barton will lead him and other senators on an evening tour of the Capitol, offering "a fresh perspective on our nation's religious heritage."

Citizen attempts to get a parking ticket fixed by newly elected city councilor, Rick (his last name won't be used to protect his identity), but I believe everything is chemistry. Note to the constabulary: this is a joke, I think. Posted by Hello

"The Notch" - Penokee Mts. Pic taken just south of Marengo, WI Another reason loggers need regulation! Full disclosure: I used to work in the woods, but this is ridiculous.  Posted by Hello

Dick Pufall, still campaigning after winning his council seat. Congrats. Posted by Hello

Mary Rewald, aka, the Arrow shirt model, is happy about being reelected. What's with Wayne?  Posted by Hello

Someone Else With Numbers

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots, No. 193 - Democratic Underground

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Good News

Tiger won the Master's & Jeff Gordon won at Martinsville. All's well in part of the universe.

Comment on the News #234

via the Duluth News Tribune, Sunday, 10 April, 2005

This is from a Los Angeles Times story about the shooting of a Texas high school football coach. Now we all know that football in Texas is like football in any state, i.e., it means more than education. & Texas, known for a mother killing her daughter’s cheerleading competition, now has one father shooting & critically injuring a coach. What to make of this? It’s stupid, that’s what. Here is a quote from a resident of the town in question, Canton, TX:

"If I’m a coach and my son is on the team and is that talented,
I might be a little less impartial,” said Bridgefarmer, stabbing a
pickle slice with a fork. “We try to be objective, but when it
comes to your own children, it’s hard....This guy (the shooter)
thought he was trying to take care of his son, too."
(emphasis mine, ed.)

It must be hard work being a Texan, oh wait a minute, Bush has already told us that. It’s hard work & OK to shoot someone in the chest because your son didn’t make the football team. I wonder if Bush’s position as the number one executioner in America had any influence on the shooter, but more importantly, over this guy named Bridgefarmer. How do you excuse attempted, at least as of this post, murder? Apparently, in Texas, it’s not hard work.

& right next to the story above, is this story, from the AP: “Statehouses lean toward greater access to guns”

In Florida, you’ll be able to kill someone if they can’t stand the Dolphins
& they step toward you.

In Arizona, you might be able to pack heat into a bar or restaurant, as long
as you don’t drink. Who’s going to take away your gun when you’re

In North Dakota you can get a concealed-weapon permit without showing
that you know how to shoot the damn gun!

Florida, Arizona, & North Dakota are going off my travel plans right now. Off my retirement plans, too. I really was seriously thinking about North Dakota, you know, I really like hunting ducks & upland birds, sharptails & huns. Well, screw them if they are all going to collectively loose their minds over handguns. & here is that idiot Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, otherwise know as the National ReThuglian Association:

"The whole country as a whole is taking another look, across the board, at
the idea that maybe it makes good sense to allow people to protect them-
selves in as many situations as possible."

Says who?
I hate these people.

I’m a Badger, but after reading this, I may keep that quiet for awhile.

from the Duluth News Tribune 4/10/2005:

Five anglers from Wisconsin face nearly $7,000 in fines and restitution
after being caught with 206 perch more than their legal limit on Lake
Winnibigoshish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources re-
ported in last week’s media update.


Charged in Cass County District Court with gross overlimit of perch
were Bradley Arthur Bricco, 31, of Shawano, Wis.; Cotty George
Barrett, 47, West Bend, Wis.; Allen Emil Barrett, 45, Marion, Wis.;
Richard Charles Bricco, 52, and David Roy Anderson, 45, both
of Clintonville, Wis.

Greedy bastards! I hope they are appropriately shunned in their home towns. If fact, I hope the local papers make prominent note of this. Unfortunately, this isn’t as rare as it appears. At least in Wisconsin & Minnesota, game wardens are under a lot of pressure, primarily due to low numbers of wardens, & low budgets.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Culture of Death

Frank Rich is just great. Read this.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A Culture of Death, Not Life

Example 6,381 Of Why We Should Not Have Elected You Know Who

Among the many, many things that make me sick of Bush: his contempt for science. For those of us who remember Sputnik or were eating potato salad made by a friend's wife at Devil's Lake when they came back from the moon, or watched, with our very young children, as a teacher & others became white smoke, I'm pissed. NASA, minus the military stupidity, was/is part of the government that really looks forward & backward, in the case of the birth of our solar system. It's exciting to see pictures from way out there. Not only does the Emperor (see pic post below) wear no clothes, he also has no understanding of what inspires people. Nova Scotia....

Read: (for those of you new to blogs, just click on the highlighted link, in this case, uggabugga, & you will be taken where I want you to go.)

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free?

Detainees criticize U.S. tribunals
Detainees criticize U.S. tribunals

Norwegians, Liberals Beware of Big Blonde People

Don't croak laughing.
Just laugh, in an elitist, fey way.

Superhappyfun Blog!!!: Liberals: Just Like the Vikings (Minus the Rape, Pillage, and War-Mongering)

Friday, April 08, 2005

What Is To Be Done?

Anyone interested in a Drinking Liberally night here in Chequamegon Country? It could be fun, particularly with Daylight Savings Time in effect. Let me know through the comments & maybe something can be arranged.

Below is some good advice from The Mighty Corrente Building.
Let's get together & do this, particularly #4.

corrente / Leah, Lambert, Tresy, the farmer, Tom, Xan, and RDF

Still, there are key things to be done, aside from watching dates:

1. Make sure no GOPer runs unopposed, for any office, from dog-catcher on up.
2. Make sure poll-watchers are organized and ready. Keep writing those letters demanding a paper trail for e-voting.
3. Help good candidates get on the ballot and help them campaign EARLY.
4. Get the energy up with music and food.
5. Watch for local races—county chairs, school boards, etc.
6. Be crafty; e.g., help Libertarians run in heavily GOP districts.

Makes Me Sorry To Be A Badger

This overweight, in every respect, blowhard should just shut up! He's from my wife's home town & is one reason why we don't live there. BTW, did anyone catch last weekend's Prairie Home Companion? GK, whom I really respect these days, seems to be daring the FCC to bring him up on "charges" by using coarse & vulgar language. I loved it. Seriously, we need to be worried about these theocrats & their vision of America's future.

FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News
FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News

This was the first float in the Krewe D'Etat parade at this year's Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Posted by Hello

Stop The Madness, Part 8,094

I spent the afternoon talking with the Dear Leader of a small, northern WI town. I am so tired of liberals trying to finesse issues like abortion, national defense, crime, etc. We didn't lose last year's election because we did not have positions on these topics, we lost because we tried to finesse them, i.e., we appeared to stand for nothing. I think we need to be proud to say that we support a woman's constitutional right to a safe, legal abortion, because IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. It's not rocket science, people. It's good to actively support clean water because CLEAN WATER IS A GOOD THING. We condemn torture because TORTURE IS EVIL. There is no question here, no nuance, no finesse. We believe, we speak & act like we believe. It's not that hard. & what's really cool is that at the end of the day, week, year, we can sit down, happy, with a cold beer & realize it could always be worse.
P.S. I love the Dear Leader mentioned above. I use the term D.L. with affection for this person, not the sarcasm & contempt when referring to Bush, the Inferior.

We'll See

Now that the boys at Power Line have been proven wrong, one more time, we are all waiting for an apology (remember they haven't apologized for calling Pres. Carter a traitor). Blog of the Year my -insert body part.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

One Day Early

This is Tipitina. She is, of course, named after Tipitina's, Professor Longhair's venue/shrine, at the corner of Napoleon & Tchoupitolous in New Orleans.  Posted by Hello

& the ampersand

As you may have noticed, I am in love, panting, New Orleans in February love with the ampersand (&). Live with it, I do.

Liberal? How come? Part 9,231

I've been thinking about this for a long time. What made me a liberal? Or, better said, what made me a lunatic-fringe liberal? This is hard for me, to admit being a liberal, since I generally dispise liberals as being way too academic, among other things. So the academic pleasantly intones W.C. Williams' "No ideas but in things" during a lecture, while secretly adoring the butthead language poets or worse, accuse Gary Snyder of lacking craft. WTF is craft? Tin punching? Anyway, more on this liberal thing later.

Crap! Is Right

& Bush won't attend any of these funerals. Commander-in-chief, indeed.
The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news: "Sixteen U.S. troops killed in crash"

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Surprise, surprise

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truthWednesday, April 06, 2005

Sen. Martinez ADMITS his aide wrote Schiavo memo!!!!!!!!!!!!
by John in DC - 4/6/2005 10:25:00 PM

UPDATE: The Washington Post story on this is now up.

Eat that, you God damn lying conservative bloggers, FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.

From AP via Raw Story:

A one-page unsigned memo that became part of the debate preceding Congress' vote ordering a federal court review of the Terri Schiavo case originated in Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez' office, Martinez said Wednesday.

The memo — first reported by ABC News on March 18 and by The Washington Post and The Associated Press two days later — said the fight over removing Schiavo's feeding tube "is a great political issue ... and a tough issue for Democrats."....

[Martinez] said Harkin had called him earlier Wednesday to say he believes the memo had been given to him by Martinez. The Florida senator said he then ordered an internal investigation in his office.

I'm sorry, but Martinez only started investigating this TODAY? There were allegations that it was his staff weeks ago. And he investigates it only today because apparently today is when the press found out the truth.

Comments (39) | Permanent Link |

A Little Humor from WTF Is It Now??

It all helps.

WTF Is It Now??: "'They say this time there will be repercussions. The officers who told Bush the lies he wanted to hear will either be fired, suspended, or transferred to work on Social Security.' - Bill Maher, on the latest report on Iraq intelligence failures.

'One in four returning Iraqi veterans have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. I know that sounds high, but it does include everybody who says, 'Am I crazy, or were we sent there under false pretenses?'' - Bill Maher.

Coroner: Terri Schiavo died of embarrassment. - The Onion."

Answerable: (not so)Slim Goodbody

My kid sent this link my way, so I thought I would share it with you. I remember the god-like status Slim held in our house, by the kid, of course. I liked him well enough, I could nap to him, but he wasn't as good as Mr. Rogers, he was the king of napping, better than golf when Tiger's not winning, better than NASCAR when Jeff Gordon in not winning. I will admit, however, that his body suit was weird & it caused some trouble in the house when the kid became aware of the male anatomy. We'll go there another time. Anyway, enjoy & those of who can remember, enjoy more.

Amishrobot: (not so)Slim Goodbody: "� Note To Fellow Passengers | Main | Bring the Noise! �
March 24, 2003
(not so)Slim Goodbody

Working from home today, and some PBS for kids show is on tv.
It is giving me a major childhood flashback. Do you remember the guy who wears the suit with the organs and blood vessels on it? I don' remember if I thought he was creepy when I was a kid (he for sure was), but he is much creepier now.He is still running around in that embarrassing suit, but now looking old and with a little gut.

The man should have put a clause in his contract that stipulated he could wear a sweater or something after he hit 40.

(Apparently the character is Slim Goodbody).
Posted by amishrobot at March 24, 2003 01:43 PM "

Ashland, WI Municipal Election

Well, it could have been worse. Two more people who truly care about Ashland were elected to the City Council last night. That makes the split 6-5 in favor of those whose interests appear to align with money, not people. There are a couple of votes in that group of 6 who may be smart enough to move across the divide. We can only hope. The present President of the Council was reelected, that was a major disappointment, but progress was made. Shoulder on, we're winning.

There was a nice party last night at The Black Cat. Food, companionship, & the inablility to get a parking ticket fixed. I guess this ain't really Chicago.
Congrats to Rick Dowd & Dick Pufall & Mary Rewald.

Photos to follow.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What's Up At Northland College?

(Full disclosure: I am a former employee of Northland College. I finally asked for more money, they declined & I'm happy. My wife, who shall remain nameless, is presently associated with the college.) So the recently hired Director of the Sigurd Olson Institute of Environmental Studies resigned. He is gone already. That was quick. I'd be interested to know what happened? Anyone out there with some info, let me know. The Institute, IMHO, has been an important, albeit, underutilized & underappreciated, part of Northland College for quite some time. It's always sad to see this kind of disarray with an environmental organization. I have long felt that the Institute's greatest failing was its refusal to be an advocate for the environment, rather than some lame clearinghouse for information. What are the real problems at the Institute? Why can't they attract a long term commitment from an environmentalist to run the place? The school itself can not seem to answer those questions, publicly, at least. Maybe this is all being done in secret. Secrecy is highly overrated & symptomatic of real problems. & lastly, who is in charge of the Institute right now?

Sadly, Not Unbelievable

The ReThugs have no shame. Read what one Texan says about terrorism in American courtrooms. I have a strong stomach, otherwise I'd be puking, so I'll just.... You ought to read americablog on a daily basis. Write to this senator & tell him it's time to resign. Why does he hate America?

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: 'I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.' [Senate Floor, 4/4/05]"