Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bits and Bytes in Sheboygan.

Greetings All,

I am in Sheboygan hanging out with friends. We found a hotspot in the hotel and one of my friends has left me with his laptop. The room we are in is real big and it is nice with a great view, I would like to see a nice storm over Lake Michigan but it is just going to drizzle on us.

Met with Kevin Binversie from Lakeshore Laments at a bar in town and watched some baseball and NFL draft action.

AJ Hawke is going to be a fine addition to the Packer's roster. I was hoping it was going to be him and it was.

The Blue Harbor is nice apparently Tiger Woods stayed in the suite we are in and so too did John Gard in the last GOP convention.

The Brewers spanked the Cubs 16-2 and I saw the start of the beating. Two homers in the first against former Brewer Glendon Rusch. Too bad they couldn't bank some of those runs for another day.

Other than that I have little to say. Time to get back to the room.


Thursday, April 27, 2006


You know who is gouging? Home builders and home building sub contractors. I demand a windfall profit tax and the government take those taxes and give them to the Empress and myself! I think about $250,000 or so would settle it! GOUGERS!

Ridiculous? Yes it is just like all the other whines of gouging.

Terror Threats and Campaigns.

A little squabble has erupted between JB Van Hollen and Paul Bucher over JV Van Hollen's comments he knows there are terrorists out and about in Wisconsin and he intends to go after them.

The response in general has been to ask Mr. Van Hollen to tell us what he knows. Some people are comparing this to Russ Feindgold's statements about President Bush targeting his political opponents for survellance, which in turn has been compared to Joe McCarthy's list of communists.

Instead of complaining and whining about the terror statement, why doesn't the Bucher campaign instead talk about terrorism and what they plan to do about it? As James Wigderson (linked to above) points out, there is domestic grown terrorism about the state, and I would not be shocked if there were international type of terrorism.

I am still not committed to one candidate or the other but one campaign seems to be prone to whining at the smallest provocations and that, IMO, reflects poorly on that campaign and that candidate.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To Be Fair.

Paul Bucher is also a worthy candidate who will target bad people instead of the nation's largest producers of cranberries.

I have not made up my mind on whom I am supporting for AG. Needless to say, it's obvious whom I am not supporting.

It's just JB's campaign came out with a statement about terrorism in Wisconsin. Of course JB is probably unable to provide details. In fact one person I know made a very general comment to me about terror threats in Wisconsin. All I know is WI does receive threats from time to time. Of course, this is as revelatory as being told bears use the woods as a lavatory.

So until a candidate is chosen the candidate that give me better fodder targeting the Attorney General will get the premium plug o da day. Today was JB's day.

Whom Shall We Prosecute?

Who targets cranberry growers?
Who shall the Wisconsin Attorney general go after and prosecute? Click on the image you think the WI AG should go after and who targets who.

Who wants to target jihadists?

The Evil Empire

Aka The Atlanta Braves get swept out of Milwaukee! The Braves are owned by Ted Turner and that makes them the Evil Empire. Well, the Brewers defeated them in three straight. Cool!

I heard the NL Central is about the toughest division in MLB. In most other divisions the Brewers would be first or second.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Gander is Getting Goosed.

I have blogged on gas before and will continue to do so. Cox and Forkum illustrate exactly what is going on. People expect their employers to give them as big of salaries as possible but then demand the absolute minimum when paying out.

The lefties are often caught on this petard. Demanding industries not "gouge" the customer but then turning around and demanding high salaries for their employees. An example of this is their chant of the high cost of low prices.

The left does have a point when they claim there is a cost not reflected in low priced gas. Of course, as soon as gas prices go up (the best incentive for conservation) they change their tune and scream about how high prices hurt the average Joe.

Are gold dealers gouging us? Gold prices have risen markedly of late. One last thing, if you valued your house at $180,000 and five people wanted to buy the house, what happens? The money you get for your house goes up, does this make you a gouger?

Back In My Room.

And all settled down.

It seems weird not being on the cutting edge of the news and happenings. I bet my RSS aggregator has 1000+ entries awaiting for me to read. I guess most of us know those 1000s of items will get underlooked.

Anyway the only fresh commentary I have to offer is Brewer comment again. Dang, wasn't that nice tonight. The Empress always pines for the homerun, but I want to see small ball and manufactured runs. It was sheer beauty with that run that Carlos Lee scored tonight. We'll see about how they field.

A buddy of mine once said if one shakes the baseball tree they get 100 talented fielders. Of those 100 perhaps 10 of them can hit, and 1 or two can pitch. I wonder which tree the Brewers have been shaking?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hmmm, I Don't Think So.

Flicking through the channels here in the Mad town I came across classical music videos. The video that most caught my attention did not catch it by visual but by the audio. It was the coffee cantata which was a very catchy piece. However, the video was cheesy to say the least.

Streams of roasted beans falling and any coffee beverages, were of course not coffee but "capacinos". I suspect in JS Bach's time coffee was mostly served black. The reason for live classical music is not to see it but to fully hear it. Live classical music is a special treat because there is so much sound recording and playback can not capture.

The Boozers

Well the Brewers are returning to form. The pitching is there tonight and the Crew has been hitting a bit (enough) but the fielding is giving The Evil Empire extra outs. Pitiful, it looks like the Keystone Cops, we'll call 'em the Keystone Fielders.


I had a down weekend. Its because I started another assignment in Madison, this time the location is on the Southwest side which places it another half-hour (at least) from home. So, I stay in town. I was not and am not particularly keen on this. The fact the Empress does not drive makes it tougher, so she had to take a cab to work and the bus back from work (or get a lift from someone else, but to work is tough).

However, last night while getting some dinner I noted a friend's husband was assigned to Philadelphia, another friend just said goodbye to her son who is in Mississippi training for duty in–Iraq. When it comes right down to it, Madison isn't that bad.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Titles of Classical Pieces.

The titles of classical pieces confound most people. Allegro in A major. Wait a minute, that Allegro title comes up an awful lot. Hey, so too does adagio, andante etc. What does it mean? There is always that penguin reference, too. What? Penguin? Yeah, OPUS, you know as in Bloom County's Opus Penguin. That egbdf and face minor major stuff too. Why can't they name them the songs sensibly for example The New Potato Caboose?

Hehehe. Well, for most classical music pieces the titles are descriptive. For example let us look at the following title: Violin Concerto in D major by Johannes Brahms, his opus 77 The first portion is Violin Concerto, a concerto is a piece of music that divides the orchestra into (usually) two parts. In this case it is a violin and the rest of the orchestra.

The violin in this case is the solo instrument and is usually played by an accomplished violinist. The piece plays out where the orchestra and the violin are playing against each other and off of each other. At times the violin will be the focus of attention, at other times the orchestra dominates the sound. Often times the solo instrumentalist is expected to improvise during their solos. We will again look at tempos as tempos also figure big in various titles. Also, we will have further blogs that explain the various musical forms in more detail.

The next piece of the title puzzle is in D major. This is something I am not too clear on but understand it to give the piece's key note. If I understand correctly the piece (referred to above) is designed around the D major note and the piece usually starts and ends in that key. When the piece progresses it rises above and below the home key and when it leaves the home key a tension is developed. Sometimes the major is replaced with a minor. Major pieces usually impart a happy mood and minor pieces impart a grim mood.

The last part is the opus 77. Opus is a sequence number of the piece's work in the author's complete set of works. So in this case, this piece is the 77th written by Johannes Brahms. Certain composers have their own catalogs. Such as WA Mozart and JS Bach. WA Mozart's catalog is referred to as The Köchel Catalogue, so instead of saying WA Mozart's opus 525 we would say WA Mozart's KV 525 (which is a piece most people would be familiar with). In the same vein, JS Bach has his own catalog and any piece prefixed with BWV is one of JS Bach's.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Yet another lefty doesn't understand what it means to be President. They scratch their heads that Mary McCarthy is fired for leaking and whine about so-called "leaks" from the President.

I suppose like my boilerplate complaint earlier today this has been said hundreds of times before and will be said a hundreds times again henceforth, but I must.

The President is the chief executive officer, he is ultimately in charge of the CIA and as such can dictate as to what is classified and what is not. Mary McCarthy as an employee of the CIA does not have the same level of authority the president does. It really is that simple.

To sit there and whine about Mary getting fired for "speaking truth to power" or whatever other hoary cliche you want to roll out does not change the fact. Mary broke her agreement not to divulge the information she was privy to and she is out of her job for it. Don't worry about Mary, she will hit the speaking circuit and earn $15,000 + expenses for her speeches (at least when she is out of prison). If Mary feels strongly enough what she did was right, well then pay that price, bear that burden.

Wisconsin's 6th Assembly District.

I just met a candidate running to replace John Ainsworth in Wisconsin's 6th Assembly District.

His name is Gary Tauchen and he is a very worthy candidate to replace Mr. Ainsworth. I met him at a dinner party here in Appleton and he was talking about being at a fundraiser for Steve Wiecket I then mentioned my stop at a RPW cocktail party here in town before their executive committee meeting (yeah, it was a bit of upsmanship, but it seemed to be a good icebreaker).

As it turns out and is somewhat often the case Mr. Tauchen and myself have a number of personal connections that we never knew we had.

Anyway, the 6th District has some area in Outagamie County so this is relevant to my party affiliation.

Mirror rorriM

I picked up on Ann Althouse's submission to the Bloggership Conference. What struck me was her comment how she likes the new material being piled on top as opposed to being tacked on to the bottom.

I love the simple, time-stamped structure of the blog, with each new item posted at the top. How seductive! How like life itself. In life, you can't skip backwards and forwards in time. You can only live in the present. A blog is like living, living in writing. What fun!
Source: Why a Narrowly Defined Legal Scholarship Blog Is Not What I Want: An Argument in Pseudo-Blog Form - By Ann Althouse and presented by the Social Science Research Network
However, on her site and most throughout the blogosphere comments are posted with the newest comment at the bottom instead of the top. I am proud to say here at Blogger Beer we have the freshest comments at the top as well as the fresh blogs at the top.

This has caused confusion. In my nastiest comments exchange to date I was duking it out with some leftists who were anticipating Fitzmas last fall was going to have at deliver at least a dozen indictments under their Fitzmas Tree. I was fighting a lonely battle then one of my regular readers joined battle and left a response and the fact I have new comments on top threw him for a loop. None the less the help was appreciated and it makes not a difference to me, I don't always comment on the last comment posted.

I Am Tired of this Boilerplate.

If <insert leftist here> said <insert racially loaded remark here> this about <insert conservative minority here> there would be an uproar like you wouldn't believe.

Well, I don't dispute the truth of it, but isn't so much a statement of fact anymore than it is a whine. Repeating it again will not convince anymore leftists than the first 1,287,891 repetitions did.

Yes, I am guilty of dragging out that whine here in the past and I swear to you Blogger Beer reader I will not do it again.

Stop it!

Can We Say I-N-C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-T?

In the extreme actually.

Who you ask? Well, the New York Times. Not too long ago with respect to the Plame Game and Patrick Fitzgerald's mess ups the President's Administration asserted as the top executive officer the President has the final say in what is classified and what is not. So, for instance if the President decides to declassify and release a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) he is well within his powers to do so. In fact, this is exactly what happened with respect to the dust-up with Joe Wilson (and Valerie Plame and Scooter Libby et al). The NIE had certain pieces of information and then it was released to rebut Mr. Wilson.

Well, the NYT editorialized shortly after the claim it was not within Presidential Powers to declassify documents. Well now what is the New York Times saying?
"Others said it was possible that Ms. McCarthy, who began attending law school at night several years ago and had announced her intention to retire from the C.I.A., had grown disenchanted with the methods that the Bush administration used for handling Al Qaeda prisoners since the September 2001 terror attacks and felt she had no alternative except to go to the press."
Source: Chicken Hawk Express - Leaker Updates and Liberal Excuses
Hmmm, sounds like the rule the NYT wants to follow is lawful leaks that help the Bush Administration are bad and illegal leaks that hurt the Bush Administration and its prosecution of the War on Terror are good. Does all of this make sense to you? The President can not declassify documents but minor lackeys in the CIA can do so for whatever reason?

So sorry for you NYT, your whimsy fiat is not law.

Can I Stand It?

Cinque... dieci.... venti... trenta... trentasei...quarantatre

Oh how terrible! I just brought up Real Player 10 and am listening to a performance of Le Nozze Di Figaro, it is still in the first act of the opera. In fact, Susana is informing Figaro of the reasons the count gave them such a prime room, not too far from the Count's suite. Hehehehe.

The overture for this opera is remarkably like any other you have heard. Without knowing it was a live performance I would assume (by the overture) the opera was the same recording I have, but once the overture was over you could tell by the applause of the audience and the vocals clearly give it away.

What? You don't like classical music in general and opera specifically? Give it a try, I should post some pieces that the average person typically likes if they listen. Also, Mozart's operas (with one or two exceptions) are comic and have a lot of catchy tunes and arias (pieces sung by characters).

Mary McCarthy and Al-Shifa.

Al-Shifa you may recall is the pharmaceutical/chemical plant bombed during the Clinton Administration in retaliation, IIRC, for the East African embassy bombings. I am not and never have been convinced of The Sudan's plea the plant was nice and harmless, that is I support President Clinton's selection of that place as a target. My only concern was Is that all?

Anyway, Powerline Blog passes on that Mary McCarthy was a player in the internal debate about Al-Shifa. As it turns out, Mary was not convinced that Al-Shifa represented a collaboration of Saddam's Iraq and Al-Qaeda. However, she did come around to that view.
The report of the 9/11 Commission notes that the National Security staff reviewed the intelligence in April 2000 and concluded that the CIA's assessment of its intelligence on bin Laden and al-Shifa had been valid; the memo to Clinton on this was cosigned by Richard Clarke and Mary McCarthy, the NSC senior director for intelligence programs, who opposed the bombing of al-Shifa in 1998. The report also notes that in their testimony before the commission, Al Gore, Sandy Berger, George Tenet, and Richard Clarke all stood by the decision to bomb al-Shifa.

Now, of course, Clarke and Benjamin argue that: (a) the decision to strike al-Shifa was justified because (b) the intelligence connecting Iraqi chemical weapons experts to al Qaeda's chemical weapons efforts was sound, but (c) this doesn't mean that Iraq and al Qaeda had a significant relationship because (d) somehow this collaboration occurred without either party realizing that it was working with the other! Sound bizarre? It is.
Source: THOMAS JOSCELYN - The Leaker & Al-Shifa
So, what is it? Saddam and Al-Qaeda had connection when President Clinton was in office and then discontinued those relations after January of 2001? Or were they never connected?

A CIA Employee's Downfall.

It is well known now that someone who used to be a fairly high level CIA Employee is now an ex-CIA employee. The employee is reported to be Mary McCarthy. However, I am not at all certain this has been reliably confirmed but I put a fair amount of faith in it as I have yet to hear a contrary report.

The buzz about the blogosphere is she may have been targeted and given some misinformation. She then turned around and leaked that misinformation and was thus tagged as a leaker. I am not so certain about this, but recent report suggesting the EU can not find anything to back up the story she leaked points in that direction. It also may be the USA and the EU had some discussions about the underlying situation and the EU backed off of its tough talk. The funny thing is a Pulitzer Prize may have been awarded on the basis of a bogus story, well it wouldn't be the first time the press has given itself awards in reporting for reporting fiction.

Anyway, at the time the story broke Byron York reported:
In Europe, the reaction [to the Post story] was immediate and intense. The EU said it would launch a probe of both Poland, which is an EU member, and Romania, which hopes to become one. Both countries might be punished if the story were true, EU officials said. Romania denied the whole thing, sort of; in a statement that perhaps sounded more definitive than it was, Romania's premier said, "I repeat: We do not have CIA bases in Romania." In Poland, the new government -- it had been in office for just a few weeks and had played no role in whatever had happened before -- also issued a denial.
But, at least in Poland, the story caused enormous anger and unhappiness behind the scenes. In an interview with National Review, one source with knowledge of the Polish government's dilemma would not address the facts of the story, but called the damage "horrific." The source cited two reasons. First, the Polish government believes that it is now, as a result of the Post story, on al-Qaeda's hit list, setting off fears that Warsaw or Krakow could follow Madrid and London as European terrorist targets. And second, the leak shook the pro-American Polish government's faith in the United States. Poland has been a loyal ally of the U.S., sending troops to Iraq and keeping them there when others withdrew. That decision has been costly not only in lives -- 17 Poles have died in Iraq -- but also in terms of Poland's relations with largely anti-U.S. European governments. And now Poland worries about whether it can trust its most powerful ally. "The next time we are asked to do an operation in common, we will always think twice about your intelligence community's ability to keep a secret," the source said.
Source: National Review Online - THE LEAK -- AND THE DAMAGE DONE (The Corner-Byron York)
That is, the damage done by the leak was true. Now it could very well be a false story of this nature can still cause damage, but I hardly believe the CIA would create such a story just to catch a leaker. If the story was just a setup contrived to catch the leaker than there had better be more behind the scenes, because while the story may be false the damage is real.

One last observation. I would guess the story would have to be sufficiently damaging to entice the leaker. For instance, letting a false story about how the CIA's official breakfast cereal of choice is Coco-Puffs would hardly be the stuff of leaks. In the end though I am not convinced this is a case of a leak plugging operation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Like Digging Up Tax Records?

Charlie Sykes summarizes the Feindgold ad that is causing a stir:
The line that jumps out is when the Rove character urges the president to ignore the constitution and begin wiretapping people, including eavesdropping on "anybody who has the nerve to disagree with you."

This is a serious charge, because it is one thing to listen in on suspected terrorists, and another to targetting [sic] a citizen who disagrees with the president.

Can Feingold name a single instance where the president has wiretapped a political opponent? A single name? What is the basis for his charge? Any evidence at all? Or is this the left-wing equivalent of Joe McCarthy saying he has a list of "known communists."
Source: Charlie Sykes Writes - MOONBAT OR McCARTHY?
Senator Feindgold, would that be like someone who digs up a political opponent's confidential credit information or is it more like a President who obtains an "...improper collection of some 900 Republican FBI files." Is that what you mean?

Can the Senator name any political opponent who has been wiretapped? Wow, it seems Senator Feindgold is following in the footsteps of another Wisconsin Senator–Joe McCarthy and his famous list.


Gas prices are on the rise. It is annoying as all heck! Not, the rise in gas prices the rise in the volume of the crying, the complaining, and the whining about rising gas prices.

Yeah, rising gas prices stinks I would rather have gas at a 10 cents/gallon than $3.50/gallon but that is life. We have no right to gasoline we have to bid for it and those who value it most will find ways to afford it or to use less of it.

Don't "gas n go" or "gas n grouch". Last summer I saw stickers at gas station cashier stands telling customers not to complain about the prices to the cashier, like they are the ones who dictate the gasoline prices. Idiots (the people who kvetch at the cashiers, not the cashiers).

What can you do? Plan your trips out better, buy a more fuel efficient car, keep your car in tune, make sure the tires are inflated to proper levels, accelerate and brake less (i.e. usually you know when you have to stop, instead of racing to the stop sign coast farther) etc.

Here We Go Again.

Apparently Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury is meeting from time to time, in fact they met this morning. What does that mean? It means the moonbats are getting all atwitter about the possibility of more indictments of Bush Administration officials.

Now, again I caution both pro and anti indictment folks to hold onto their expectations over this we don't know what the grand jury sees and does not see despite what the likes of Lawrence O'Donnell and Al Franken (their sources were so wrong before) says. However, it appears the left is once again is winding itself up again. I just read a blog pointed out Pajamas and the blogger and the commentators start off by assuming guilt.

Hearken back to last fall and the Cox and Forkum cartoon with the donkey under the "Fitzmas" tree braying how it wanted an "Indicted Rove" doll instead of the "Indicted Libby" doll. They are still braying. In fact, I think what is happening one lefty blogger states he thinks X is true and the next one misses the "thinks" and goes with X as a fact and so on. I think the left wants this so bad they often blur fact with their desires. Kinda like the guy who while lined up to buy the lottery ticket is already planning a budget with his winnings. It seems so real.

Who Was Heckled?


Yeah, who was heckled?

Hahahahahaha, yeah I know it was done before, but I couldn't resist.

Freedom of the Blogs?

A California court in San Jose on Thursday is scheduled to hear a case brought by Apple Computer that eventually could answer an unsettled legal question: Should online journalists receive the same rights as traditional reporters?

Apple claims they should not. Its lawyers say in court documents that Web scribes are not "legitimate members of the press" when they reveal details about forthcoming products that the company would prefer to keep confidential.

"Unlike the whistleblower who discloses a health, safety or welfare hazard affecting all, or the government employee who reveals mismanagement or worse by our public officials, (the Macintosh news sites) are doing nothing more than feeding the public's insatiable desire for information," Kleinberg wrote at the time.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the Apple news site, is hoping the appeals court will pull the plug on a subpoena that could yield details about who leaked information about a FireWire audio interface for GarageBand that has been codenamed "Asteroid." The subpoena is on hold during the appeal.

"The California Court of Appeals has a long history of protecting freedom of the press," Kurt Opsahl, an EFF staff attorney who is arguing the case, said on Wednesday. "We're hopeful they'll continue to do so."
Source: ZDNet Asia - Apple pushes to unmask product leaker (Declan McCullagh, CNET
What a case this is. First, I have seen nothing indicating the blogger is being prosecuted, just being asked to cough up his source. The blogger is hiding behind secrecy of source arguments which is a bad position to be in, especially in this case.

Freedom of the press is about publishing what you want, not about finding it out. If you find out about it you can publish it and not be prosecuted by the government for such publication.

The other tack on this is whistleblower protection. Puhleaze! If it was disclosed Apple was going to dump arsenic into a batch of Puppy Chow then I have sympathy for a whistleblower argument, but this is no such thing. In fact, Apple could make the case this is a industrial espionage and should be treated as such.

Apple has something it considers a trade secret and it does look like that is what it was. Dude at Apple, for whatever reason wants it to get out (perhaps dude wanted it out because he shorted Apple Stock, perhaps he is long on Apple's competitors, his boss told him to work instead of surfing the web who knows, or perhaps it was inadvertently spilled over beers) and leaks the information to a blogger the blogger than publishes the trade secret.

This is not a freedom of the press issue. However, any ruling that casts bloggers and blogging in a different light than the press would be bad and constitutionally incorrect. I do not recall reading in the constitution as to what constitutes the proper press and what does not.

Bill Richardson's Position on Cock-Fighting.

HT The Drudge Report.

Apparently New Mexico is one of the few states that still allow cockfighting. I know there are a few, and I do believe California to be one of those, yes I believe that would be highly ironic. IIRC Louisiana still allows it and Texas might as well.

As you may know I have witnessed (a previous blog had a narration and pictures) such events while overseas and have little problem with it. Bill Richardson doesn't know which way to jump on the topic:
Organ animal rights activist Bob Young told Richardson he was "disappointed" that the governor has not shown more support for legislation to ban cock fighting. New Mexico is one of the few states that has not banned cock fighting.

"I have not made up my mind on that," Richardson said.

The governor added the arguments for and against cock fighting have been strong on both sides. For the Legislature to be able to fully consider the issue it would need to be conducted during a 60-day session -- which is scheduled next year, from Jan. 16 until March 17.

"The issue is controversial and probably draws more people to the Legislature than a lot of other issues," Richardson said.
Source: La Cruces Sun News - Richardson conducts meeting
Recall Bill Richardson was a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet and is currently the governor of New Mexico.

Well, there it is.

Who Controls the Military Part x.

I was hoping to move beyond this but I have seen results of a survey about who should control the military. Not good.

The results said a majority of Americans believe the military should be controlled by a military man. The six generals are really doing a heck of a job, don't you think? I wonder if their accomplices in the MSM realize what they are doing?

Day by Day.

Is spot on today. (see April 21, 2006's edition)

In it there is a little (fictional) exchange between HowDea and one of his minions about how all the armor soldiers now must wear makes them less mobile. HowDea (again fictional) looks at a picture and notes how the soldier in the picture looks like the brother of Ralph (i.e. Randy) from the movie A Christmas Story. Armor has a cost to it, and I am not talking monetary (it has that but there are other considerations aside from dollars). That cost is mobility. Now, the mobility cost of armor has come down recently with technology but the cost is not zero.

What is best? Armor or mobility? That is a huge topic and as such is not easily answered and usually the answer depends on the situation. But the assumption I am fighting here is that armor is the ultimate answer is silly. You can up-armor something ad-infinitum but the enemy can always up-explosive as well. The more armor you have the less mobile you are and the easier target you become allowing the bad guys time to aim more precisely.

It Appears

That Ibrahim Jaafari has taken my advice! Hahahahha!

Of course he didn't, but the good news is he is ending his bid to continue as Iraqi Prime Minister. So, it would appear from multiple stories over the blogosphere, Captain's Quarters and Wretchard are reporting thusly.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ang Balita.

A couple of stories worthy of note.

The first from the The Philippine Weekly (Year 22, Issue No 03 April 14, 2006). On page 58 there is a story where Capt. Geardo Gambala one of the leaders of the failed 2003 Oakwood mutiny testifies the NPA approached them about an allegiance to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I am skeptical of it, the left and right are not coordinating at all if they did then the confrontation at Fort Bonafacio a couple of months ago would have been bigger.

Another weekly reports on developments in the Leandro Aragoncillo spy case. Recall the Philippino ex-Marine who while working for the FBI leaked classified dirt to deposed President Estrada of the Philippines (aka Erap). Estrada was given notice by the court in which this case is being prosecuted that phone calls between him and Aragoncillo were tapped and recorded. I do recall the story noting no charges against Erap are being considered. I bet PGMA is hoping charges do arise soon.

Angry Rush?

He's not, in other words, the right's answer to Ward Churchill: someone no one had ever heard of until liberals started inveighing against him. If 'mainstream conservatism' means 'popular with enough conservatives that you can't call him a member of a 'fringe' with a straight face', then he, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh are mainstream conservatives.
Source: Obsidian Wings - Remember: It's The Left That's Angry...
Say what? Rush Limbaugh is being trotted out as an angry man? Wow, that is a stretch and I would like to check out what Hilzoy considers angry, sad, happy, optimistic, etc I have this notion they are contorted and confused.

I agree fully with Hilzoy Michael Savage is angry nearly all of the time (and time after time it is clear he lets the anger control him). Ann Coulter is not constantly angry but I can see why someone would characterize Ann that way. But Rush? Quite obviously Hilzoy is working off of the old angry white guys as conservative voter theme from the 90s. Perhaps he is mistaking the anger he feels towards Rush when he listens to Rush as Rush's anger.

Now more general commentary about anger. Anger is one of our emotions and it is important. Few emotions motivate as much as righteous anger. The trick is to control the anger by channeling it into proper outlets. I see a lot more on the left improperly channeling that anger, in fact, it appears the anger controls them and not the other way around.

I wonder what the records indicate. While I am not claiming the right is free of angry nutters I don't recall hearing about calls for violence against the President Clinton in the amount I hear them with respect to President Bush. It is nothing to find them or hear them, in fact during the GOP convention in NYC there were plays being actively advertised that acted that scenario out. I went to a blog based in the UAE and the writer essentially was pining for an assassination.

I bet the signs at a protest run by conservatives and those by leftists are radically different too. I bet the number of words one tries to keep their children from learning are much more predominant on leftist signs than conservative signs.

The Bourgeois Press

The Bourgeois press is a famous fallback position for those like Fidel Castro. Fidel when accused of running a government monopoly on the media often uses the concept of the bourgeois press to attack press freedom.

He says the press in the USA has all the freedom it wants but unless you own a press that freedom is meaningless. Blogs seem at first glance to have broken that barrier, but have they really?

I have a publication system here with virtually unlimited distribution possibilities. That is, I have a system with Blogger Beer that tops what traditional print media can do. However, someone (a blog critic recently points this out) notes that the biggest bloggers tend to come from traditional media, that it is those who write well who dominate the media. No dispute with the writing well part of it, but do all the bigs come from traditional media fields?

No they do not. Glenn Reynolds was not a journalist or chiefly a writer prior to his blog. Kos, Wretchard, Bill Roggio, Michael Yon and Charles Johnson also were not from the traditional media. Yes, you have to write well and have something to say but you don't have to be one of the hallowed of journalism to have a good blog.

So, no matter how big of a distribution channel you have good writing and having something to say still counts. The difference between then and now is internet publishing is so cheap, you don't have to write well to get published on it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gasoline from Crude Petroleum.

I have seen estimates that range from very little (THugo's oil is considered to be a poor gas producer with a yield of about 5 gallons to a barrel) to a fair amount. An oil barrel is 42 gallons and one rough percentage of gasoline I have seen is 30% this is 12.6 gallons/barrel and another says about 19.5 gallons/barrel (46%). Of course, it is hard to come up with an exact number since the amount of gasoline coming from the crude depends on the crude itself as well as the exact refining processes used.

So, the price per barrel is at about $70/barrel. This means the cost of the gasoline is around $1.67 gallon. Of course, this assumes the entire $70 goes to obtain the gasoline and nothing else. This does not account for the actual costs of refining, transportation, and distribution to market. Of course, this doesn't include the taxes!

Here in Wisconsin we pay 49.5 cents/gallon (fourth highest in the nation) so for those of us in WI we are looking at 2.165. This leaves about 68 cents/gallon (current gas goes for $2.85/gallon up here) for profit (yes, businesses are in business to make a profit), transportation, refining, and distribution. I can not see or believe any of those are very cheap (except for the profit part) as the transportation, refining, and distribution all require–energy to carry out. Of course, you have at least two layers of middlemen in the process taking their cut.

Ahmednuttyjihad Says

Oil prices are not high enough.
``The global oil price has not reached its real value yet. The products derived from crude oil are sold at prices dozens of times higher than those charged by oil-producing countries,'' the report quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
Source: Guardian Unlimited via The Philippine Times - Iran: Oil Prices Still Below Real Value
This would be an interesting exercise. How much profit is derived from the average barrel of oil. Rush Limbaugh picked up a similar exercise from another blog and the cost of extracting one gallon of gasoline is about $.42 but when all other factors are counted in the price of a gallon of gasoline comes very close to what it is currently.

So, what President Ahmednuttyjihad of Iran is saying you don't pay enough at the gasoline pumps. Of course, he also has to realize what happens when the price of a good goes up demand is suppressed.

Of course, oil is the source for many of the chemicals in our lives. Pharmaceuticals, plastics, lubricants, etc.

The Wonders of Internet Multi-Media!

Are being discovered by myself after my Slackware upgrade. As I write this blog Beethoven's Eroica Symphony (his 3rd) is playing on my system. It is being streamed from WCPE a radio station from North Carolina! Very cool, just before I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on KFI This is a real boon to me as I can be working at my workstation, and the Empress can be at home listening to what she wants (the only talk radio she really likes is Sean Hannity and I suspect there is a visual aspect to that) usually music of her choice.

The LAN and WAN lights on my bridge are flashing flashing quite a bit.

The only problem is my workstation is set up to make noises on certain system events. Needless to say this does cut into the enjoyment of the music a bit.

A New Blog on the Blogroll.

Welcome to Uncle Jim's Military Matters blog run by—Madison dot com! Uncle Jim also co-blogs on Blackfive one of the biggest Mil-Blogs out there.

I should have done this a long time ago!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

General Rules about Generals.

The role of generals and the military in general as it relates to shaping policy rages unabated in the blogosphere.

Most bloggers and commentators recognize the military is attempting to shape policy and foist its views on how things should be done. However, most are now only seeing a little sliver of how the military works to influence national policy with the recent outburst of criticism aimed at the President by the six generals.

Chester just published a piece on the topic and he starts it off by stating
The public denunciation of a sitting Secretary of Defense by several now-retired Generals is a profoundly disturbing affair. It would be equally disturbing were the Secretary a member of a Democratic administration. It would be no less disturbing were the generals advocating more aggression in our foreign policy, opposed to a Secretary who was more dovish -- the seeming opposite of the case we are confronted with today.
Source: The Adventures of Chester - Dear Generals: Please Stop, Immediately
A very needed pronouncement, because I would not blame the left for knee-jerkingly believing we were cheering the military generals on when they resisted President Clinton.

Resist President Clinton they did. A couple of instances of that before we move on. First and most publicly obvious was the don't ask, don't tell fiasco. Recall President Clinton tried to change the military policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving in the Armed Forces. President Clinton and his administration attempted to change that policy to allow open homosexuals serve in the military. That was decision was greeted with extreme resistance (an article I read also accuses President Clinton of not adequately consulting with the military prior to the order) and eventually the military establishment forced their Commander in Chief to back down! Now, whatever one thinks of the overt issue at hand it is quite contrary to the Constitution what happened, the military was able to override the Commander in Chief.

Poisonous is a very apt way to describe the relation between the Clinton Administration and the military.
While open conflict soon dropped from public sight [after the don't ask don't tell fiasco], bitterness hardened into a visceral hatred that became part of the culture of many parts of the military establishment, kept alive by a continuous stream of incidents and controversies. These included, to cite but a few: the undermining and driving from office of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin in 1993, followed by the humiliating withdrawal of his nominated replacement; controversies over the retirements of at least six four-star flag officers, including the early retirement of an Air Force chief of staff (an unprecedented occurrence); and the tragic suicide of a Chief of Naval Operations (also unprecedented).
Source: THE EROSION OF CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY - by Dr. Richard H. Kohn published in the Naval War College Review Pages 1-11
So, if you are a person of the left cheering on the current insubordinate generals you had better be careful what you wish for.


Gas prices are on the rise again. I heard one of our Democrat state assemblymen up here in the Fox Valley saying he had a bill to get tough on gas gouging. Does this mean he is going to call for lower gas taxes?

It is widely reported the percent profit most gas stations make on their gasoline is 10%. So for every $1.00 of gas sold a gas station earns about $0.10 of profit. So right now they would make about 30 cents/gallon. Last night a local gas station earned about $3.40 to $3.75 on myself (or so).

I bet the government of Wisconsin earned more money than that, the federal government too. What is worse is the governments are not taking on any risk there. They get the cherries and none of the raspberries.

Yes, I too want to go after the government for its gas gouging! However, I don't think this is what the assemblyman anonymously referred to was talking about.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Brat Gets Slapped Down.

HT: Kathryn Jean Lopez on The Corner. Many of us may have heard by know the incident at Northern Kentucky University about the university vetted and approved display of crosses put up by a pro-life student organization. Professor Sally Jacobsen got herself and some of her students worked up and went and destroyed the display.

Well, Kathryn Jean Lopez follows up on Phi Beta Cons and publishes the following statement from Northern Kentucky University:
Statement by NKU President James C. Votruba

April 17, 2006

I am writing to comment on the recent destruction of an approved campus display created by the Northern Kentucky Right to Life student organization.

One of the important roles that a university must play is to be a forum for debate and analysis concerning the important issues of the day. Often these issues are surrounded by strident rhetoric and strong emotions which makes it even more incumbent on the university to create and nurture an intellectual environment in which reason and evidence prevail and where all points of view can be heard.

Northern Kentucky University has a distinguished record of addressing important public issues in a balanced way. We are proud that, as a campus, we are not the captive of one ideology or point of view. At their best, universities are not places of comfortable conformity. They are places where ideas collide as students and faculty search for deeper understandings and perspectives.

While the University supports the right to free speech and vigorous debate on public issues, we cannot condone infringement of the rights of others to express themselves in an orderly manner. By leading her students in the destruction of an approved student organization display, Professor Sally Jacobsen's actions were inconsistent with Northern Kentucky University's commitment to free and open debate and the opportunity for all sides to be heard without threat of censorship or reprisal.

It has been heartening that student and faculty groups that do not necessarily support the position of Northern Kentucky Right to Life have come out strongly in support of the organization's right to be heard through their display. This reflects a commitment to the importance of free speech and inquiry as a hallmark of our University.

Professor Jacobsen has been removed from her remaining classes and placed on leave from the University. She will retire from the University at the end of this semester. The Faculty Senate, representing more than 1,000 NKU faculty members, has taken strong action today that affirms the importance of free expression as a defining quality of the University. Our campus has spoken with a strong and unified voice. Further action may occur once a full investigation has been completed.

The action taken by the University should be considered in the context of Professor Jacobsen's entire 27 year career at NKU. Nevertheless, her recent lapse of judgment was severe and, for a period of time, has caused some in our community and beyond to question whether Northern Kentucky University upholds freedom of expression. My answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. NKU lives its commitment to free expression and responds when that commitment has been compromised.

America is, today, debating a variety of polarizing issues around which people feel great passion. It is not surprising that these strong sentiments find their way onto college campuses. However, our role is to add light to these debates, not more heat. If we don't serve this role, who will?
Source: Phi Beta Cons -
NKU Does the Right Thing
Finally! Thank God! A university that supports the rights of both sides in contentious debate, that demands both sides to act grown up and like an adult. Northern Kentucky University is to be commended for standing up for its intellectual mission and not hiding behind the skirts of sensitivity.

Politicization of the Military.

The military is more and more becoming politicized. Soon there will always be a political acrimony between the Whitehouse and the Military. This is a bad thing. Its bad enough we have one political party that can not trust or be trusted by the Military but do we need two? We need two parties to trust and be trusted by the military and the generals speaking out against their civilian leadership is not doing the military any favors.

The Australian reports on a statement by Christopher Dodd:
However, senator Christopher Dodd said the few generals who had dared to speak out represented just a small fraction of the far larger number of detractors.

"Generals are not in the habit, even as retirees, of going around being critical of the civilian leadership. This is a very, very important event," the Democrat politician said.
Source: The Australian - Generals rally to defend Rumsfeld
I find Christopherr Dodd's statement This is a very, very important event," as being true. However, it is an important event in the bad sense. Did Mr. Dodd feel all the military criticism of the Clinton administration and his feeble attempts at using the military as important events? I would guess not. In fact, criticism of President Clinton was often carried out by active duty officers, where those equally important? Yes they were, and those officers were reprimanded or retired for that criticism, action I fully supported.

Fact of the matter is global conflict whether hot, cold, or in between involves many different types of human activity. Armed force is only one of those human activities and the President along with their cabinet secretaries direct and coordinate those activities. The military is a tool in the hands of the Administration and the military is expected to advise and counsel on the use of the tool, but in the end it is the Administration that decides how and when the military goes to war.

The President commands the military through the Secretary of Defense and the military is obligated by the constitution to takes its orders from the President not from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, not from the general at Centcom but from the President's office.


The week the deranged president of Iran again calls for the annihilation of Israel and once again denies the Holocaust ever happpened James Carroll draws the only logical conclusion: Bush is a lunatic and this administration is run by "deeply frustrated, angry, and psychologically wounded people."
Source: Jonah Goldberg in the Corner - TYPICAL
Iran wants to use its nuclear weapons to destroy a democratic and liberal people and nation and when it is suggested we put a stop to it the madman is us?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to my readership!

Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Dr. Hohn's Article.

I just finished reading the article. I don't have time to give an in-depth analysis of the article yet but just a few points that stand out.

The politicians did not lose Vietnam by interfering with the military and did not win the Gulf War I by staying out of the way. The reasons for our defeat in Vietnam do not have to do with the politicians directing the military. Those causes are a very deep and broad topic way too much for one full volume let alone a single blog. Likewise it wasn't the politicians keeping their noses out of the war planning in the Gulf War I that lead to a decisive victory there.

A major spur to the military becoming politicized occurred in the '60s and '70s. The Democratic Party acquired a distinct anti-military flavor and this drove many officers to the Republican party which filled the void left by the Democrats. Those Democrats who continued to support the Military became marginalized in their own party.

Donald Rumsfeld (the controversy over inspired all of this research, reading, and writing) is secretive with the military which is both a bad and necessary thing. He is charged with transforming the military to get it into line with modern realities. He needs to be secret so Pentagon opponents of reform can not work to derail those plans. Of course, this means he may not seek adequate input from the military which was one of the things that led to the "don't ask/don't tell" fiasco.

Colin Powell does not come out of the article at all well. The only compliments Mr. Powell gets is being very adept at politics and getting what he wants. In fact, Dr. Hohn believes Powell's presence in the Bush Administration dictated a strong character in another cabinet position (and I assure you that position is not Secretary of Transportation). Mr. Powell kept his disagreements out of the spotlight to a certain degree, but in the end we all knew what his position was.

The Clinton Administration. President Clinton's well known past with respect to the military poisoned the water. In fact, the article characterizes the administration's dealings with the military as fearful and suspicious. Of course, the military shares quite a bit of blame for all of this. This led to the "don't tell/don't ask" fiasco. The Clinton administration did not consult or take advice on the matter and then when the initial policy was announced many officers and military leaders worked via back channels and through their friends and families to defeat the policy.

The military often cooks up plans and alternatives to direct policy makers to their preferred policy.

Here is Dr. Hohn's article in full, it is a pdf document.

Another Reason To Hate Microsoft.

I have to fight the urge to write "M$" after all I am a right-wing free marketeer. Reuters passes on a report how China's emperor (whoops president) is going to have his welcome dinner in Washington not DC but Washington BGH. BGH? Bill Gate's House. Here is one of the things I am quite sure will be on the table for discussion that is:
Like any good dinner guest, President Hu will not come empty handed. The Chinese government issued a decree two weeks ago that all PCs will need to have a licensed operating system software installed before leaving the factory gates in an effort to crack down on piracy.

As a result, three Chinese PC manufacturers announced plans to buy a total of over $400 million worth of Microsoft Windows operating system software over the next three years and Lenovo Group Ltd., China's largest PC maker, is expected to announce a similar deal on Monday, organizers said.
Source: Reuters - Hu welcome dinner at Gates house, not White House
I tip my hat to The Drudge Report on this one.

Wow, MS will have a substantial rise in profits and income not because people are freely choosing their product but because they are being forced to accept it. They are not being forced by product quality, product value, or well reasoned persuasion but by the barrel of a gun.

To be fair, the Chinese PC purchaser can take their PC home and close the gate on Gates by replacing Windows with their favorite OS (e.g. Slackware Linux) but they still have surrendered treasure to the Gateses. Of course few will choose that path.

BTW, Slackware is obtainable for under $50/distribution or free for the download. It comes with a huge amount of software bundled in.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Who Runs the Military?

In the 1860s (here in the USA that is) we fought a Civil War. The cause of the war is not the topic here. What we need to recall is the terrible relations the executive branch had with one of its subordinate departments and not so much with the department but with individuals or an individual within the given department.

What department? The Department of War (as it was called back then) and the individual in particular was George Brinton McClellan. There were quite a few squabbles between Abraham Lincoln and General McClellan with McClellan often using simian adjectives to describe President Lincoln. Lincoln's orders to McClellan were very much resented as ignorant civilian meddling. Eventually Lincoln was able to assert his authority over the unruly army.

It appears we have a little of this going on and have had it going for sometime now. It certainly was a problem during the Clinton years. President Clinton with his background was not very popular amongst the military leadership and a number of officers resigned or lost their jobs. I recall one officer who in a speech called his Commander in Chief a philandering dope smoker (or similar) that officer lost his job and well should have.

I found an article out there that talks about this problem in great detail. The author fears bad things for America if the military does not return to its proper place.

I leave you with one quote from the paper I dug up (more commentary will come as I read and analyze the paper)
In 2000, a three-star general casually referred to a uniformed culture in the Pentagon that labels the Office of the Secretary of Defense as "the enemy"–because it exercises civilian control.
Source: THE EROSION OF CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY - by Dr. Richard H. Kohn published in the Naval War College Review Page 26
That is a bad thing.

This is Reasonable and Rational?

Little Green Footballs has a couple of interesting posts of late. The first
"The Zionist regime is an injustice and by its very nature a permanent threat," firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the gathering of regime officials, visiting Palestinian militant leaders and foreign sympathizers.

"Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is on the road to being eliminated," said Ahmadinejad, whose regime does not recognize Israel and who drew international condemnation last year when he said Israel should be "wiped off the map." ...

"If there is serious doubt over the Holocaust, there is no doubt over the catastrophe and Holocaust being faced by the Palestinians," said the president, who had previously dismissed as a "myth" the killing of an estimated six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies during World War II.

"I tell the governments who support Zionism to ... let the migrants (Jews) return to their countries of origin. If you think you owe them something, give them some of your land," he said.
Source: Little Green Footballs - Ahmadinejad: Israel Will Soon Be Eliminated by One Storm Quoting from the Jerusalem Post

A day or two earlier LGF picks up the following:
So far, the neoconservatives have done a good job of re-running their Iraq playbook and framing discussion on Iran, by laying out these premises:
1. Iran is close to getting nukes.
2. Iran's President is crazy and irrational and committed to wiping Israel off the map. He can't be reasoned with.
3. Bush is trying real super hard to get the UN to do something about it, but if they won't...
If we are to have any hope of preventing a senseless war with Iran, we cannot accept this frame. If all of the above points are reported as fact and accepted by Americans across the ideological spectrum, anti-war arguments will be seen as knee-jerk, immature and reckless, and not get a fair hearing. In turn, Democrats in Congress will get steamrolled again.
How can we reframe the discussion? Our arguments should flow from the following framework:
1. Iran presently has a strong, rational incentive to get nukes. ...
2. Iran has acted rationally and can be reasoned with. ...
3. There is plenty of time to negotiate. ...
Source: Little Green Footballs - Mild and Woolly

The first point 1 about Iran close to getting nukes is up in the air. I have seen estimates all over the map on this. I agree with the second point 1, Iran does have a rational argument to get nukes, but when you get down to it rational does not mean good. Just because Hitler had rational reasons to get nuclear weapons doesn't mean it would have been a good thing for Nazi Germany to have nuclear weapsons.

Now onto point 2 in both sets. Anyone who sees the rhetoric coming out of Iran is silly to assume Iran can be reasoned with here. Sure, provided you give Iran everything they want Iran is going to be reasonable.

The UN is not going to do anymore about Iran than they are about Dafur. We can coax and cajole all we want but all they will ever to do is to pass resolutions and say "Okay, this is your last chance". Again, this is of course fine with Iran. Iran will be all too happy to talk.

Of course if you believe Israel should be wiped off of the map then the second set of talking points is for you.

Counter Rally in Appleton.

Just received an e-mail note that contains the following:

Saturday, May April 22 there will be a counter demonstration to the anti-war protestors in Appleton on the corner of Oneida Street and College Avenue. It will start at 11:00 A.M. and end at 1:00 P.M.

Please bring your signs (civil, please) and your flags.

See you there!

The date is Saturday April 22.

E-Mailing the Bigs.

PJ Media picks up on a blog about e-mailing the big blogs on the block.

Harvey from Bad Example blog conducts an experiment in e-mailing the big blogs. On the whole he got good results. My experience e-mailing the big blogs has been on the whole good.

Here are some of the big blogs I have e-mailed with success.

The Belmont Club I sent a note to Wretchard after taking over the comments section of one of his posts. He was okay with it.

The Corner. I break this one out. Ramesh is good about answering his e-mail, I have had good success with John Derbyshire, and Rich Lowry. In fact, most Corner denizens are good about answering e-mail with two exceptions. Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Jean Lopez. I have received one or two responses from Jonah but I do not expect replies from Jonah and have never received one from KJL. The trick is to discover their direct e-mails and not to send a message to the general "thecorner" bucket. BTW, my last The Corner response was yesterday from Ramesh.

The Jawa Report. Generally I expect a response when I do send a note to the Jawa Report's Dr. Rusty Shackleford. BTW, by expecting I mean I have come to see that most e-mails get a response, not that I feel entitled to a response.

Michelle Malkin I have had little luck getting response to my notes from Michelle. The only response I have received from Michelle was when I was asking about getting her to speak at an event.

One other famous person of note I have had e-mail exchanges with is Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup. Who the hey is Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup you ask? He is the man who designed and implemented the computer programming language C++.

In the end I have found it does pay to e-mail the bigs. However, as is pointed out, do not take non-response personally.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I just downloaded, installed, and brought up Sun's J2EE application server on my machine. WOW, does it appear to be a resource hog! I request the simple hello world app from the server and my system gets to thrashing like you wouldn't believe. I should probably add more memory but I am quite sure that would disappear in a hurry here.

Of course, it is a stock setup so I could probably tweak the configuration to improve performance but my aim is to learn how to code J2EE compliant java and java servlets and the like.

Treat Us Right.

Owen at Boots and Sabers is putting up with the wrath of another state politician. Before it was Terri McCormick and now it is Paul Bucher's campaign.

For the benefit of politicians who need to interact with bloggers. This is not a plea to kiss our you know whats, quite simply even the biggest and best of us do not command enough of the electorate's attention to be any sort of kingmaker (despite one lefty blogger's assertions). Still, we are in a position to help.

However, be what all normal people expect of each other: considerate. Realize we may not actually support your candidacy and it is not our job to do so. Nor, for most of us, is it our job to be objective. I don't blog so I can be neutral, I blog to get my views out to the public.

Also, do not expect us that we are going to be 100% consistent over time. Are your views the same now as they were two years ago? I hardly doubt it, why would a blogger's views be 100% the same over time?

In short, don't kiss up (Gregg Underheim didn't kiss up to me, but he let me know he was not happy with something I wrote but he didn't get into personal or petty attacks) but be considerate especially to those in a position to offer you a hand!

Interesting Point.

Cox and Forkum bring up a very interesting point about immigration. Essentially they note we are not doing a very good job of inculcating the needed knowledge and values needed for success in America, why do we think we can do this with 12 million or so illegal immigrants.


Immigration Idiocy!

Not here, how about that! Just picked up this story:
Britain's Court of Appeal has rejected the British government's attempt to stop an Australian terror suspect from seeking British citizenship.

The suspect, David Hicks, is being held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hicks' mother was born in Britain and he has sought British citizenship hoping London would secure his release from Guantanamo, as it did for several British nationals held there.
Source: Global Security - Court Backs Guantanamo Inmate's Bid for British Citizenship

When the Empress was filling out all sorts of INS forms for her residency application one of them was a questionnaire on one's background. All the expected questions were there such as have you been convicted of serious crimes, drug running, were you involved with executing the Holocaust, and the like. Of course a positive answer to any of those would be enough for an application denial and giving false answers would be further grounds for deportation if you were found out.

As we know people have been deported after many years of living in the USA for not being up front with their background. Here we have a case of a guy who was captured fighting on behalf of the Taliban against US and other allied forces and the British don't have the stomach to summarily reject his citizenship application? Oh well, why should I be surprised the Taliban's mouthpiece is a Yale student. I have an idea, why doesn't Hicks run for Parliament as well?

Censor Central.

Last night on Comedy Central they had the riveting final episode of their two part series on the Mohd cartoons.

South Park has had a rough time of late. Namely all the problems they have run into with the Scientologists and now the Mohammedans.

A refresher. South Park had an episode last season ripping on scientology. Isaac Hayes the voice of the character chef himself a scientologist didn't like it and complained just recently before its replay. Furthermore, John Travolta and particularly Tom Cruise did not like the episode as well. Now, Tom Cruise was going to host some event on Comedy Central and threatened Comedy Central he would not host the event if the episode aired (the episode in question poked a huge amount of fun at Tom). So, Comedy Central caved and withdrew the replay of the episode in question.

Now, with the Mohd cartoon controversy South Park came up with a two part series on the matter. Apparently Family Guy was going to air an episode with Mohd in it. Well, the people of South Park wanted show the world they were not going to watch the episode by literally burying their heads in sand until after the episode aired. A couple of the boys went to the Fox HQ to try to get the episode pulled, one because he just hated the show the other because he thought it insensitive. Along the way Kyle uncovered Eric's motives and decided free speech was important and was going to stop Cartmann from getting the episode pulled.

Anyway in the end the episode airs and – the appearance of Mohd is censored and the screen notified the audience that the censoring of Mohd was not the doing of South Park's creators but Comedy Central.

What follows next really outlines the rank cowardice of Comedy Central and those who censor the Mohd cartoons. Film footage of Al Zawahiri and Bin Laden appear both livid about the family guy episode and tell us to watch for their vengeance. A film from Zawahiri-Bin Laden studio appears and President Bush, Jesus and others appear on screen and defecate all over each other.

I have not heard any explanation of this from Comedy Central but anything other than rank cowardice is not to be believed.

4/13/2006 11:23am CDT
Steven Spruiell confirms, the decision to censor the image of Mohd was made by Comedy Central.


Letterman last night noted President Bush and himself are about the same age. Letterman then went onto suppose that like himself the President wakes up a couple of times each night to leak. However, Letterman went onto say the President leaks classified documents. Hahahaha!

How dumb is that? Now, Letterman and his ilk are comedians and I find them to generally be equal opportunity in whom they lampoon, but that crack needs to be addressed. Why? Because it contains a popular ignorancy, that's why.

Who classifies documents? The likes of the CIA, the FBI, the military etc. Which branch of government do those organizations serve? The executive branch and what the executive branch makes secret the executive branch can make unsecret. President Bush is the top executive and the authority to make documents classified or unclassified is ultimately up to him! Now, most of the time it is quite obvious President Bush and his immediate subordinates do not bother themselves with the classification and unclassification of documents, that is a job they have delegated. None the less, it is ultimately up to the President and those he authorizes to classify and unclassify documents.

To sum up, to say President Bush leaks classified documents is an oxymoron.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Boos Again.

Right Voices back in September of 2004 carried a report on how the AP misreported an event in the Milwaukee area. You may recall it. President Bush was having a campaign stop in the area when word of President Clinton's heart problem was publicized. President Bush announced the news to the crowd and how his and the crowd's thoughts and prayers with former President Clinton.

The AP reported or misreported-reported that the crowd booed the President at his warm wishes for President Clinton. People on the scene reported no such thing happened that there was no booing. The AP very quietly altered the story and I never recall seeing an apology or any sort of official retraction.

Well, Vice President Cheney threw out the first pitch at the Nationals Game the other day. Mr. Instapundit did a blogosphere roundup and the conclusion is the reporting on the boos was not quite accurate. The reporting made it sound like the boos were overwhelming when they were not. The funniest reaction is this:
It was probably hard for the AP reporters to hear the rest of the stadium over the chorus of boos emanating from the press box.
Source: Instapundit (Commentary by Matt Gildart passed on by Instapundit)

AP: aka Al-Pazeera.

4/13/2006 12:01pm CDT
Here is Right Voice's story on the Milwaukee area appearance.

Prosecutorial Misconduct.

One thing I have kicked about from time to time for at least five years now is the following question: Why do we elect our prosecutors? Why? At least at the city, county, and state levels? Especially the ones who deal with day to day criminals, i.e. thieves, rapists, murderers etc.

The job of the prosecutor (at whatever level) is to get to the truth of the matter. The elected prosecutor is under pressure to get a conviction and in more than a few cases those convictions or lack of convictions translate into votes or lack of votes. Prosecutors when running for office often times list their convictions as accomplishments.

This troubles me. Why? It all goes to the heart of justice. Justice is not determined by a ballot box or a poll, but by truth. The prosecutor is very open to being pressured into convicting anyone just to obtain the conviction. Fail to convict a suspect in a sensational murder and the career of that prosecutor may flatten due to failure to win reelection. So, the prosecutor may feel pressure to obtain a conviction regardless of the truth of the matter.

Now, do not get me wrong. I do not believe most prosecutors to be corrupt. I do not see them in their offices plotting their reelection over a trail of wrongful convictions, but the pressure may contribute to being more eager to believe things supporting wrongful conviction than things supporting the suspect's innocence.

Yes, the lacrosse rape case is driving this post, but I recall thinking about this five years ago in regards to the death penalty. The DNA testing came back and did not finger the suspects, still the prosecutor is continuing his investigation. Now, there may be a whole lot of other evidence indicating there is a valid case against those players but I have a hard time imagining it. After all, we have a guy here in Wisconsin who was let go on a rape conviction based on 18 year old DNA evidence.

Local Ignorance of Federal Laws.

It is becoming quite a common thing now for various municipalities to proudly proclaim how they will defy federal law. Most recently it is immigration laws that some municipalities will openly ignore or even actively help people break those laws.

Perhaps the Federal government should see if those municipalities receive federal funding. If those towns/cities are not going help enforce federal law or aid and abet the violation of those laws then the federal government should revoke any federal funds flowing to those cities.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The current debate on immigration is actually two separate issues rolled up into one. I have to hand it to the pro-immigration crowd on being able to eliminate the border between the two issues in this debate, but they have a lot of experience at eliminating borders.

Anyway. The two issues are border security and what to do with the large numbers of illegal immigrants already in this nation.

Border security is important. We need to establish border security before we can talk about what to do with those already present in the USA. I don't know if a fence is appropriate or not but we need to get serious about stopping the flow of illegal immigrants from entering the nation. People often say we need to penalize those who employ illegal immigrants, hah! That has been on the books for a long time and I saw a reference to a General Accounting Office report only three businesses have been prosecuted for hiring illegal workers, forget it will not happen.

Border security also means preventing infiltration into the USA by those who mean to do us harm. Here I talk about terrorist and criminal types.

Now, what do we do with the large number of illegal immigrants already here? We get them their papers. Does anyone really think we are going to round up all 12 or so million of them and send them back? Get real! Heck if we were serious about doing that then wouldn't we be rounding up the protestors and sending those illegal back?

However, without border security then regularizing the immigrants already here would do nothing but to solve the problem. Without border security in 20 years we will be here again debating what to do about the 30 million illegal aliens.

In the end nothing will be done. The Democrats don't have a majority and the Republicans are split on the issue. Nothing will happen until something serious happens to this nation as a result of the insecure border (even then it is unlikely).

Getting What They Wanted.

Many on the left complain about how much about the War on Terror is classified, they say they don't trust this administration and want to see the so-called classified info before they support any War on Terror.

Hmmm, when the President does declassify information they get concerned about secrecy.

I wish they would have the determination to pursue or true enemies with the same gusto and zeal the pursue the president.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Well, 162-0 was a bit unrealistic! Anyway, the season is off to a good start but we will revisit this topic later on, as it is only the start. The Crew always seems to be in the hunt for the first 30 games or so; at best until the All-Star Break.

Pitching looks good but the bull pen did not do the job today, not that it would have helped, after all the bats have to produce runs too.

Philippino Grocery Store in the Fox Valley!

Is to be found at 110 S. Locust St. Appleton WI 54914 (link is to a Mapquest map). Here are a couple of the things I found. BTW, it just opened up yesterday (Saturday April 8, 2006).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Lot of Good Stuff

Out in the blogosphere. The first one is an excellent post by Chester where he takes a very clear look at the realities of war and politics.

Another intriguing blog is I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar! at the Brussels Journal. Read them both. I hope to read them more fully and comment on them later.

In Grand Chute Bars & Supper Clubs & restaurants.

The anti-smoking jihadists are issuing fatwas against smoking in Grand Chute. I have little problem with an ordinance prohibiting smoking in offices but do not want to see any such ordinance apply to bars, taverns, bowling alleys, supper clubs, and restaurants.

If you own such a facility in Grand Chute beware and start organizing to fight the anti-smoking jihadists. Start getting lists of people who will vote against such ordinances, start organizing get out the vote efforts and so on. If you don't act Grand Chute will face a similar fate to Appleton.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Does This Surprise?

No immigration bill is happening at least for now.

The senate failed to pass a bill and are now going on a two week break. I don't see an immigration bill happening after the break either.

Criticizing The International Herald Tribune..

aka The New York Times.

Over at his blog, Manuel Quezon III takes take note of an editorial published in the International Herald Tribune and it essentially takes a very strong stand against President (of the Philippines) Gloria Arroyo Macapagal. Since I am getting quite a few visits from my commentary on Manuel's blog I expand here.

First off, for the benefit of my readers I noted the NYT was the employer of Jayson Blair who as long as he fit their ideological purposes gave not a rip about the veracity of his writing, that is the NYT places the pursuit of their ideological goals above reporting facts. A lot of the commentators over at Manuel's blog forget that or say so what?

Okay, the piece as written looks to get the facts correct. PGMA's presidency has been rocked by scandal some of it I am sure is real, but not sure about all of it. I also think a few things need to be seen in a larger light.

PGMA is refusing to step down from office voluntarily. The opposition's attempts to remove her by constitutional means came to naught as well (by fair or foul, I am not arguing that here). So what does that leave the situation at? Well, People Power for one, but all attempts to get the people revved up also have come to naught (perhaps the opposition needs to allocate more funds to crowd purchase or perhaps the people are sick of it) so where does this leave the opposition?

COUP. Where does a coup lead to? One of two things and neither is as good as the current situation. A rightwing dictatorship (the likely outcome aka military dictatorship) or a leftwing dictatorship (unlikely aka an NPA dictatorship), neither of which will be good for the opposition, the economy, and most importantly the people of the Philippines. Both are likely to be as corrupt if not more so than the current administration and more draconian.

Yes, one point by the editorial a point frequently raised by DJB Rizalist is well taken, PGMA's weakness brought on by the corruption benefits the bad guys of Jemmah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf but how does it hurt them to have the military and the NPA fighting each other over possession of Malacañang?

I still don't trust the NYT and I consider it to be more than a teeny-tiny spot on pristine white shirt.

The Role of Judas in our Salvation.

This new "gospel" coming too light is interesting.

Yes, most Christians who have thought about the events we will commemorate next week (one week from today) understand the Betrayal of Christ by Judas was necessary. The most important part of the Christian year is not Christmas (hard to believe but true) but Lent, Good Friday, and Easter. It was what Christ came to earth for to redeem us to open the gates of heaven.

I wouldn't make too much one way or the other of this new "gospel".

Thursday, April 06, 2006

No News is too Good.

Many point out when a Republican administration good news about the state of the nation gets scarce, not because of a lack of good news but because it gets ignored. Rush Limbaugh elaborates even further.

When the good news is so obvious the MSM must report on it (again, when a Republican administration is in charge) the MSM searches far and wide until it finds a dark side. Al-Reuters demonstrates this very phenomena
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If a high-fat cholesterol-laden snack doesn't trigger a heart attack, then a healthy economy just might.

The risk of a fatal heart attack rises when the U.S. economy strengthens and increases further if macroeconomic conditions remain robust over the next several years, according to a study published last month.

The death rate rises in the year the economy expands and grows further if the lower rate of joblessness is maintained, Christopher Ruhm wrote in his study.

A 1 percentage point drop in unemployment is estimated to raise mortality by 1.3 percent or 2,515 additional deaths per year from heart attacks, the study showed. The mortality rate is similar for males and females.
Source: Reuters - Strong economy equals more heart attacks: study (Nancy Waitz)
I tell you, the moment a Dem gets into the Whitehouse there will not be a hint of bad news from the MSM.

I keep bringing up this story. Back in the summer of 1992 all sorts of stories about the awful economy kept rolling out. It was practically breadlines in the streets again. However, NPR (much to their credit) did a story on the stories. They concluded the MSM was not accurately reporting on the economy; the MSM was making the economy seem worse than it was. They wondered why that was? DUH! President George HW Bush was running for re-election against Bill Clinton, if the MSM would have reported on the good economy it would have ruined Bill Clinton's "It's the economy" line.

HT: The Anchoress

Sounds Familiar

Here is a story that sounds very familiar.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – It's not often the United States, Israel and the Gulf Arab states worry about the same thing. But right now, they are all focused on Iran.

The country's spiraling militarism – trumpeted this week in missile tests and military maneuvers – plus its influence in Iraq and its controversial president, appear to be making some Arab states more nervous that there could be future menace in Tehran's ways.
Source: Gulf Arabs – like the U.S. and Israel – are increasingly uneasy with Iran's ways (Jim Krane AP)
Sounds familiar, at least, if you are a regular reader of Blogger Beer. Back towards the end of February I blogged:
Iran: The Boogeyman

Now, we know Iran is trying its best to obtain nuclear weapons. The Arabian Peninsula nations do not want that to happen anymore than we do (and I would urge them to forget about trying to make the Mideast Nuclear free in an attempt to disarm Israel, this is being too clever by half) as Iran would get even more pushy.

Now, Iran's trump card is it can easily shut down shipping going in and out of the Persian Gulf and can make shipping difficult all the way out the Indian Ocean. Of course, we would not allow for that but it would take some time to take care of. Of course, everyone thinks "Oh no! The world loses access to oil".
Source: Blogger Beer - Some Things To Consider & The Port Deal.
That is, the Gulf Arab states at least the ones depending on access to world markets through the Straits of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean are very keen to make sure Iran does not get too pushy.

Again, I am confident the US will be able to keep those shipping lanes open. However, it will not take too much to scare up the price of oil both in terms of the futures market and causing tanker insurance rates to go up. The demonstrations Iran has been putting on have little to do with defense but much to do with scaring the oil markets. The majority of the weapons the Iranians have been showing off to the world are anti-ship weapons.

I would be quite certain the moment Iran decides to shoot it will be shooting oil tankers not USN ships. I wonder what percentage of tankers leaving the area are shadowed by Iranian subs.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

159 To Go!

The Brewers not only won again (3-0) but swept their season opening series against the Pirates. What's that you say? Yeah, I know only the Pirates but the Pirates have been Brewer killers in the past and I don't care what you say the Pirates are a still a MLB team with some talent. Score was 2-3, so another great pitching game.

Iran's Weapons.

Iran has been making a big show of new weapons.

They have made a show of a couple of missiles, a high speed torpedo, and various other weapons systems.

The most intriguing weapons is the high speed torpedo. While any ship the torpedo is directed against will be unable to outrun the weapon other torpedo countermeasures will be effective. In any event the torpedo has its own drawbacks.

Global Security reports
"Certainly they seem to have undertaken some form of test, of some 'missilized' underwater projectile, but to go so far as to claim it is a credible, fully operational underwater missile I think is overstating [the matter] considerably," he says.

Alderwick points out that the best conventional torpedoes have a speed of about 110 kilometers an hour, and that to get them to run at three or four times that speed through rocket power is no easy matter.

"There are significant problems in maneuvering the missile, the noise it would make is obvious as well, it is not very stealthy, there are really a plethora of issues that create problems when you are trying to develop high-speed underwater torpedoes," he says.

Another "massive problem," Alderwick continues, is range. Pushing a rocket at high speed through a dense substance like water means a high consumption of fuel. Russia's Shkval has a range of nearly 7 kilometers. There is no word on the Hoot's range, but assuming it is similar to the Shkval, this means such a rocket is only useful when opposing ships are at close quarters.

Alderwick points out two other weak points. One, that the launching vessels are very vulnerable to air attack, for instance by helicopter gunships.

Second, if the missile is to be used against submarines, as Iranian officials suggest, then it needs to be supported by a full antisubmarine warfare capability; the missile by itself is only a single part of the system.
Source: Global Security - Iran: Super Weapons Claims Met With Skepticism (Breffni O'Rourke)
The film coming from Iran is pure propaganda. Their torpedo may be effective but any platform launching such a torpedo in combat is not long for the world.

My guess is such weaponry will be used (in an actual fight) against commercial shipping (mainly oil) in the area. The fear (even in the absence of a real shooting war) of that torpedo being used against tankers is bound to cause an increase in the cost of doing business which means an increase in the cost of energy.

The torpedo is not being shot at our boats but it still does damage.

Appleton Ban Upheld.

Appleton voters yesterday voted to uphold the smoking ban as originally enacted.

Some of the bars in Appleton promised not to allow smoking on their premises if the ban was amended. That would have been perfect, after all, the proposal was not to force all bars to have smoking but to leave the decision to them. Anduzzis was only going to allow smoking upstairs and not downstairs, non-smokers would not have had to wander through the smoking section to get into the bar.

It is tempting to go hyperbolic here, throw out the usual hyphenated cliches but I have to face it (and so to those who believe similarly to myself) there is no right to smoke cigarettes anywhere and if society passes a law against smoking cigarettes than we have to honor that law. Yelling health-fascist or health-nazi etc does nothing to change that fact.

While we recognize a right to private property, there is no guarantee we can use our private property in any fashion we choose. Allowing the smoking on our private property is the same. That said, it is important we recognize the importance of allowing people as much freedom with their private property as possible.

It sets a bad precedent to prohibit smoking on what is private property. What is next? The sale of alcohol in taverns is to be banned? Don't scoff, after all the MADD types are just concerned about the health and safety of people. Soda pop to be next? Hey, don't you know we have a diabetes epidemic? Do you know how much it would save society if we cut down on the obesity rates that soda pop consumption contributes to?

What is next?