Friday, April 25, 2008

110# Of Rice

The wife and I bought 110 pounds of rice in the past two days. I bought ten pounds of basmati rice and today we bought 100 pounds of jasmine rice.

The Tilda brand basmati rice cost about $13.00 for the ten pounds, this is not way out of line with my expectations. However, the store I bought it from was out today and who knows what the price is going to be when they get more in stock.

The jasmine rice cost us about $40.00/50# and the store proprietor informed us she was about to raise the prices by about $2.00/50#. The rice price is rising faster than gasoline. Last I recall paying for a 50# bag of rice was about half of that, $20-$23.

A lot of noise is being made how this is all ethanol's fault. While I think it wrong-headed to provide subsidies to divert food products into energy products (energy for non-humans) I am very skeptical about ethanol's culpability in the rice crisis. There are reports the rice harvest this year was way down and producers are limiting exports to cover their own nutritional needs. I think that the most likely cause. Domestic US rice prices were still reasonable. I do not believe many of the lands where there is a rice crisis subsist on cheap corn and are forced to eat rice due to corn diversion. Central and South American nations may be in that situation, but my guess is Southeast Asian nations are not.

The rush to blame ethanol production is more blame the US for the world's woes.

What else may be underlying this? Oil costs. Don't think by oil costs I mean gasoline. Oil means a lot more than gasoline. Oil means fertilizer, oil means plastics, oil means other vital synthesized chemicals vital to our modern life. I mean gasoline and more.

Still I am not convinced it is all petroleum.

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Jo Egelhoff To Run For Assembly Seat 57

Jo Egelhoff announces her run for the post Steve Wieckert is leaving.

Jo will make a great representative, not just on behalf of her constituents but also for the State as a whole. I encourage you all to visit the announcement!

FYI Jo is a friend of mine and has been for a number of years now. She was instrumental in getting me more involved in politics and government.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The King Midas Syndrome

I have been reading a fair amount on the Basra confrontation and had a confrontation about it with a friend.

Apparently, the left believes Sadr to be King Midas – everything he touches turns to gold, while our forces, our commanders, our allies make the three stooges look competent.

However, I am not going to stop there. Many on my side of the ideological divide attempt to pain the opposite picture.

Truth be told, the Basra fight known as Knight's Assault was not so decisive for either Sadr, Maliki's government, our or cause. Sadr may have lost 1,000 fighters and be low on ammo but an Iraqi Army brigade was destroyed, shattered. Sadr may have screamed uncle but there are reports (I am not quite certain as to the accuracy or veracity of the reports) an Iraqi delegation went to Iran to "talk".

As we speak operations against "criminal gangs" continue and we all know those criminal gangs are Sadrites. Of course, the Sadrites do not freely let themselves be taken out.

I have brought this up before and do so again. Hitler's army in December of 1944 smashed a number of American regiments making the Iraqi Army's losses seem small. Did we withdraw from Europe after that?

Friday, April 11, 2008


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Who Should Let Brett Go?

I picked up on this Yahoo Sports article: Let it go Packers fans, Brett Favre should not come back by Clifton Brown of The Sporting News:
Listening to the speculation since Favre retired has been fascinating. It seems harder for people to let go of Favre than it is for Favre to let go of football. Whenever he talks, people are looking to get some inkling he is considering a comeback. Obviously, many people can’t conceive of a football season without No. 4 playing for the Packers. One of my college buddies is a huge Packers fan. The last time I spoke to him, he sounded like he needed a therapist.
Source: Let it go Packers fans, Brett Favre should not come back – Clifton Brown for Yahoo Sports
Who should let Brett go? Most speculation I hear is how Brett is putting feelers out to teams other than the Packers. Brett is done playing football and I accept that, I was hoping for one more year based on his and the team's success this year but it is not to be.

Most Packer fans I know (and living only 30 minutes drive from Lambeau Field I knew a few) are over Brett's retirement. I think what Cliff is reacting to is not the fan so much as the reporters. A common observation was how the sports media had obsessed over Brett's retirement for the last four years or so and now he is retired they obsess over the possibility of his comeback. In fact, there are two stories on Yahoo before Cliff's about how Brett may come out of retirement if the Packer's suffer a number of injuries and need a quarterback.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mixing Up Sincerity and Vulgarity

Another little fluff fest going on in WI blogosphere especially by the leftists is Jessica McBride's outing of Illusory Tennant. Cousin IT (actually Cousin Itt, but close enough) got into the habit of using vulgarities when referring to women who blog on the opposite side of his postions. In fact, one notices a general tendency on the whole of the left to want to want to engage in indenty smears when dealing with non-white-guys in political debates. Whether it be locker room language or the standard and trite uncle tom.

Do I think Cousin IT and his brethren misogynistic or otherwise spiteful? My initial impulse is to say no, but one of my faults (or perhaps one a delayed blessing) is to be be overly generous. Most people I think would characterize Cousin IT as a mysoginist.

Now the Wisconsin left is damning Jessica for exposing Thomas Foley (aka Cousin IT) via CCAP. The phrase they are using wantonly is the old glass house but when I look up Jessica on CCAP I see nothing worth talking about, why do they squeal like stuck pigs?

I don't know, Cousin IT uses misogynistic terms in a loose way when it comes to his women opponents. He has apologized to Ms. Carpenter and refuses to do so when it comes to Ms. McBride so why should they expect respect in return? What conservative woman blogger is next to recieve a misogynistic insult from Cousin IT?

Pizza & Wine Night

I made some pizza sauce years ago. It eventually was packaged and placed into the freezer but within the last couple of months we took some out and unfroze it. I have always thought my sauce was kick @$$ and in humble truth it is, but I have hard time coming up with a good crust and it is my opinion the rest of the ingredients are commodities, but more about that later. Well I have finally come up with a good pizza crust and here is a pie before oven photo.

Here is a shaky photo after baking. That is one crispy crust all the way through, supports the whole slice and shatters into a tasty flavor support upon bite. Multiple cheeses, onion, green pepper, black olive, fat mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage.

However, I do need to develop my own sausage recipe, no commercially available Italian sausage satisfies. Do you hear that Clements & Johnsonville?

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Eisenhower Before Congress

Not Eisenhower the president, but Eisenhower the general.

The setting early 1945 in the Capital can you imagine the current crop of legislators in that session?

[Q] The Invasion of Europe was folly we were attacked by Japan not France or Belgium! Now our boys are in a position to be killed at Christmas time in Belgium. I know General Eisenhower, you are only following the orders of a misguided president blah-blah-blah.

Now, let me explain to you why I go back to that time. In June of 1944 Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy France at great cost. Our men managed to secure their landing on the beaches of Normandy and advanced inland. Prior to Christmas of 1944 the Germans launched a major counteroffensive:
The [German's] Ardennes Offensive was planned in total secrecy, in total radio silence. Although Ultra, the Allies’ reading of secret German radio messages, suggested a possible German offensive, and the United States Third Army predicted a major German offensive, the attack still achieved surprise. The degree of surprise achieved was compounded by the Allies’ overconfidence, their preoccupation with their own offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance, and the relative lack of combat contact in the area by the U.S. 1st Army. Almost complete surprise against a weak section of the Allies’ line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, when the Allies’ strong air forces would be grounded.
Source: Battle of the Bulge – Wikipedia
The Ardennes offensive today would be trotted out and held up as evidence that Roosevelt's policy was wrong. While I believe we are winning the fight in Iraq and we and our allies have the momentum in no way do I believe the enemy in Iraq can not put up a fight. Sadr and the militias have long been a problem and now we have Al-Qaida reduced we can now start focusing on Sadr and the militias.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Grizzly in the Dock!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Was the Cheddarsphere Ever Civil? Truly Civil?

I am somewhat late to this soap party but better late than never.

Owen at Boots and Sabers states:
I don’t see this [civility] happening in the Wisconsin blogosphere anymore. It has evolved, or devolved, into the crass identity politics which everyone laments. It’s rarely about debating the issues. It’s about tearing each other down. It’s sad and pathetic. And, with all due respect, it ticks me off.

I read with great interest the debate in the Wisconsin blogosphere regarding the latest Wisconsin Supreme Court election. There were lengthy posts on the race. Some of them were of depth and substance. But even of those, far too many were also laced with insults and filth. It seemed to matter less about what was said than who said it. This has become commonplace.

I, for one, lament the decline of the Wisconsin blogosphere. I suppose it was inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t change it.
Source: Boots & Sabers – I Suppose It Was Inevitable (Owen)
I have been writing here since 2004 and have seen a lot of bloggers join the online fray, but I do not support Owen's observation.

From time immemorial people have said things were better in the olden days and I suspect Owen is getting nostalgic for the olden days of blogging. Many people believe in the olden days our nation was more united and the politics less divisive. To be sure there is a nugget of truth there, but such periods never last for long and are often marked by the political domination of one party (or ideology) over the other. That is, as long as the Donkeys consistently kicked Elephant tail there was no use in being uncivil to the other. Either way you were confident of the outcome despite whatever effort you put in so why put out effort? However, these periods are exceptional and not the rule.

That is not true anymore. The right arose from the ashes and is once again competitive politically and the left can not assume they win (nor does the right assume it is our fate to lose anymore) so we fight.

Many people harken back to the intellectual days of an erudite Buckley debating civilly. Recall though, the Buckley vs. Vidal debates that include a scene with a fed up Buckley threatening to punch the queer so hard he would stay plastered..

Let's face it, unpleasant language and manners is – unpleasant, but it is a lot better than the violence the truly repressed resort to. Do not think that is a license to wanton vulgarity and abusive commentary, it isn't. Vulgarity and extreme manners are like exclamation points, if you use them all the time people come to ignore them. If you are normally mild mannered and temperate and you become furious people are much more likely to pay attention. Cursing, vulgarity, bad manners used sparingly and appropriately can be a great tool, used all the time they become common.

The Bible counsels us:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Source: Bible Gateway – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time and place for rudeness and crudeness in blogging but most of the time you will do better with good writing and thinking.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

March Madness, the BCS, and Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Much talk about going on about the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and the recent election.

I want to talk about something else for a bit. Remember this time of the year back in 2000? The Wisconsin Badgers were just ending a run at the NCAA men's basketball championship. Also, in this discussion is NCAA Football. How does each league crown a champion?

In NCAA Football technicians feed a computer program a ton of data. The computer then appoints a champion. Yeah in the end the #1 and the #2 BCS teams square off and the winner is deemed the champion, but there is always a lot of contention that neither team is deserving.

NCAA men's basketball utilizes a much different process. The 65 best teams are determined by conference winners, conference tournament winners, and to fill out the rest of the brackets they rely on a committee. They tip the ball off and the excitement does not end until this Monday evening.

Which is better? I think most sports fans agree the basketball tournament is better and realize the BCS system is driven by an inability to put an end to the traditional bowl games. However, most understand in a ideal world, the college football championship would be determined by some sort of playoff system.

However, one year I noted fans calling for a BCS style appointment system for NCAA men's basketball. That was in the year 2000 when Wisconsin made it to the Final Four, but Wisconsin's way of winning (and the Big Ten in general) is not considered by many sports fans as fun to watch.

I recall reading a letter in The Sporting News from one NCAA Basketball fan demand the NCAA switch their basketball championship to a BCS style system so teams like Wisconsin would not compete for the championship. Sounded a lot like Wisocnsin's left sounds of late.

It seems of late the only way the left can get a favorite justice on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is by the Governor's appointment. So of course they demand the constitution be amended. Don't like defensive basketball teams? Just change the way teams get to vie for the championship and invite only offensive juggernauts. Don't like losing at the ballot box just change the rules.

Of course, this change in justice selection is not simple. The method of choosing supreme court justices is spelled out in our constitution and therefore must be dealt with by amending the constitution. The same amendment must be approved by two consecutive legislative assemblies and then approved by the voters in a statewide referendum. Heck, who knows, by that time we may have a Republican back in Madison just in time to appoint yet another conservative justice.

Changing the method by which we select judges is not "changing the rules" (it is, but it isn't) as long as we do it in the constitutionally proscribed way. Another thing that comes to mind is all of the whining we heard about the electoral college back in 2000. Hey lefty, how is the process to amend the electoral college into oblivion coming along?

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