March 31, 2005
The Other Red vs. Blue
This hymn must be from an ELCA hymnal. When it comes to hymns we Missouri Synod Lutherans argue (quietly) over which is better: the red hymnal (The Lutheran Hymnal) vs. the blue hymnal (Lutheran Worship). When my family moved to a new town we picked a new church because they used the red hymnal. Unlike those blue hymnal users we actually like hymns we can sing along to. I found one church that uses both.
[via Power Line]
Sandy Berger: Crook
Sandy Berger could get a maximum of one year in jail and slapped with a $100,000 fine for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal of classified documents from the National Archives. The guy stuffed them into his pants and socks. One wonders who he was trying to protect. His ex-boss, Bill Clinton? Or his possible future boss, John Kerry?
For such a blatant abuse of power and the public trust and who knows what damage to national security Berger will be punished about as harshly as Martha Stewart. Nice if you can get away with it, and Berger pretty much did.
"Berger Cops To Misdemeanor"
"Ex-Clinton Adviser to Admit Taking Documents"
"I'm Not Leaving. I Want a Western Burger"
The police were needed to make sure a cheeseburger was made right. I nominate this woman "Moron of the Year." She's got a good chance of winning, and the year is still young.
Terri Schiavo is Dead
She's gone on to a place far better than the one she left. The rest of us still on earth have to deal with the effects of how and why she died. Lord, grant us wisdom and compassion.
The Confederate Yankee writes that "Terri Shiavo's torturous starvation is over." With this rancorous debate McGehee [via OTB] found that Terri's plight brought up important, meaningful issues of human life and death. "Not bad for a 'vegetable.'" Terri didn't die in vain.
"Schiavo Dies 13 Days After Tube Removed"
UPDATE: Kevin put together a small picture retrospective.
The Supreme Court again refusing to take up Terri's case isn't surprising. Nothing has really changed to get them to get involved. I'm ticked at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who gave Terri Schiavo's parents false hope. The court agreed to consider taking up the case only to issue a ruling against it 15 hours later. James Joyner calls the court's actions "incredibly cruel."
The court gave the Schindlers a glimmer of hope because Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wanted to scold politicians. He wrote,
In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people our Constitution.
Oh please! Maybe Congress and the President overstepped their constitutional bounds, and maybe they didn't. Since Judge Birch didn't feel the need to declare the late night, emergency legislation unconstitutional that question is up for grabs. As Captain Ed puts it, "Talk about judicial arrogance!" And at a grieving family's expense.
"High Court Rejects New Schiavo Request"
New Bob Mould in July
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Any new Bob Mould music will make me happy. But what kicks it up a notch (damn Emeril!) is Body of Song will "employ a guitar-heavy full-band approach." Bob will be rockin'. Sweet!
"Yep Roc Announces Release of New Bob Mould Album!"
Teachers Union Opens the Spigot
The teachers union will spend more to support incumbent state superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster than what both she and opponent Gregg Underheim have raised combined in campaign contributions.
WEAC can't be afraid Burmaster will lose. She won't. Burmaster has raised almost four times the money Underheim has. I can only imagine it's the union's way of sending a message. They're telling potential future conservative opponents that if they're willing to spend this much on a sure-thing race imagine what they would spend in a highly competitive one?
"Schools Race to Get Cash Infusion"
March 30, 2005
TAM's Top 15
Inspired by John Hawkins here's my list of my fave weblogs:
There were the ones I could rattle off in just a few minutes. They're the ones I go to look for hot news or to get views on hot news. This list tells me two things: 1. I need to broaden my weblog reading (tough with reading all the stories they link to as well as write my own posts); 2. I need to read more Lefty weblogs to better understand my opponents.
Here's a strange keyword search that someone found TAM with:
The Reason Behind Operation: Full Court Press
MSNBC's Brock Meeks missed the boat on the border patrol's new effort to stop illegals from coming into Arizona from Mexico. There's plenty of material on what the border patrol will do and whether it will be successful, but Meeks misses the reason why "Operation: Full Court Press" [NOTE: Homeland Security needs to borrow those military people who make cool operation names like "Operation: Iraqi Freedom."] started this week. The Minuteman Project starts Friday. Washington heard the "airhorn." Bryan Preston also thinks the MS-13 threat against Minuteman participants may also have something to do with the personel boost.
Will Operation: Full Court Press stop citizens from patroling the border? No, because one operation won't immediately win back trust.
UPDATE: How dumb does this Homeland Security spokesman think we are?
More than 500 additional Border Patrol agents are being assigned to beef up patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border, with as many as 150 to 200 officers already headed there, federal officials and others said Tuesday.
"U.S. Adds 500 to Patrol Ariz. Border" [via Right Voices]
Next month, the National Press Club will be having a discussion asking "Who is a Journalist?" One of the invitees is Jeff Gannon. Originally scheduled to appear with the lame, conservative reporter were Ana Marie Cox, and John Stanton of Congress Daily. Due to the outcry of some MSM reporters more people were added for "diversity" and "balance." Now, Jim Drinkard of USA Today (who has never been seriously questioned about his role in the Rather memo flap), Garrett Graff of Fishbowl D.C., and Matthew Yglesias have been added. Yglesias says the NPC is asking a stupid question. He's "uncomfortable" but attending. Balance and diversity in the minds of the National Press Club means having a third-rate conservative versus five Lefties or to be generous, non-conservatives. What, Mark Tapscott or Bob Cox weren't available or couldn't find any conservative for the panel?
"Press Club Keeps Gannon--But Adds Others to Panel"
Washburn is a Winner
Washburn's World is a great new Wisconsin weblog find. (Thanks, Kevin.) Through his wizbang mathematical analysis of Milwaukee voter fraud John concludes John Kerry loses about 3000 votes. That's more than 25% of his total ballot victory in Wisconsin. He asks, "What are the ballot box stuffing numbers are in Madison, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay, West Allis, Wausau, Eau Claire, etc.?"
John also organizes 27 Wisconsin election problems.
One of my sister's greyhounds got out of the house--first time this ever happened. To say she was upset is an understatement. The dog's been found and everything's alright.
UPDATE: The pooch is safe and sound.
More Details on Naked Man
We have more details on the Kenosha naked man shot to death yesterday morning. He was 300 pounds. His size may explain why Officer David Monson shot him nine times. What still isn't understood is why Sgt. Ron Bartholomew didn't use the taser--not a stun gun as previously reported--on the man.
"Kenosha Police Kill Naked Man who was Threatening His Kids"
Better Late than Never
The Atlanta federal appeals court is thinking about allowing an emergency hearing. The one-sentence order states, "The Appellant's emergency motion for leave to file out of time is granted." Since the court shot down the Shindlers last week I think the chances of a hearing or them ordering the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube are slim.
"Appeals Court to Consider Schiavo Request"
March 29, 2005
Incompetent, Not Corrupt
The Volker Committee investigating the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal issued an interim report (PDF) saying U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan didn't improperly award a contract to a Swiss company that employed his son. But he's not off the hook. Mark Pieth, one of the committee members said, "We said he was not dishonest but at the same time he mismanaged the inquiry." The report also chastises Annan's former chief of staff who destroyed documents beginning the day after the Volker Committee was announced. Can you say, "Enron on the East River?"
So Annan isn't corrupt he's just incompetent. That's a great boost of confidence for the world body. When asked if he'll resign from his position, Annan did his best Stone Cold Steve Austin impersonation and said, "Hell no."
"Annan Refuses to Quit U.N. Over Report"
"Panel Says Annan Didn't Intervene in Iraq Contract"
Thomas Barnett, author of the very important The Pentagon's New Map, is now a contributing editor for Esquire. His new position has opened more doors than when he was a professor at the U.S. Naval War College.
Life is so much more interesting now with Esquire, because I pitch my F2F's directly on my own, and when I get them, they happen. So today, with a very nice assist from the Office of Secretary of Defense's public-affairs people, I get to interview two four-stars by lunch, with somebody just as good for later this afternoon.
"8 Stars by Noon (It's Good to Write for Esquire)"
Naked Man Shot by Police
Last night, a naked man walking along a Kenosha street with his three naked kids was shot and killed by police. One of the children told police the man "had an argument with his girlfriend, smoked marijuana, drank shampoo and poured water over his children before taking all three naked into the street." What the heck was in that weed and shampoo? The story says one of the officers had a stun gun. Why wasn't that used instead of shooting the man nine times? Realize this was after the man tossed away the scissors he had pressed to a baby's neck. Being naked he certainly wasn't hiding anything? I'm not saying Officer David Monson was wrong for shooting the man, questions need to be answered.
This would be the weird story of the day but someone got killed. Instead it's just very sad.
"Naked Man Shot and Killed by Police in Kenosha"
Liberal Voices for Terri
Jesse Jackson has gotten involved in Terri Schiavo's case.
"She is being starved to death, she is being dehydrated to death. That's immoral and unnecessary," Jackson told reporters after meeting Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, near the hospice in Pinellas Park where she is being cared for.
The cynical side of me thinks Jackson jumped in because where there's a bunch of cameras there's certain to be the egomaniac himself. Where was Jackson two weeks, three weeks, two months ago? Where was he to take the heat off Christian conservatives? He must have been too busy turning Michael Jackson into the next black celebrity victim. Would Andrew Sullivan have begun his purge if Jackson would have stood side-by-side with Rep. Tom DeLay? I'll take (almost) any allies even if it's someone as vain as Jesse Jackson.
Jackson isn't the only Lefty speaking out that Terri should live. Nat Hentoff has a blistering column in the Village Voice. The atheist, pro-life liberal, an extremely rare species, excoriates the ACLU for siding with Michael Schiavo and lays blame on a court system more concerned with saving people on death row than with the severely disabled. He quotes a Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith joint statement:
If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent, disabled woman is receiving less justice. . . . This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live.
The statement goes also says:
The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. "This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead."
Professor McAdams wonders why so many liberals' knee-jerk response to Terri's plight was to let her die. Stephen Miller reminds me that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is very supportive of Terri's right to live.
"Jesse Jackson Jumps Into Florida Right-To-Die Case"
"Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
A TAM First
There's a person who comments daily at TAM. I don't think I've ever mentioned Chet by name in a post but have took him on in the comments. I don't mind him around. He can be obnoxious, but he occasionally keeps me on my toes and adds entertainment to the comments. Tee Bee has written the first post I know of solely about a TAM commenter. Looks like Chet has found a new place to comment.
"Bending the Blog Rules: Talking Terri Schiavo with Trolls"
Getting Someone in Trouble
Owen took the pic and demanded an explanation. He told you to listed to WTMJ this morning for more. No stories on the web yet so I'll let you know that the van is part of a Milwaukee County public transit program. The van was designated for the 440th Airlift Wing to bring in people from Racine. Being near Beloit, WI violated the rules for the van's use. Someone's in trouble.
March 28, 2005
Down to the Minors
Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks won't be in the majors come Opening Day. From watching them for almost a week I was satisfied with Fielder (good bat, no harm with the glove) and had to give an incomplete to Weeks (didn't play enough to have a good opinion). The problem is neither of the two played so well as to beat out Lyle Overbay and Junior Spivey.
As for Corey Hart the Brewers need to trade him off to a team that doesn't know any better. His overall Spring Training numbers showed otherwise, but when I saw him he swung wildly and was awful fielding in the outfield.
"Brewers Send Down Prospects Fielder, Weeks"
Sign Up for BlogNashville
The Birth of a Political Philosophy
Ramesh Ponnuru notices Andrew Sullivan is attempting a one-man conservative purge. Since conservatism, as all political philosophies, is built by many minds, it would be better and more honest of him to call his philosophy "Sullivanism."
It's been too long since I had sausages. Then I read this recipe. Guess what I'm making right now?
UPDATE: My sausages turned out pretty good. The red peppers and onions were especially sweet. I recommend cooking the sausages in the oven longer than the recommended 6-10 minutes. Unless you're really concerned about presentation cut into one of the links to make sure they're done.
I needed some wine to go with my meal. No Chianti or Italian wines were in my case so I opened a 2002 R.H. Phillips Shiraz. Its claim to fame is it's one of the first screw top wines around. It's not expensive but is satisfying. It's jammy with some spice. Nothing fancy. Solid for its under-$10 price.
What's in a Name?
It's bad enough the EU decided to centrally plan what can and can't be in an operating system. The loons also have a veto on what the altered OS can be named.
"Microsoft to Rename Media Player-Less Windows"
Pearl Volunteers to Leave
UW-Milwaukee loses a good one in Bruce Pearl. The most successful coach in school history took the Tennessee Volunteers job. Who can blame him? His pay goes up to around $1 million from the $275,000 he was making at UWM. How high UWM was willing to go is a question I hope local reporters find out. Tennessee being in the SEC now gives Pearl a chance to recruit top-notch talent. Pearl knows this is his big chance and has given himself the goal of of making the men's basketball program a consistently Top 10 program. That's a high goal in a conference loaded with great teams like Kentucky and Florida. I wish Pearl the best and hope he does better than the other college coach who left a Milwaukee school for Knoxville, Kevin O'Neal. Volunteers fans are already ripping on him.
"Pearl Named New Coach at Tennessee"
My Jeopardy! Journey
Kevin's getting a Jeopardy! tryout. Congrats to him. Once upon a time I tried out for the college tournament. The tryout was in Milwaukee, and I was going to school in Duluth, MN. A six hour trip across the Badger State was in order. It was the first and only time I ever used that carpool board every college has. Remember, a normal person can make the trip in six hours. A long-haired hippy-looking moron packed himself, his girlfriend, another carpooler, and me into a tiny compact hatchback. Instead of taking the four-lane highway that lead to the interstate the moron took a "shortcut." I fell asleep with an uncomfortable feeling this was going to be a long trip. Next thing I know our car is pulled over on the side of the road with a policeman's flashing lights behind us. What the hippy moron did to deserve the attention I don't know. All I know is the officer had trouble comprehending the concept of carpooling. He had all of us get out of the car and show him our IDs. The officer even pulled me aside to explain to him how we all got in the same car. Finally we were sent on our way.
Traveling on two lane roads in northern Wisconsin made the trip last forever. It was two or three in the morning by the time we got to Madison where I then had to call my parents to pick me up. So for my big chance to impress the Jeopady! people I had about two hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep didn't hurt my chances. I did well enough on the paper and pencil test to get to the next round. Five others and I had our picture taken then we practiced using the buzzer. When I got my picture taken I knew my chance to get on the show dropped. Back then I was in my human hairball stage. I was a lazy bum who sported a fuzzy, out-of-control goatee and long hair, not the type who looked great on tv. That was the last I heard from anyone at Jeopardy! The game show's producers did tell us that not getting contacted for the college tournament shouldn't stop us from getting on the show. Since the number of spots for the college tournament are so limited it's easier to get on regular Jeopardy!. So, if I ever get to L.A. I'll have to remember to schedule a tryout.
"I Can Lose on Jeopardy!"
The Immigrant Song
When spending a little time in Arizona like I did a few weeks ago you quickly feel how important immigration issues are there. You step out of your hotel room, go to a gas station, turn on the radio, and read billboards. You come into contact with Spanish. You talk with locals about the news of the day and soon illegal immigration will enter the conversation. Illegals are putting tremendous burdens on social services and police forces. On the positive side they provide cheaper labor to companies--imagine a $150/night Motel 6 room in Phoenix. Arizonans are fed up with illegals crossing the border. Voters passed Proposition 200 which requires people to prove they are citizens before voting or receiving government benefits.
I sympathize with those who have witnessed decades of law-breaking. I understand those who are mad at the federal government for failing to secure the border, but then I read people like Project Arkansas Now's Joe McCutchen declaring the U.S. "a Third World dumping ground." The not-so-subtle racism is also demonstrated with The Minuteman Project where volunteer Arizonans will go to the U.S.-Mexico border 04.01.05 to help the border patrol watch for illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. Organizers' fears are posted on their website:
At the current rate of invasion the United States will be completely over run with ILLEGAL aliens by the year 2025...only 21 years away. ILLEGAL aliens and their offspring will be the dominant population in the U.S. and will have made such inroads into the political and social systems that "they" will have more influence than our Constitution over how the U.S. is governed. The ugly consequence of an ignored U.S. Constitution is already taking place.
I wonder if this isn't so much fear of illegal immigrants as much as immigrants in general. I suspect if the current numbers entering illegally were actually legal these people would still be decrying the "Third World trash" coming to the U.S.
For the most part, I'm a free borders guy. Just like the freeflow of capital, goods, and services, I support the freeflow of labor. A better allocation of economic resources displaces some but benefits society as a whole.
This doesn't mean I support closing down the boarder patrol, turning a blind eye to illegals crossing the border, or supporting President Bush's new immigration ideas. A pre-requisite of a nation-state is to deliniate the geographical area of itself. A nation-state can't exist if no one knows where it begins and where it ends. For self-defense purposes a nation-state has to be able and willing to defend its borders. It has to be protected from invading armies and terrorist cells. In addition having a class of lawbreakers living comfortably within the nation-state insults the rule of law. Those who broke the law to come to the U.S. have proven they don't respect its immigration laws. What other laws will they flout because they're inconvienent?
The Minuteman Project is an airhorn to Washington, D.C. Something has gone seriously wrong along the border if citizens are willing to guard the border themselves. (I bet most will scurry away after some wacko gets into a shootout with someone on the Mexican side of the border.) The borders have to be strengthened, illegals have to be denied benefits, and employers have to be punished for knowingly hiring illegals. U.S. laws have to be enforced or they become meaningless along with the nation-state.
In support of immigration I back ditching the restrictions on things like H-1B visas. If an employer wants to bring someone from outside the U.S. to work let them. Let that worker pass unheeded and legally past a customs agent so we have a record of who's come in. There should be no limit to the number of legal immigrants into the U.S. Nor should an employer or employee have to prove their techical skills are needed. The federal government shouldn't be in the business of centrally planning high tech labor. More people means more possibilities for new, innovative ideas. That means a great chance of a better life for all Americans. As long as they are willing to obey our laws we should welcome anyone from anywhere.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
March 27, 2005
Times Targets DeLay
Andrew Sullivan isn't the only one taking advantage of Terri Schiavo's impending death to advance an agenda. The LA Times has a hit piece supposedly demonstrating the hypocrisy of Rep. Tom DeLay. Michelle Malkin links to a few Lefty webloggers who go ape over it. There's also a certain self-proclaimed "moderate" who is using it to bash DeLay too.
"DeLay's Own Tragic Crossroads"
March 26, 2005
Sullivan Taking Advantage
Andrew Sullivan thinks he's Bill Buckley at National Review in the 1960s. Then Buckley kicked the John Birch Society out of the conservative movement. Sullivan is using the Terri Schiavo case to do the same to some Christians. Bashing instead of seriously engaging a significant part of the conservative movement won't revive conservatism--whatever that means.
[via Professor Bainbridge]
March 25, 2005
Our Yapper in Spain
Charlie's on vacation:
I'm leaving for Spain this afternoon, so (I'm sorry), no blogging for the next week.
I didn't know we were slacking off.
I hope someone doesn't annonymously call customs and tell them not to let him back into the country because he might be a threat. That would be a real bummer. ;-)
March 24, 2005
Way to Go Panthers
There's no surprise UWM lost to the #1 team in the nation. I didn't get to see the game, but from what I saw in the highlights and Coach Bruce Perl's comments Illinois just had more quality players. The Panthers played their hearts out but ran out of gas. Even though they lost they made their school, city, and state proud. The Badgers will have to go to the Final Four to top what UWM did this year.
I don black today partly to mourn for Terri Schiavo and the Culture of Life. I also am doing it to support UW-Milwaukee. Go Panthers! Beat Illinois!
March 23, 2005
Schiavo Quick Hits
Time ticks away, and Terri moves closer to her Creator. I don't have the emotional stamina to say a lot right now. So I'll offer you these nuggets.
An 11-member federal panel refused to hold a full hearing for Terri Schiavo.
Florida Department of Children and Families might take Terri out of the hospice she's been in and reinsert her feeding tube with or without a judge's order.
Bryan Preston castigates come big-time webloggers for selectively entering the Schiavo debate.
Dale Franks talks about "unprincipled" Republicans. It's fairer to state that the Congressional Republicans who passed the special Terri Schiavo law had a conflict between two principles: federalism and the protection of human life. (Stephen Bainbridge dealt with four principles.) It wasn't that the Republicans (and conservatives like me) are unprincipled it's that they had to decide what principle was paramount.
Even though CodeBlueBlog has won some awards I'm not familar with the writer. Here's a doctor's opinion of Terri's condition. Based on CT scans he's seen on the internet "THIS IS IN NO WAY PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE THAT TERRI SCHIAVO'S MENTAL ABILITIES OR/OR CAPABILITIES ARE COMPLETELY ERADICATED." Take it for what it's worth. [Thanks MMM for the link.]
Increased Interest in Living Wills
A benefit to the publicity of Terri Schiavo's plight is many people are asking about living wills. If Terri had one we wouldn't be having a national debate. Something about Am 1130 WISN's report doesn't seem right. According to the radio station Aurora Health Care received a 1000 visitors yesterday. That's due to the interest in living wills. That just can't be right. It just can't be true that the website of the number one healthcare provider in Eastern Wisconsin had fewer visitors than TAM. Maybe I'm selling myself short.
"Living Will--Get One"
An Atlanta appeals court decided that Terri Schiavo should die. The sense I get from the two federal court rulings is that these judges were a little ticked that Congress moved this case to federal court. The speed by which they made their decisions implies they don't want Congress to do something like this ever again. I say it implies because the constitutionality of Congress passing a bill solely for Terri Schiavo will never come to court. She'll soon be dead and the point moot.
Pray for Terri, her family--yes, even Michael Schiavo, and all of us. We've moved into a new, dangerous realm.
"Reinsertion of Schiavo Feeding Tube Denied"
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has excerpts from a dissenting judge as well as other pundits' views.
The Felon Loophole
Wisconsin is trying to put together a state-wide voter list. The Journal Sentinel's Greg Borowski reports a glaring loophole that will allow felons to illegally vote:
The statewide voter list, due to be completed late this year, would collect information on felons who are still on probation or parole and, as it stands now, officials would strike them from voting rolls.
One solution is to keep felons' names on voter lists but have a notation added. State Elections Board chief Kevin Kennedy isn't sure he wants to "clutter up the list." If you don't keep highlighted felons on the list you have two options: end same-day registration; or prosecute felons who vote illegally. If Milwaukee's E. Michael McCann is an example strong prosecutions won't happen. With all the shady registration operations going on last year I'm strongly in favor of ending same-day registration to give elections officials enough time to prepare for a fair, fraud-free election.
"Voter List Lacks Key Element"
UPDATE: Wow, the Journal Sentinel editorial board actually notices a voting fraud problem. The "What Me Worry?" gang is getting better. Yet they still can't see the need for voters to show an ID before getting a ballot. The newspaper's reporters know why photo ID at the polls is needed. So close, but still so far.
March 22, 2005
Hewitt: Too Bad the Killer's Dead
Let me toss out another aspect of the encroaching Culture of Death: the rise in popularity of the death penalty. The Minnesota reservation shootings have brought out bloodlust in Hugh Hewitt:
I am certain I am not the first to post on this, but had yesterday's shooter in Minnesota not turned the gun on himself, he would never have been eligible for the death penalty because of the recent Supreme Court decision. He killed young people, teachers, a security guard and his grandfather, but the Supreme Court has ruled that no civilized society could even consider executing him for his massacre.
Hugh wishes the killer would have lived so he could be put on trial then killed. Hugh also must wish Minnesota had the death penalty. Thankfully, like Wisconsin, it doesn't. I think it's absurd all states haven't ended vengeful state-sanctioned killing.
Months ago, I worked on a post explaining my philosophy of life. Guess I better get around to finishing it. To be really brief regarding my opposition to the death penalty: since an adequate prison system is enough protection to society capital punishment is merely vengence.
Sowell on Schiavo
Few public intellectuals can put the complexities of Man's existence into so clear a form as Thomas Sowell. He's the best conservative thinker who simple conveys the flawed world we're stuck in.
There are no good solutions to this wrenching situation. It is the tragedy of the human condition in its most stark form.
Sowell is as uncomfortable as me about Congress having to act on Terri Schiavo's behalf. If anyone understands unintended consequences it's Sowell yet still his conscience dictates that an extraordinary case deserves extraordinary actions.
Killing Patients in Texas
KTK at Lean Left put together a good post explaining why some Texas medical cases involving a law signed by then-governor George Bush are more complicated than Bush-bashers want to make them.
"Bad Meme a-Risin’: 'Killing Patients to Save Money'"
Pinkerton Blasts Christian Conservatives
Stephen Bainbridge chastises James Pinkerton:
The American people need to be told that federalism is a tool - a means to an end. So is limited government. So, for that matter, is the rule of law. Sometimes they are the right tool. And sometimes they aren't. As I discussed yesterday, neither federalism nor limited government was the right analytical tool for evaluating Congress' intervention in the Terry Schiavo case. Explaining why is hard to do in a quick sound-bite, but I think I managed to do a pretty good job of doing so in less than 400 words -- or about half the length of a Pinkerton op-ed.
I'm not shocked at Pinkerton laying this all on the doorstep of the Religious Right. While being a very tall man my experience of reading and listening to him is that he has it in for Christian conservatives.
He's also wrong if this was all because of the Religious Right. I'm a conservative and strongly pro-life who doesn't consider myself in the same group as James Dobson. I'm more libertarian than Christian conservatives I've encountered. Much of it is because of growing up as a Lutheran in a German-American community. We don't feel the need to overtly display our faith. Our actions should suffice. I'm fighting for Terri's right to life because I worry about the advancement of a Culture of Death. What horrors will my fellow men allow because of the further cheapening of human life?
Add to this almost half the Democrats present in the House of Representatives Sunday night voted for the bill. There are Democrats, Independents, as well as Republicans who are appalled that Terri Schiavo is being starved to death. This was more bipartisan than Pinkerton wants to let on.
Vanity: Man's Vulnerability
Meghan Cox Gurdon summons the spirit of C.S. Lewis. Let's all grab a copy of The Screwtape Letters.
Judge Rules Against Terri
A federal judge in Tampa ruled that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube should not be reinserted. He determined that Terri's parents had little chance of winning their case. An appeal to a higher court in Atlanta will soon be filed. All the while the clock ticks because Terri is being denied food and water. Federal legislation to move Terri's case to federal court in no way was a guarantee she would be saved from a cruel death.
"Judge Rejects Schiavo Appeal"
March 21, 2005
"A VERY Bad Sign"
Terri Schiavo's federal court hearing worries Andy McCarthy. The judge didn't immediately order the feeding tube to be reinserted. McCarthy writes,
De novo review regardless of what went on in the state courts should mean it is a brand new ballgame – the federal court owes no deference to any of the matters raised or ruled on in the state courts. Given the voluminous nature of the record generated in Florida, there is no way this case can be decided quickly if it is to be reviewed responsibly. Terri Schiavo would be dead in the time that would take. So, manifestly, the only proper thing for the judge to do was to order the feeding tube replaced forthwith the minute the case was filed. If Terri’s parents lose their case, the tube can always be removed again. But if Terri dies while the judge is spinning his wheels, she and her parents can never be made whole.
King is covering the shootings on a Minnesota Indian reservation. My prayers are with all the families affected.
"Depressingly Too Often"
Welcome to the Blogosphere
State Rep. Frank Lasee has jumped into the blogosphere. His weblog will be a great source for pro-TABOR info.
Public Opinion Trumps No Clear Wish
It's interesting how Judge Greer used the testimony of Beverly Tyler. She told the court that when Terri made her casual remarks about using extraodinary medical procedures other Americans her age, her "reference class," felt that living on machines was cruel. As Lydia McGrew puts it, "[W]hat the deuce is Ms. Tyler's evidence doing in here at all?" Judge Greer as well as the 2nd District Court of Appeal decided that in the face of no living will and nothing more than casual remarks about extraordinary medical procedures the general opinions of other's Terri's age should determine if her feeding tube should be removed.
"The Right to Live and the Right Reference Class: Part II"
A Difficult Dilemma
SEC. 9. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.
Such consideration would be a better use of Congress' time than possibly regulating steroids in baseball. But discussion should include the law, signed by Governor George Bush, that allowed a hospital to turn off the respirator for an almost six-month-old.
There are serious federalism issues that are involved. That's why I give only two cheers for Congress acting on behalf of Terri. Despite what the legislation states a precedent has been set. Expect other families in similar dilemmas petitioning Congress and crying hypocrisy when they don't act. Hard cases make bad law. That maxim is probably true. But as Professor Bainbridge writes, "In sum, the culture of life and the rule of law appear to be in unavoidable conflict. Both are central values of a free and just society. All of which makes it extremely difficult to decide where one stands on this issue." Just pray that we're doing the best we can.
"Terry Schiavo, Congress, and First Principles"
Biased Poll Questions
Orin Kerr examines the wording of an opinion poll on Terri Schiavo's case. Can you say leading questions?
"Biased Questions in the ABC Schiavo Poll"
Fighting Ashcroft but Not Castro
A library in Vermillion, South Dakota along with library associations in Latvia, Poland, and the Czech Republic are doing something the American Library Association refuses to do: support independent libraries in Cuba. Nat Hentoff writes,
What has made this signal of solidarity against repression most notable is that this small town in South Dakota has not only defied Castro but has also shown the hypocrisy of the national American Library Association—the largest organization of librarians in the world—whose governing council last year overwhelmingly defeated an amendment from one of its members to demand that Castro immediately release the 10 independent librarians, along with the other 65 "prisoners of conscience," as Amnesty International has described them.
"A U.S. Library vs. Fidel"
Dehydrating to Death
Fraters Libertas points us to an article from The Weekly Standard describing the agony one goes through as they are deprived of food and water. Not something to read first thing in the morning, but people need to realize what Terri is already going through.
A conscious [cognitively disabled] person would feel it just as you or I would. They will go into seizures. Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucus membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining. They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! Death by dehydration takes ten to fourteen days. It is an extremely agonizing death.
This isn't just letting someone "slip away." This is going to take
Not Enough Copies
Which circle of hell do people who accost lowly retail workers go to when they die? I had to endure a customer interrogating a co-worker as to when copies of Mark Levin's Men in Black would arrive at my bookstore. She didn't like the answer that it would take about a week if she wanted to order it. The customer said that's what she was told a week before. She admitted she never placed an order for the book. The sad excuse for a customer then went off wondering why we didn't have Levin's book in stock but had plenty of Michael Moore's sad excuse for books. The woman couldn't accept the fact that publishers have to get books to bookstores. I had enough of this search for a conspiracy that didn't exist and asked her if she wanted to speak to a manager. Being a coward who only wanted to make a pathetic political statement she said she didn't have time. Yet she had time to aggravate a bookseller.
For some reason Regnery Publishing, who puts out Levin's book, has trouble with hot titles. Last summer, they couldn't keep up with the anti-Kerry Unfit for Command. You wouldn't believe the number of people who thought my company was part of a vast Left wing conspiracy to help the Democrats by not selling that book. Regnery's CEO even had to say the shortage wasn't bookstores' fault. The trouble with Men in Black is similar. Even with the large initial printing demand has outpaced it.
Let me be blunt: there is no damn book conspircacy. Barnes & Noble likes to sell books, lots of books. It doesn't matter if their liberal, conservative, communist, Nazi, straight, gay, lesbian, pro-NY Yankees, or pro-Boston Red Sox. More books sold means more profit. Being good capitalists--even if liberal--those that run the company like profit.
If you're one of those who suspect ulterior motives if they can't find a book their looking for you're probably wrong and don't take it out on the labor. If you do complain realize that behind the smile that employee wishes you'd fall into one of Saddam's shredders--whether they existed or not.
Bill is Now Law
At 1:11 AM ET, President Bush signed the bill sending Terri Schiavo's case to federal court.
March 20, 2005
Terri's parents and hot sister (must find pics) just told reporters their happiness with the passage of the Terri Schiavo bill.
House Voting Begins
The speeches are over. The House is voting.
UPDATE: Still waiting for the voting to end. Read Paul's no-holds-barred blasting of the Democrats.
UPDATE II: The bill has passed 200-55. Obviously, not everybody showed up to vote.
UPDATE III: The country is safe. Congress is in recess until April.
Terri Schiavo and Her Father
Drudge played audio of Terri Schiavo and her father last Friday after her feeding tube was removed. Take it for what it's worth.
"Audio of Terri Schiavo after the Tube was Removed!"
House is Now in Session
The House is again in session to pass a bill to move Terri Schiavo's case to federal court.
UPDATE: C-SPAN reports that after three hours of debate a vote will take place shortly after midnight Monday morning.
UPDATE II: Rep. Wexler declares 19 judges have ruled Terri should die, many medical experts have declared Terri
There are many questions left unanswered:
In 2003, Wesley Smith asked plenty of other questions.
UPDATE III: To get a little lighthearted (and this issue needs it) but Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) seems to have lost weight. Good for him. He's now less likely to have a stroke. Still, I hope Nadler has a living will.
I also get a kick out of Democrats talking about the limits of the federal government. I sympathize with the federalism argument. I wish Congress didn't have to act. I don't know about what the unindented consequences of this law would be.
To get more serious, I learned from Nadler that having a functioning cerebral cortex is the definition of human life. Maybe, maybe not. I admit ignorance. I just wonder if the many people unfortunately born with only a brainstem deserve no love, care, or treatment.
UPDATE IV: Someone should tell Rep. Rick Renzy (R-AZ) that he's wearing an ugly suit. He looks like he just came out of a Vegas casino.
UPDATE V: If I hear one more Congressmen praising a party leader I'll puke. Let's get this vote over with.
Senate Acts for Terri
While House Democrats obstruct Terri Schiavo's federal court hearing, the Senate succeeded in passing the legislation. The House is gathering up enough members for an early Monday morning vote.
"Senate Passes Legislation on Schiavo Case"
Coming to a Store Near You
Terri Schiavo isn't the only Culture of Death story out there. Federal regulators are ready to make a morning after pill, Plan B, available without a prescription. What a country we live in. Vioxx and other pain-relieving medicines are pulled off the market because they slightly increased one's chances of heart attacks, but women will soon be able to pop into a drug store, buy some pills, and kill their unborn child--all without consulting a doctor.
"US Close To Approving Plan B Emergency Contraceptive"
"FDA Expects to Ease Plan B Availability"
Still No Congressional Action
Congressional Republicans were all set to pass a bill to get Terri Schiavo a hearing in federal court. Because legislators are away on Easter Break the House of Representatives were going to pass the bill with a voice vote. President Bush cut short his Texas ranch weekend. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) gaveled a session today only to recess it immediately.
But then we learn Democrats prefer to have Terri die. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) wraps it in quasi-federalism:
The Republicans in Congress do not like the results that the Florida courts have reached and they are going to this extraordinary remedy of now stripping the Florida court of its jurisdiction so that maybe there can be another outcome.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) decided that those who want to prolong human life are "intolerant."
Politically it's a dumb move. The move ticks off the right-to-life crowd which is bigger and more organized than euthanasia backers. More importantly having a hearing in federal court doesn't mean Michael Schiavo won't still get his wish to have his wife die. All the bill would do is allow a federal court hearing. There's no guarantee Terri's parents would win.
"Democrats Won't Expedite Schiavo Bill; Vote Delayed"
"Democrats Block Voice Vote In House"
Congress Soon to Act on Terri's Behalf
Congressional leaders expect to pass some kind of legislation in the next day or so to allow Terri Schiavo's case to be heard in federal court. It would buy her some time, but unless new facts (i.e. more tests including an MRI) are allowed into her case this would just delay the inevitable.
"Congress Reaches Deal in Schiavo Case"
March 19, 2005
The Florida sex offender admitting he killed his neighbor's little girl will only embolden Milwaukee-area citizens to oppose a sex offender house in their neighborhood.
"More Flak for Group Home"
"Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body"
On a Roll
There's someone more depressed than me about the removal of Terri Shiavo's feeding tube.
We no longer inhabit "civilization" -- we are barbarians.
If Matthew Sitman would have been around when Roe v. Wade became law of the land he probably would have pulled a Heaven's Gate or Jonestown.
I'm not as dramatic or pessimistic as Sitman. Sure, we've witnessed a moment of great saddness. We've seen how the law can be an ass and allow someone to suffer a crueler death than that of a pet. Let's not go over the deep end. Annual abortions are going down. Teen pregnancy and sexual activity are also going down. These are some of the social trends that make me hopeful about the future.
It's painful knowing someone is dying unjustly. That's a useful feeling to let us know we still live in an imperfect world filled with much injustice. "The fight for life is always real." We must never waver from defending the innocent and defenseless.
"This is the Way the World Ends"
March 18, 2005
Congress' Role is Saving Terri
Peggy Noonan is one of the best writers of our time. She's passionate, moving, and full of heart. In calling for Congressional Republicans to do everything in their power to save Terri, she may be letting her heart rule over her head. True, Congress may have the power to subpoena Terri, giving her time for other legal measures to be tried, but is this the proper role of the federal government? Peggy doesn't even try to answer this question. Terri Schiavo doesn't involve interstate commerce, national defense, or some other federal interest. It's a case of a husband wanting his wife to die and a judge too pigheaded to entertain new medical facts. The Florida legislature thought they ended this dispute with Terri's Law, but that was struck down by a court. They can't even come together to pass new legislation. Why should Congress get involved when Florida is conflicted?
I also disagree with Peggy's political calculation. Congressmen won't be harmed if Terri dies a horrible, cruel death. An effort has been made. Terri's defenders are mostly conservatives. A conservative temperment involves understanding that not everything is possible. All men and institutions have constraints.
Sometimes all we can do is pray.
"'Don't Kick It'"
No longer can people claim there's no evidence of voter fraud in last year's elections. The Journal Sentinel's uber reporter Greg Borowski has found at least 82 felons who cast ballots. Borowski writes,
It also provides clear evidence of fraudulent voters in the November election, in which Democrat John Kerry topped President Bush by about 11,000 votes in Wisconsin.
Now, is Mayor Tom Barrett going to get serious about voter fraud?
"82 Felons Voted in Nov. 2 Election"
Dr. Cranford Responds
Michael Schiavo's main medical expert Dr. Donald Cranford responds to the NRO article I linked to previously. In Dr. Cranford's opinion further tests would have been redundant:
An MRI was never recommended because, in this case and other patients in a permanent vegetative state, the CT scans were more than adequate to demonstrate the extremely severe atrophy of the cerebral hemispheres, and an MRI would add nothing of significance to what we see on the CT scans. Plus the MRI is contraindicated because of the intrathalamic stimulators implanted in Terri's brain. A PET scan was never done in this case because it was never needed. The classic clinical signs on examination, the CT scans, and the flat EEG's were more than adequate to diagnose PVS to the highest degree of medical certainty, along with the credible testimony of the three neurologists at the longest evidentiary hearing in American law, whose opinions were strongly affirmed by the trial court judge and three appeal court judges. Please see Judge Greer's opinions on the credibility of the experts testifying on behalf of the Schindler family.
But the question Rev. Johansen wonders if if Terri is even in a permanent vegetative state. Did Dr. Cranford simply use the CT scan to reaffirm his initial diagnosis? This may be the first time in recent memory where a doctor didn't order test after test to further satisfy his judgement.
As pigheaded as Dr. Cranford is Judge Greer. For him, no new information will be allowed to come forth. Once his decision was made it is final. Such infalibility should be saved for Popes not for those who have the power of life and death in their hands.
Here are two new weblogs to sink your intellectual teeth into.
George Kennan, R.I.P.
Foreign affairs meant little to me until Sep. 11, 2001. Because of this I know little of George Kennan. I know of his "X" memo that spelled out U.S. containment of the U.S.S.R. A collection of his writings sits on my to read pile. When I'll get to it, I don't know. Two things I didn't know: 1.) he was from Milwaukee; 2.) he was still alive until he died yesterday.
Daniel Drezner has thoughts from someone who really knows about foreign affairs.
"Kennan Helped Shape World of Cold War"
Hoping for a Miracle
Terri Schiavo's uphill battle to live has been too depressing for me to write much about. It seems inevitable that later today her feeding tube will be removed, and she'll begin her painful path toward her heavenly Father. I'm saddened that our culture has produced misguided men like Michael Schiavo and Judge George Greer who fail to put the benefit of the doubt on human life. We now learn that minimal testing has been done to determine Terri's injuries.
Pray for a miracle. Terri needs one now. Rep. Mike Enzi (R-WY) calling Terri to testify before his committee may be part of it. But this wacky idea will only delay.
Less Stick, More Carrot
Daniel Drezner sees Wolfowitz going to the World Bank as part of a pattern where the Condi Rice-led State Department is retaking its position as director of U.S. foreign policy. He makes a good case. This leads to a suspicion that military advances into Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea are slim. I would be even more inclined to believe that if Donald Rumsfeld leaves the Defense Department. President Bush may be viewing his push to expand human freedom as a diplomatic and economic endeavor. The U.S. was attacked on Sep. 11, 2001, and she struck back in Afghanistan and Iraq. To Bush those two wars are enough for the near future (i.e. the rest of his term) to scare the hell out of terrorist-supporting states. Now is the time for lots of sticks and the robust public encouragement of freedom movements. Of course, everything changes should the homeland come under another attack.
March 17, 2005
Call it an Alabama slammer. That's what UW-Milwaukee dished out to the Crimson Tide. Alabama couldn't defend the three point line in the first half and couldn't handle the Panthers' inside game in the second half. I don't feel bad I didn't pick that game right. Awesome! Simply awesome!
"Panthers' Finest Hour"
We know there's a political agenda behind locating a sexual predator home in the Milwaukee area. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spells it out:
What really got them upset was the fact that I raised the question that some on the committee might have political motives. Yesterday, it was confirmed that several sites owned by the City of Milwaukee were considered by the committee prior to narrowing the field down to six sites, then four sites, then three sites. The City of Milwaukee objected and the sites were removed. The first two private land owners objected and the sites were removed. A third site was removed this week because a private land owner removed.
The answer is Scott Walker is running for governor. Democrats fear him and want to do anything they can to hurt him politically.
UPDATE: It's rare that I come to the same brilliant conclusion as the very astute Mark Belling. Patrick's audio clip proves great minds think alike.
My Final Four
If you still need to fill out your tournament brackets--hurry, you're running out of time--I'm picking Illinois, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Illinois will face NC with the Illini winning the national title. If you're looking for a first round upset I'm picking New Mexico beating Villanova.
Viking Extreme Makeover, Continued
The Minnesota Vikings have signed a 4-year contract with Brad Johnson, for services as backup quarterback. This brings him full circle, after a 7-year absence. Johnson started his career as a backup QB with the Vikings, and now's he's back in that position, this time with more experience.
That Whole "Pot/Kettle" Thing
Tom Rukavina is a member of the Minnesota State House of Representatives. Tommy hails from the northern climes of Minnesota (and, before you say I'm belittling him by calling him "Tommy", keep in mind, he goes by that name) and likes to rabble-rouse in Minnesota.
His latest tirade has been against Governor Tim Pawlenty and the fact that his official website can be reached with other URL's (www.Pawlenty2006.com for example. Oh, and that The Governor's site had photo's of him as a child. Please, don't let us citizens try to get to know our governor.
The next time state Rep. Tom Rukavina makes a fuss over someone's supposed campaign impropriety, he might want to call home first.
Neat! Those added phone lines cost extra money. Rukavina does a great job spending the taxpayer's money; it's interesting to see that he is so tight-fisted with his own that he can't install another phone line to at least give the impression of the campaign donation phone calls being separate from the official business phone calls. The Governor's official site issn't soliciting donations for the campaign. So, what's the big deal?
Some Europeans don't like President Bush's pick of Paul Wolfowitz to run the World Bank. This quote from an unnamed source really makes me love the pick and the President:
Mr. Wolfowitz's nomination today tells us the U.S. couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks.
"Europeans at World Bank Cool to Wolfowitz Pick"
March 16, 2005
This vacation unfortunately comes to and end. I'll be flying home tonight, back to the cold and snow.
Player to Keep an Eye on: Texas' Marshall McDougal
He swings a good bat and plays some mean third base. On Tuesday, against the Rockies McDougal had all three put outs in the first inning, and some of them weren't softly hit balls.
He's a Rule 5 draft pick so he'll probably be staying at the big league level all year. The big problem for him is Hank Blaylock is not moving from third.
What I'll Most Miss about Phoenix (Besides Baseball)
Sitting at a Starbucks watching beautiful women walk in, stand in line waiting for their soy venti vanilla latte, extra foam, then walk out into the sunshine.
More Spring Training Pics
Ben Sheets coming out to pitch. He didn't do so well.
Brady Clark signing autographs.
Wolfowitz Picked to be World Bank Chief
President Bush named Defense Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz to run the World Bank. With him there and John Bolton at the U.N. radical Lefties and paleoconservatives must will be going crazy believing a global neoconservative coup is taking place before their eyes.
I'm not sure how to evalutate the choice. The World Bank, at best, is an anachronism that has little purpose today. It'd be better if it were shut down. I assume Bush hasn't chosen Wolfowitz to liquidate the place, but at least he's better than Bono.
"Bush Taps Wolfowitz as New World Bank President"
March 15, 2005
Extreme Makeover, Vikings Defense Edition
This is a few days late, but being that Sean is such a Packer fan and that I am such a Viking fan, it's of great delight to me that the Vikings Defense is being built this offseason, especially if we are using former Packer Darren Sharper to do it. Nothing will be finer for us than using him to burn Brett Favre.
How long until camp opens?
The New York Times (registration required) writes today of the education of teachers.
American colleges and universities do such a poor job of training the nation's future teachers and school administrators that 9 of every 10 principals consider the graduates unprepared for what awaits them in the classroom, a new survey has found.
I have to say, that the past 10 years working in the technology field has better prepared me for teaching than the four years earning my degree in teaching mathematics at The University of Minnesota-Duluth. Presentation skills, dealing with people and different learning styles, etc. At UMD, the focus in the education department seemed to be on diversity and psychological and learning theory, and less on the practical application on getting through to kids.
And, with how things are going in the public schools today, I'd never teach in one. Put me in a private school, probably one affliated with with The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Hat Tip: Vox Day
Tom Haudricourt wrote up a whole story about how Brewers prospects Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks are always around each other at Spring Training. I noticed that too. They come out together for warm ups before each game, they go down the line signing autographs together, and they hang around in the dugout. They've been playing minor league ball for a few seasons, and when they both make it to the big leagues the chemistry they've developed certainly won't hurt the team--not that chemistry is that important.
"Striking a Match"
Some things never change. I may be on vacation (which will be ending way too soon) but one of my duties when I can snatch some net time is to clean out the spam comments from the weblog. Ugh!
When someone dies Gregg Easterbrook thinks Christians mourning is somehow a conflict with their beliefs. Ross Douthat (read his great book) gently counters Easterbrook's view. Let me add that when someone dies Christians mourn for the loss of that person. In a way our death ritual is a selfish act for those still living. We cry because the person who died is no longer with us. We no longer can enjoy their presence here on Earth. This is how Douthat puts it:
But even for a Christian, death is 1) an obscenity, the fruit of sin and the defining characteristic of a fallen world and 2) a bereavement, a separation from someone we love.
March 14, 2005
Happy Pi Day
Since Sean is hamming it up in Arizona, and still has allowed me to edit/add entries, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of TAM's readers a Happy Pi Day! Celebrate! We'll be serving Grasshopper Pie from Byerly's for dessert at my home tonight to celebrate the occasion.
March 13, 2005
Sun. Baseball. Beauty. Reality.
Theoretically net access from my hotel room was supposed to be easy. I'm staying at the same place I did last year because it was easy to log on. This year has been frustrating. I'm not going to go into any detail (it would bore you to death), but I'm having the same problems I had with the wireless network at CPAC last month. Now, I'm at a Starbucks trying to download a new set of drivers. Hopefully, that will work.
Here are some pictures to make you snow-bound TAM readers jealous.
Junior Spivey was yapping with some high school baseball team before the game against the Giants.
As for the real world, I can't add anything to the horrible Brookfield church shooting. The Badger Blog Alliance is doing a good job aggregating local webloggers' coverage.
"'IT'S HUMAN CARNAGE'"
March 10, 2005
Warm. Sunshine. Baseball.
I'm off to Phoenix to catch some Spring Training Brewers baseball. My hotel has wireless internet so I should be able to keep up on any more Michael Jackson weirdness, hot college basketball action, or other breaking news. I'll also try to get some pics posted to make all of you trapped in winter's grasp extremely jealous of me.
Michael Jackson Late to Court
Michael Jackson's trial just got weird. We just entered O. J. Simpson territory. He didn't show up for court today because he was in the hospital for a bad back. The judge had enough and issued an arrest warrant unless Jackson arrived in court in one hour. Jackson showed up five minutes late looking very pale (which is saying a lot) and in pajamas (was he weblogging?). Now, the judge has to decide if to throw Jackson in jail and have him surrender his $3 million bail.
Cows are Free
Glendale city officials got their act together and will let Karl Kopp put up 23 fiberglass cows. The city originally ruled against him because it claimed the bovines were advertising. The Board of Appeals disagreed. Paul Lucey said the location, an embankment, was as place he couldn't "imagine that someone would put advertising dollars."
"Kopp's Art is Ruled Bovine, Not a Sign"
FEC: Fun Educating Clucks
In the words of those two Guinness characters: "Brilliant!"
"Annoying the FEC: Fun and Educational!"
Through the use of language the NY Times doesn't call a tax increase a tax increase. Some of President Bush's tax cuts are set to expire. Some Senate Republicans are worried about the budget deficit and don't want to extend all the cuts the administration wants. Senators like Judd Gregg, Olympia Snowe, and Lincoln Chafee prefer $70.2 billion verus the White House's $100 billion. If these tax cuts are allowed to expire that's a tax increase. Money that previously wasn't claimed by the government will become so. In short, there are some Senate Republicans who want to raise your taxes. Children of Reagan they're not.
Sen. Chafee tells the Times he's very concerned about the deficit. He's so concerned he braggs about nabbing $16 million in homeland security money (PDF) for Rhode Island and $10 million to reduce noise around an airport (PDF).
Sen. Snowe worries that the government might have to cut programs. Shudder to think. Being a D.C. veteran, she knows federal programs rarely die. They don't even fade away like soldiers. They grow even when their purpose for existing has ended.
"G.O.P. Senators Balk at Tax Cuts in Bush's Budget"
March 09, 2005
Based on reporting by Spivak & Bice those Milwaukee police officers who witnessed the beating of Frank Jude and did nothing will have their careers ruined.
Good. They failed in their sworn duty. Police possess coercive powers monopolized by the state. They have them in order to protect citizens' rights. When those rights are violated due to police action or inaction they trample on a public trust. Public confidence is damaged which only makes the police's crime fighting job harder. I have no sympathy for those pathetic excuses for law enforcement officers. They deserve whatever they get.
"Jude Cops can Kiss Law Careers Goodbye"
UWM's Champagne Dreams
After last night's conference tournament victory the champagne was flowing for the UWM Panthers. That's not good when many of your players are under 21. Coach Bruce Pearl isn't happy, but he should just make his players do some extra wind sprints and leave it at that.
"Spiritof the Moment"
Not Much of a Boost
Congrats to Jib for having a post mentioned on MSNBC. Looking at his Site Meter stats a mention on the third-place cable news network was a minor boost. I wouldn't mind a national mention for TAM but traffic-wise I'd rather have Charlie link to me.
Did Sgrena Lead to Soldier's Death?
The flack the U.S. has received from the Sgrena incident may have cost a soldier his life. Sergeant Andrew Bossert "died Monday when a car went through a checkpoint and exploded in western Iraq." Charlie Sykes wonders, "Is it at all possible that what happend to Sgt. Bossert...that they [U.S. troops] might have withheld their fire for just a moment?"
Did the Islamist insurgents take advantage of that? With all the scrutiny our soldiers are facing because of the Sgrena incident they have a "no-win" choice. They can either be too cautious and allow mistakes to happen where people are killed who shouldn't be. Or the troops can succumb to hypercriticism and accept greater risks. As with all choices in life there are tradeoffs. Sgrena only added fuel to the fire by accusing U.S. troops of trying to kill her (she later backed off that claim). Chad Evans writes,
She ... is playing with the lives of innocent Iraqis, American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers, Bulgarian soldiers, Australian soldiers, Japanese soldiers and Italian soldiers by charging that the real evil-doers are not the ones who take people hostage but are the ones who wear a military uniform.
The damage was already done, and Sgt. Bossert might have died because of it.
"Solder Killed at Roadside Checkpoint… Where is the Outrage?"
The Book of Bunny Suicides and Return of the Bunny Suicides are full of the best black humor since the last season of The Sopranos. You know you're twisted laughing out loud at all the creative ways a bunny can meet his maker, but you can't stop.
Why am I not shocked Michele loved them too?
"An Important Note About those Bunny Suicides"
Sgrena Hates America
Am I shocked Giuliana Sgrena told a Dutch reporter "The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind?" No. She does write for a Communist rag. The reporter places much blame on Sgrena for Nicola Calipari's death:
With her bias Sgrena did not only jeopardize herself, but due to her behavior a security officer is now dead, and the Italian government (prime minister Berlusconi included) has had to spend millions of euros to save her life. It is to be hoped that Sgrena will decide to have a career change. Propagandist or MP perhaps. But she should give up journalism immediately.
"About Giuliana Sgrena" [via Little Green Footballs]
Tommy Thompson is out of government and has three new jobs: senior advisor for Deloitte & Touche, partner for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and president of Logistics Health Inc.
For the accounting and law firms Thompson will be zooming all over drumming up business. At Logistics Health he'll be responsible for company growth. That shouldn't be a problem since the company is a "provider of medical readiness and homeland security solutions." Knowing plenty of people in the administration won't hurt his company. You know he wasn't hired for his management style.
While devoting 70% of his time to Deloitte and Akin Gump and being a full-time employee of Logistics Health (sure, he'll really be putting in 50-hour weeks for them) Thompson will go on the speaking circuit and even teach a class. When the guy said he wanted to finally make some money he wasn't kidding.
"Thompson Adds Another Job"
Italy: No Ransom for Sgrena
Italy will be joining the U.S. in investigating what went wrong in Giuliana Sgrena's escape from Baghdad. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi claims his government gave the U.S. military plenty of notice about the journalist's passage. Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini denies that Sgrena's release was because Italy paid off the Islamist terrorists who captured her.
"Italy: U.S. Must Take Responsibility for Iraq Death"
You'll Make Michele Blush
Michele's A Small Victory is one subject of a Media Matters post. It seems a Boston Globe reporter likes her weblog enough to leave comments. That's bad news in the David Brock witch hunting world.
March 08, 2005
Yabba, dabba doo!! The UWM Panther are going to the NCAA tournament.
"Panthers are Dancing"
Oil of O'Larry
Larry Kudlow tells us to not worry so much about the high price of oil. He's right. Historically, oil today isn't as expensive as it was in the past. Demand is high because of blistering economic growth in China and India. They have millions of people entering the workforce so the demand for energy won't abate. Expect high oil prices for a long time. In a free market this would encourage new sources of energy. In the past few years we've seen the use of natural gas to generate electricity increase. I highly doubt renewable energy sources like wind power can satisfy the United States' unquenchable need for energy. I'm hoping our almost 30-year fear of nuclear power vanishes.
Dean put into words what I've been thinking when reading Glenn Reynolds' democracy protest posts.
The man (Glenn) has great taste.
"Women Who Support Ending Dictatorships Are Hot"
Oh, do we miss the raving of Theresa Heinz Kerry. In Seattle, she made some remarks that would fit well with the Democratic Underground crowd. She's paranoid about vote counting methods:
Heinz Kerry is openly skeptical about results from November's election, particularly in sections of the country where optical scanners were used to record votes.
Notice she offer no evidence of any fraud. Just fears.
She also freaked out about Republicans spending "$90 million to destroy [John Kerry's] reputation."
Congrats, Power Line
No official word from the Power Line guys, but Matthew Yglesias lets us know The Week named the "Rather-slayers" the Weblog of the Year.
"It's Just an Honor to Be Nominated"
UWM-Detroit Halftime Report
The Panthers are not playing like league regular season champions. Their full-court press on Detroit bothered them, but UWM's half-court offense was lousy. On offense the Panthers turned the ball over too much resulting in lots of Detroit points.
UPDATE: 9:12--Whoa! A few McCants three-pointers along with some serious defense and UWM has taken the lead.
UPDATE: 9:45--If UWM loses much of the blame can be put on the Panthers' poor free throw shooting. They're below 50% at this point.
Another Republican Wimping Out
Add Sen. Lindsay Graham to the list of squimish Republicans backing away from private Scocial Security accounts. Graham said Bush's plan was being "oversold and tremendously demagogued."
That doesn't mean you back away from granting people more freedom. It means you have to use better, more persuasive arguments. The President isn't giving up. He's continuing his townhall/infomercials. He's in campaign mode with or without Graham.
"Senator Suggests Social Security Compromise"
Licensed for eBay
Wisconsin isn't the only state that wants to put stupid regulations on internet commerce. Ohio law requires eBay users to go through a lengthy, expensive process to become licensed auctioneers.
Patting Myself on the Back
Let me tell you I can make a mean spaghetti carbonara. I've had it at an Italian resturant to compare the profession version with mine. I couldn't tell the difference. Much of that is because spaghetti carbonara is a simple dish to make. Just fry some pancetta or bacon, cook some spaghetti, toss it all into a bowl where you combined some beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese, add lots of fresh-ground pepper, and eat. The hot noodles cook the eggs binding everything together. It's simple, yummy, and filling.
I got my recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. It's practically my only cookbook since so many foods and cooking techniques are covered. I highly recommend it.
Sgrena's Car Isn't Swiss Cheese
If Kevin found the right car we know Giuliana Sgrena was full of it when she claimed 300-400 rounds were fired at her. The car would have been Swiss cheese, and Sgrena wouldn't be making any claims because they'd still be cleaning up her bloody mess.
"Photos of Giuliana Sgrena's Car"
UPDATE: The head of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division completed his intitial investigation. Maj. Gen. William G. Webster Jr. determined Sgrena's car was the only one fired upon that night at that checkpoint. An unnamed official told the Washington Times, "Something that car did caused the soldiers to fire." Another problem was Italian secret service didn't communicate well with U.S. forces and traveled in an "inconspicuous pickup truck." The mention of a truck means either La Repubblica reporter Giuseppe D'Avanzo got part of his story wrong or the pictures found by Wizbang aren't Sgrena's car or something happened in the translation of D'Avanzo's story. The third possibility is most likely because ABC News mentions a car.
"Italy Didn't Plan Safe Escape for Hostage"
Playing for a Ticket to the Dance
UW-Milwaukee will be facing Detroit in the Horizon League tournament championship game tonight. With a win the Panthers are in, but if they lose there's a good chance they'll be NIT bound. Go Panthers!
"Titans Stand in UWM's Path to NCAA"
Call Him Moneybags
Howard Dean, M.D. as DNC chairman gave the angry Left it's strong voice in American politics. Now, Dr. Dean's fundraising prowess is giving them the means to scream at all Americans.
The Associated Press notes that the DNC raised at least $3.4 million in his first three weeks. And Howard Dean says that is more than double the amount raised by the DNC during the same time in 2001 after President Bush was first elected.
But Scribe Journal notes money was never the problem with Dean, M.D.,
The stage has changed, but the song remains the same. For Howard Dean and his fringe followers--it's not the money--it's the message.
"Howard Dean Brings in the Cash for the DNC"
New Alan Parsons
New Alan Parsons. That's good to hear.
"New Alan Parsons"
Doyle Wants to Tax Your Downloads
Gov. Doyle wants to slap a tax on internet downloads. So whenever you buy a song on iTunes or the latest version of anti-virus software, Doyle wants you to pay an extra 5% to fund his big government. This from a man who last month told the state legislature:
And, keeping true to my promise, we will eliminate this $1.6 billion deficit without raising taxes.
That crash you just heard wasn't a window breaking, it was a Doyle promise.
Politically, Doyle looks like a fool. It's a tax that won't be enforced--citizens will pay on the honor system. He's going to be mocked by radio talk yappers and webloggers. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Congressman Mark Green will pump out a few press releases bashing Doyle for trying to balance the state budget on iPod owners. Then they'll be an announcement that Doyle changed his mind. He gains nothing.
"Doyle Proposes Sales Tax on Internet Downloads"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Whoring Himself into Silence
The Journal Sentinel's racist, hateful columnist Eugene Kane is willing to shut up...for a price. You could help me collect enough cash to meet Kane's high price or you could ask the newspaper's editors to offer some more intellectual diversity than just that fine addition Patrick McIlheran. (His latest is a common sense, everydayman's take on "smart growth.")
I could suggest a certain local writer. *HINT* *HINT*
"Don't Like this Column? Do as in Lodi: $weeten the Pot"
Cudahay's One-Dollar Deal
I agree with Bruce Murphy that having to shower the Pabst City project with oodles of government subsidies shows there isn't a market for the project. However, about the Pabst Theater he writes,
In the meantime, Milwaukee has the Pabst Theater, with its own connection to the brewing industry, which is booking an original series of music acts in a unique venue – and without a huge government hand-out. Why is the city using tax dollars to undermine the Pabst, the Riverside, Shank Hall and all the other entertainment providers in town?
Murphy fails to mention that the City of Milwaukee gave the theater to multimillionaire Michael Cudahay for one dollar. Talk about a huge government handout.
Light One Up
Basil's Blog is the host of this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
March 07, 2005
Journal Sentinel is Pro-Cow
The Journal Sentinel editorial board has joined this humble weblog in endorsing the cows Karl Kopp wants to place behind his Greendale store. They base their opinion on Kopp's track record for design:
His three frozen custard stands are as notable for their distinctive architecture as they are for the cholesterol-laden goodies they purvey. Kopp's cows would be a festive ornament, not a blemish. Kopp should win his appeal.
"Heard the One about Cows?"
I knew Garance Franke-Ruta was working on a weblogging piece for The American Prospect. At CPAC Mike Krempasky was preparing to get hit by the liberal journalist. He was going around asking for tape recorders to record the reporter. So I'm not surprised she conveniently chopped up one of his quotes.
Butchering a quote is bad enough, but Ms. Franke-Ruta can't even get her facts right. In her piece she writes,
Only 23 blogs were known to exist at the beginning of 1999.
I put together this list of webloggers toiling away in 1999:
Then if you consider Dave Winer was hosting weblogs through his editthispage.com site it's safe to say there were a few hundred to a few thousand weblogs in 1999. All Ms. Franke-Ruta would have done was to talk to one of the old school webloggers like Winer (or me) to find that out.
So take her article with a grain of salt. Franke-Ruta's quest to find a Vast Right-Wing Weblogging conspiracy may be as complete as her weblog history.
UPDATE: Mike Krempasky, the main target of Franke-Ruta's hit piece hands out quite a fisking.
Get this Man a Job
Triticale got the ax and is job hunting. Help him out if you can.
Carnival of the Capitalists
Oodles of econ and business posts are collected at this week's Carnival of the Capitalists hosted by Blogcritics.org.
Sgrena Backs Down a Little
Giuliana Sgrena appears to have taken Italian Communications Minister Maurizio Gasparri's advice and stopped talking "nonsense." When asked by the BBC [via Instapundit] if she thought U.S. troops purposely fired on her car she answered,
I can't say it was deliberate because we can't say if there was a lack of information. But also a lack of information in this case is [their] responsibility because you are in a war field and you have the responsibility to pass immediately any information.
Even Sgrena's newfound skepticism won't quell the loons at Democratic Underground.
Bill's Second-Rate History
Ex-President Bill Clinton's words on the recent history of Iran felt like they'd come out of your typical DailyKos or Democratic Underground reader. The U.S. was the bad guy who push Iran toward the authoritarian mullahs and allowed Saddam to be as brutal as he was in Iraq.
Perhaps some folks on the right have been too quick to make moral compromises in the name of fighting a enemy, be it communism or Islamist terrorism. Some folks on the left are less willing to make those moral compromises... but one can't help but wonder if that stems from an opposition to moral compromises, or an opposition to the fight in the first place.
In the same Charlie Rose interveiw, Clinton made this interesting remark:
You're not fooling with Iraq. You know one of the reasons--they can say whatever they [Bush admin?] want--that we did this is this guy didn't have the capacity to hurt its neighbors and the United States.
Clinton now believes Saddam was a weak player in the deadly Middle East game. My, that's a far cry from what Clinton himself said when he was President. In 02.17.98 he said,
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.
Two weeks earlier he said,
One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Former Vice President AlGore also publically stated they believed Saddam possessed WMD. No one's ever accused them of being rogue members of the Clinton administration who said things that differed from the party line.
Clinton may be one of the greatest politician of the 20th Century, but he's historically ignorant. Power Line writes he displayed an "invincible ignorance of history." He made no mention of the Soviets or the Cold War. Such context is key to evaluating whether helping the Shah was good or bad. Clinton offered zero context and just spouted knee-jerk America bashing.
Clinton also puts all "progressives" under one roof. In the former Soviet Union conservatives were the ones who wanted Communism to retain its collectivist, Stalinist iron fist while reformers ("progressives" to use Clinton's parlance) wanted a lighter touch but didn't call for free markets. Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a "progressive" in Clinton's mind last month sided with Syria in its fight with Israel, or "the Zionist regime" to use Khatami's words. That's no progressive in the American sense of the term unless you mean the Left authoritarian progressivism A.N.S.W.E.R. uses to cover its Stalinism.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
The problems of legendary NYC music club CBGB are more complicated than just increased rent. The club has financial and legal problems with its landlord Bowery Residents' Committee. That organization cares for NYC homeless. At one point CBGB owed the committee $300,000 in back rent. Ironically CBGB could be made homeless itself.
What side will city liberals fall: will they back the rock and roll culture and history of CBGB or will they go with their guilty conscience and support the homeless organization?
"Home of Punk-Rock Battles for Its Home"
Poof! Taxes Become Fees
We have found one way how local government will try to get around a Taxpayers Bill of Right (TABOR) or a state-imposed property tax freeze. They'll turn taxes into fees. That's what Slinger is considering:
If the state Legislature imposes tax levy limits on municipal governments, Brandt said, he does not know how the village could maintain the Police Department at its current size without substantially reducing other services.
The end result is too great a burden on taxpayers. The point of TABOR and a property tax freeze is to end the long-standing growth in government. One person's fee is another's tax but it still ends up sucking hard earned money out of peoples' pockets. We'll have to keep a close eye on this.
"Police Cuts Among Slinger Options"
Bono: the "One" for the World Bank?
Bono to run the World Bank? What an absurd idea. Treasury Secretary John Snow didn't take his name off the list, but didn't put it on either.
Wouldn't it be some twisted joke to have U2's lead singer run the World Bank? It would show the lack of confidence the Bush administration had in that institution.
Even considering a rock star to run the World Bank shows to me that its time--if it ever had one--is long gone, and it should be dismantled.
"Will Bono's Next Gig be World Bank President?"
March 06, 2005
A Trend Continues
The internet is now ahead of radio in where people get their political news a Pew Internet and American Life Project survey discovered (somebody have the link?). Those with broadband connections find the internet butting into newspaper consumption. The MSM's days aren't numbered but its impact on our polity is shrinking. As times passes people will be consuming more and more text, audio, and video through the internet. Institutions like the NY Times, Clear Channel, and CNN will have to adjust or die to upstarts both professional and amateur.
"Internet Passes Radio for Political News -Survey"
Pulling a Jordan
Released Italian communist reporter Giuliana Sgrena is not ruling out the possiblity she was deliberately targeted by the U.S. military. Sounds like Eason Jordan--if we ever saw the Davo video tape. Friday the car she and an Italian intelligence agent were in were shot at an Iraqi roadblock. The agent was killed while Sgrena was wounded. When the agent covered her to protect her from the bullets she remembered her Islamists kidnappers telling her "to be careful because the Americans don't want you to return." The U.S. claims the car didn't stop after soldiers gave hand signals and flashed lights at it. President Bush said an investigation is underway.
Sgrena was captured on 02.04 so it would be a stretch to say she was influenced by Jordan's Davos comments. However, she certainly could have known that an executive of a major world-wide news organization told an audience in Portugal in 2004 that "journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces." If Sgrena is just spouting communist, anti-American bile, we know where she got the inspiration. This is the huge downside for the U.S. for Eason Jordan making those unsubstantiated claims he did. Foreign journalists lapped it up like hungry cats.
"Italian Journalist Rejects U.S. Account"
UPDATE: Giuliana Sgrena claims U.S. troops fired 300-400 bullets at her car. Sgrena's partner Pier Scolari continued her conspiratorial, Eason Jordan claim by telling the Guardian (via Captain's Quarters), "'Giuliana may have received information which led to the soldiers not wanting her to leave Iraq alive."
Look, if the U.S. had wanted Sgrena dead she'd be dead. Firing 300-400 bullets at a car would stop it dead in its tracks.
Bluto found this comment from the Italian Communications Minister:
I understand the emotion of these hours, but those who have been under stress in the past few weeks should pull themselves together and avoid saying nonsense.
In other words, shut the hell up unless you know what you were talking about.
CNN has posted a translated report Sgrena wrote for her newspaper Il Manifesto.
March 05, 2005
Bradley Smith Interviewed
March 04, 2005
Dare I say it? Wonkette actually adds a little insight to something other than anal sex. Her post on the Sen. Byrd Hitler flap shows D.C. pols have tossed around the Hitler/Nazi label for years.
There are times when the Nazis are a good analogy and times when they aren't. A few centuries ago the Founding Fathers used analogies from Ancient Greece and Rome. I'm sure they compared their oppoents' plans to ancient atrocities. Using such analogies should not be immediately discounted because an evil person or group is brought up. Listeners need to look at the context.
When Sen. Gramm compared a Democratic tax plan to Nazi Germany law he probably crossed a line. When the public thinks of Nazi Germany economic collectivism--though accurate--doesn't come to mind. Rep. King's use of a Nazi prison guard when talking about abortion is better than Gramm's utterance. In the opinion of many abortion is on par with the Holocaust. Sen. Sessions' use of "Nazi Germany's abuses of science" when discussing stem cell research also seems legit.
In Sen. Byrd's case I don't think it was very effective. Byrd thinks using the "nuclear option" to get President Bush's judicial nominations passed is wrong, but few will be able to see how that has anything to do with Nazi Germany. Byrd shouldn't be punished for comparing Republicans to Nazis. He should be razzed for being unpersuasive. Being an explicator of classics he should have stuck to those analogies.
"Robert Byrd: Behind the Times"
February Employment Numbers
I'm going to pick on Reuters and reporter Tim Ahmann a little bit. Here's the lead to a story on the release of February jobs numbers:
U.S. employers added 262,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain in four months, but the good news for workers was tempered by a rise in the jobless rate.
What could I possibly be criticizing this member of the MSM about? They assume the rise in the unemployment rate is a bad thing. Now, you probably just re-read that last sentence to make sure I really did write what I just wrote. You're probably yelling to your computer screen, "Sean, how can the rise in the unemployment rate be a good thing?" My answer, "It's all about context."
The unemployment rate is the percentage of workers actively seeking work divided by the emplyed workforce. There are times when the lots of people are finding work expanding the employed workforce. If the number of workers looking for jobs doesn't grow as fast the unemployment rate falls. There are also times when the number of workers looking for work grows faster than the employed workforce. When that happens the unemployment rate goes up.
From the February numbers it appears the number of job seekers are growing faster than the total number employed. That means many people who previously didn't think the economy as good enough to bother looking for work are now jobseeking. Why bother looking for a job if you think the economy stinks so much your effort will fail?
Jeannine Aversa for the AP better describes the economic situation:
America's employers added a sizable 262,000 jobs in February — the most in four months. The new hiring, however, wasn't sufficiently brisk to accommodate a wave of job seekers, and the overall unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent.
More people looking for work may be a sign of more confidence in the economy despite what the fall in the consumer confidence index also announced today. (Another possiblity is workers are seeking jobs now because they've depleated their savings.)
I'm not harshly criticizing Ahmann and Reuters because if you ask the man on the street if a rise in the unemployment rate is a good or bad thing most would say it was bad. Their gut instinct is that rising unemployment rate means more people out of work, and that's bad. But as the AP demonstrates superficial economics reporting doesn't have to be the norm.
For some other reaction Ken Jarboe gives us a breakdown of the unemployment numbers by general occupation.
"Job Gains Strong, But Jobless Rate Climbs"
Free(ze) the Cows
Glendale city busybodies rejected a local frozen custard stand's request to install 23 fiberglass cows behind their stand. Nearby property owners haven't complained yet Mayor Jay Hintze said, "My sense is that the bulk of the community would be against it."
"Custard's Last Stand: Kopp's Appeals Ban on Cow Art"
March 03, 2005
Should I Care?
Steve Fossett completed his solo flight around the world without refueling. Fine. Good for him. Should I care? Flying around the world without refueling is (literally) so 1986. Then there's Fossett's never-give-up attitude. You know if he would have failed in a few months he would have tried again. Then again, and again, and again until he either died or completed this challenge. So this accomplishment was inevitable. For that I give it a big "Ho hum."
"Fossett Completes Solo Jet Circumnavigation"
The FEC regulating webloggers? Commissioner Bradley Smith worries that may happen. I remember talking to Cam Edwards about this on his show when I was at CPAC. I thought the notion was absurd, and there was such an easy work-around. If the FEC decides to limit what webloggers and write about or link to I'll move TAM to a server outside the U.S. I'll then start using annonymizer services to connect to that server. Then I'll dare the FEC to lock me in jail for speaking my mind. I'll be like John Kerry and tell the FEC to "Bring...It...On!"
I will not be stopped engaging in free speech. Sens. McCain and Feingold and take their free speech restriction law and shove it up their asses. You won't take away my weblog or my voice unless you pry the keyboard out of my cold, dead hands.
This isn't a partisan issue. There are those on the Left who are concerned too.
"The Coming Crackdown on Blogging"
"Yet Another Reason to Never Vote for Feingold, McCain"
UPDATE: Erick at Redstate offers up an opposing view. There may be more nuance to this issue than Bradley Smith let on.
Feingold Loses Mother
My prayers are with Sen. Feingold and his family.
March 02, 2005
But What Nice Phones They Have
Based on Owen's experience he knows OIC was a bloated spendthrift that deserved to be shut down.
"OIC's Call Manager"
Ganging Up on Yglesias
[A]m I the only one who gets a warm, gleeful feeling at the thought of Bashar Assad having to give up his prized colony? At the thought of a two-bit dictator having to fold in the face of a fed-up, multi-religious, liberty-demanding people? At the thought of the Lebanese getting a chance to rebuild Beirut as the Paris of the Middle East, without some ham-handed, greedy, meddling dictator using their country as economic Viagra?
No, you're not the only one, Jim. Anything that give Assad sleepless nights is a good thing.
Yapping About Ward
By the way if you want to hear how I did, go to NRANews.com and drag the slider almost near the end. I'm the last guest on Cam's show.
Send this to Howard Dean, M.D.
With this "Open Letter to Democrats" we have a serious Democratic approach to national security. In one aspect, increasing the Army and Marines, these Democrats are moving to the right of the Bush administration. These Democrats understand knee-jerk anti-Bushism is bad policy and bad politics. Debating national security from the pro-force side is good for Democrats, Republicans who always need real competition, and the country.
The problem politically for these "Truman Democrats" is twofold. First, it is too close to the GOP's position. While not simply GOP-lite, the Democrats have no track record in recent memory for being for a strong defense. Whether this is true or not that's the public perception. Second, out of the twelve people who signed the letter I've only heard of Bob Kerrey. John Kerry, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, or Howard Dean aren't on the list. Why should anyone take this movement seriously when few have signed on?
[via Dean's World]
Bring Back Kim!
I don't care if 24 is conservative or liberal. It's still an awesome show. And I disagree with both Mr. L and Mr. C: bring back Kim for the eye candy alone. Season 4 is really good, but it needs some hot babes.
"24: Liberal or Conservative?"
Churchill Rally Photo Essay
The prayer vigil/rally/protest was organized at the campus mall. Across the street from the rally was a huge American flag.
About a half hour before the rally started there were only a handful of Churchill defenders. One of the women held a sign that read "I Love Men."
Another Churchillian (to steal Jib's word) had a bullhorn. He moved right up to the rally attendees and spewed Lefty cliches like "No blood for oil!" and "No blood for Halliburton!" These guys need to get some new material. He also carried a sign that read "They* Hate Our Freedom" meaning the "Rightwing."
Check out this gentleman.
He may hate capitalism, but ironically he sports mittens and a headband made via the capitalist system to keep him warm. When you have such a simplistic message on a sign complex thought is far from your mind.
Speaking of capitalism, a local coffee shop took advantage of a crowd in the cold by selling warm drinks.
And what would any protest be without the Socialists?
Surprisingly, I didn't hear any call to "Free Mumia."
The rally attendees were standing proud if occasionally looking strange. One man who garnered a lot of the reporters' attention was clear in his belief.
This woman had similar feeling to Ann Althouse and wished Churchill didn't get all the attention he was getting.
These folks weren't exactly clear as to why they disapproved of Churchill.
This gentleman decided to advocate anarcho-capitalism.
Charlie Sykes spoke.
As did State Rep. Stephen Nass.
And State Rep. Robin Vos.
Let's just say the two didn't inspire anyone. People were hyped up enough.
A voice who's absence spoke volumes was Gov. Jim Doyle's. Not even a condemnation of Churchill's hate has publically left his lips.
both remembered those who died at the hands of evil, Islamists.
And many will never forget the fallen.
UPDATE: The Journal Sentinel lets us know what happened at Churchill's speech. For being an event supposedly devoted to racism toward American Indians Churchill talked a lot about himself.
"Churchill Defends Sept. 11 Essay in Speech at UW-Whitewater"
Charlie Sykes notes the rudeness from Lefty Churchill backers:
When the minister tried to lead the crowd in prayer in memory of the dead -- they continued the shout down, and largely succeeded in drowning out the prayer.
Dean was also at the rally with pics and reaction.
BlogGeneral wonders why Churchill even bothers living in the U.S.
UPDATE II: Ann Althouse finds Churchill "boring." That I completely agree with. I didn't get to see his speech/ego stroking live, but I didn't miss anything. He's merely an angry man with a schtick who's moment of fame is fading. It was most fascinating seeing his defenders act. It was a far-Left fringe--not where approaching mainstream Democrats--that couldn't or wouldn't denounce what he said.
March 01, 2005
Jib's Churchill Coverage
I may have beaten Jib to the punch with my initial report, but he's beaten me with some pictures. My delay is because of the Badgers-Hoosiers game and software problems. I've been having trouble using Audacity to import the recording I made. (First time I've really played with audio software.) It also didn't help that I had to drive 1 1/2 hours home from Whitewater.
Tonight is cold, very cold. Almost as cold as Ward Churchill's heart. Almost as cold as Churchill's supporters who had the gall to chant during a prayer to Sep. 11 victims and their families. Fortunately, that was the worst of the behavior. Sure there were plenty of in-your-face discussions, heated at times, but they were peaceful. People were passionate about Churchill's hate speech while others were passionate in defending his right to speak--which no one has questioned--as well as his radical ideas. There was the obligatory Halliburton chant--a Leftist rally wouldn't be the same without one. Socialists and anarchist anti-capitalists joined in the fun. Neocons were blamed for starting a "war for oil." Funny, there was no mention of Karl Rove.
Twenty to thirty College Republicans started the protest by holding signs along the street remembering Sep. 11 victims. A half block down was Churchill's defenders--all twelve of them. These didn't seem like the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. One held a sign that read "I Love Men." I didn't ask her what that had to do with free speech, anti-American hate, or Ward Churchill. It was Merry Prankster-ish.
For a prayer vigil this was the peppiest I ever attended. It was more of an act of defiance toward Churchill and the UW-Whitewater administration. There were cheers when Charlie Sykes and the other speakers pointed out Churchill's hateful rantings. There was a plan to walk silently to the University Center where Churchill would speak, but the College Republican who was to lead us got the crowd all riled up by having us thank everyone who put the event together. Solemnity gave way to passionate indignation.
On a techie note: thanks to Jib for letting me use his computer. I'm having no trouble posting with UW-Whitewater's wi-fi. I'm glad to know some of my tax dollars are going to something productive. I have pictures and recorded some conversations. I'll try to post those later tonight.
Whitewater Prayer Vigil
Countering the hate that will be spewed by Ward Churchill the UW-Whitewater College Republicans will be hosting a prayer vigil. Speaking there will be Charlie Sykes.
Jib and I will be there to cover the event. Expect something later in the evening. Neither Jib nor I know if we'll be able to find an available wi-fi connection in Whitewater.
"Ward Churchill, UW-Whitewater Preview"
We live in startling times. Out of the horror of the Sep. 11 attacks we are seeing profound changes in the Middle East. Elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Lebanese want Syria out of their country, and real Egyptian elections signal something historic. Lebanese leader Walid Jumblatt describes this moment:
It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.
Matthew Yglesias wraps his knee-jerk anti-Bushism in realist, almost conservative paper. On the Lebanese wanting to kick out Syria he writes,
[N]ear as I can tell, there's no really clear sense in which the Syrian sphere of influence in Lebanon is bad for the United States of America.
Syria isn't good for the region, for freedom, or for Israel's safety. Syria leaving Lebanon lessens their influence on the region. There's also evidence, I'm sure Matthew has examined, that democracy reduces war. Syria leaving Lebanon both weakens her and gives Lebanon the ability to strengthen her democracy.
But declaring this good news as good for the U.S. would only bolster the President's vision of freedom advancement in the nation's interest. Saying Bush's vision is correct would be too much to ask.
"Lebanon Second Thoughts"