Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, December 29, 2006

Blogger Beta

I recently switched my blog to the new Blogger, and so far I'm not impressed. I'm sure I'll get used to it/they'll work out the bugs, but right now formatting my posts is really screwy and laborious.

I also downloaded Explorer 7.0 recently, and kinda wish I hadn't. Again, I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I fail to see what the improvement is. Plus, my blog's design is all wrong in 7.0. So now I've got to fix it.

Blah. It's Friday night. The brandy awaits.

2006 Liberal Yearbook

From Suitably Flip via Allahpundit:

The "Animal House" finale is hilarious. Watch for the "Hillarama" spliced-DNA candidate and the part about Teresa planning a lavish birthday for Jon Carry to find some new friends to eat with, a reference to this.

"No Democrats were harmed in the making of this production."

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

RE: Packers and Your New Year's Eve Plans

While Sean will be at home ringing in the New Year with a Packers' game, snacks and adult beverages, 60,000 football fans will be denied one of the three come half-time if they're watching the game at Soldier Field.

Having only ever seen Packers' games live at Soldier Field, I can assure you that the alcohol goes a long way towards making it tolerable. Taking it away will most likely result in the opposite of whatever outcome the genius who made this decision had hoped for.

[h/t FARK]

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Is the BBA going to be converted to the new Blogger?

Anyway, mountain climbing is in the news of late. With the Mt. Hood disaster, the missing woman from Appleton, and the recent conclusion of the Discovery Channel serial on climbing Mt. Everest. More mountain climbing news.

Here is a brief story on my experience mountain climbing. Why do I talk about this now? Apparently Steve Wieckert (R-Appleton) is going to climb the Mt. Kilimanjaro. The climb is not technical (it can be depending on the route taken) and he improves his chances of peaking by spending an extra night at the second camp. It starts out warm and ends in freezing weather.

Still, the last hour or so before peaking is going to be three steps, stop try to catch breath, three steps, stop try to catch steps,...

Steve, after your climb head to Zanzibar and slum about the old stone city drinking Castle Beers & eating lobster.

Packers and Your New Year's Eve Plans

Are you miffed the NFL moved the Packers-Bears game to New Year's Eve night? Not me. I now don't have an excuse to trek out to the bars. I'll be tucked away safe in my home with plenty of snacks and some choice adult beverages to ring in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Tax By Any Other Name ...

... is still a tax.

And what state Rep. Fred Kessler is proposing is a new tax. Just on whom is debatable, but it's still a tax.

Kessler, a Milwaukee Democrat, wants the unused portion of expired to go to the state rather than the merchant who issued the gift card.

Kessler said millions of dollars a year go unused by gift card recipients, and retailers are allowed to book the unused values after the cards expire. He cited figures from Consumer Reports showing that 19% of all gift cards are not used because they are lost or expired.

Kessler called that a "windfall," which he said could be used to support schools, health care or roads. Under his bill, after a one-year expiration date on all cards, 80% of the value of unused cards would go to the state treasury. Merchants could keep 20% of the value of an unused card to pay for processing, Kessler said.

"I'd rather have people spend the money and use the gift card, but if they aren't, I'd rather the state get the money," Kessler said.

Excuse me, Rep. Kessler, but what makes you think the state is entitled to that money?

One can argue that this is really a tax on the merchant, since only 20 percent of the unused value would go to the merchant. For those of you who graduated from Racine Unified, that means if $10 of a gift card goes unused, the state would get $8 and the merchant $2. In other words, a tax on business.

One can also argue that this is a tax on the gift-giver, the person who buys the gift card. Let's use the same example, once again for those who graduated from Racine Unified, if you buy a $50 gift card and the recipient of your gift uses $40 of your money and the gift card expires, under Kessler's proposal, you just donated $8 unwillingly to the state — a tax.

Again — and if the flat-out arrogance of this proposal doesn't outrage you, then virtually nothing will — why does Kessler believe the state is "entitled" to this money, unless he believes the state is entitled to all money.

And, schools, health care and roads already get enough of my money.

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

The Post-Christmas Shopping Season Begins

Did you continue America's favorite pass time, shopping? Are those gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Or are you like me and avoiding the malls? Or are you stuck at work?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Time to pay the piper

Check out this headline-

"Special committee fails to come up with ways to pay for Wis roads"

I cannot believe that this AP writer is actually blaming a "special committee" for the problems with paying the roads in Wisconsin.

A special legislative committee created to examine the state's transportation funding failed to come up with specific recommendations on how to make up an annual shortfall of nearly $700 million.

We have a way of paying for our roads with the taxes we pay into the Transportation fund, but Jim Doyle has robbed the fund blind.

Jim Doyle's way of balancing the budget is to steal from the Transportation fund and give the money to WEAC.

Well, now it is time to pay the piper. Now we cannot afford to pay for our roads because the Transportation fund has been robbed so many times.

While it stops short of recommending ways to raise money for transportation needs, a draft report released Wednesday did "strongly recommend" the state stop taking money from roads to make up deficits in other areas.

That is the "No. 1 point" of the report, said committee co-chair state Rep. Mark Gottlieb, R-Port Washington.

Even if the panel had recommended ways to raise more money, the state would still need to stop pulling funds from the transportation department to give to others, Gottlieb said. People might be willing to put more money into the state's transportation system if they knew it would be spent on roads and not diverted for other needs, he added.

This is a mess.

There is no magic fix to the mess Jim Doyle created for us.

Jim Doyle succeeded in convincing voters that he had fixed the budget. Now that the election is over, folks can clearly see that they were bald faced lied to by Jim Doyle. Go ahead and add another $700 million a year to our every growing budget deficit!

Cross posted at Stepping Right Up

Dante's, er, Doyle's Tax Inferno

I'm not sure how many levels of tax hell there are in Wisconsin, but let's tax, er, take a look, shall we?

Been a lot of talk about tax increases in Wisconsin since the November elections. On the heels of this revelation — that an unelected body wants to impose a 0.05% sales tax on Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties to fund the black hole known as KRM Express, let's note the number of tax increases — actual and proposed — since Election Day.

How do we tax thee? Let me count the ways:
  • $23 million tax increase for Menomonee Falls schools approved by voters on Election Day.
  • Drivers' license fee increase (proposed).
  • Auto, SUV and light truck registration fee (proposed).
  • State Sen. Jon Erpenbach proposed elimination of many exemptions in the state sales tax.
  • Racine County Board proposes a 0.05% countywide sales tax to pay for county parks and a museum which doesn't charge admission. All the while, saying with a straight face that this tax increase will lead to property tax relief.
  • The KRM Express tax increase, which if you read the article closely may include hikes in property taxes and gas taxes in addition to the sales tax.
  • The proposed $1 a pack increase in the tax on cigarettes.
Am I missing any tax increases? It seems like I am. There have been so many in the short period of six weeks since the election. Feel free to list any local tax increases being discussed or any I have forgotten about.

My complete thoughts on the choo-choo tax can be found here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In Other Words: RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

U.S. Sen. Feingold: Statement on the President’s Failure to Create a New Strategy for Iraq

Contact: Zach Lowe
(202) 224-8657

“It has been six weeks since Americans overwhelmingly called for a change in our Iraq policy through the ballot box. The President continues to ignore this demand for change from the American people as well as from members of both parties. Instead of continuing with an Iraq-centric policy that is hurting our national security and straining our military, the President should announce a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq so we can refocus on the global fight against terrorist networks.”
To sum up: RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! Brave Sir Robin would have been proud. Brave Sir Robin should have directred his bard to the Democrats:
He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering up
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge...
The Ballad of Brave Sir Robin.

BTW, I obtained Senator Feingold's press release via

Doyle's Ag Secretary - spewing B.S. on WPR

Dolye's Socialist Ag BoyYesterday, while traveling for work, I listened briefly to an interview with the Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Rod Nilsestuen. Nilsestuen was appointed to the position of Secretary by Doyle in 2003.

The topic was essentially land use planning for the State and Nilsestuen, being the progressive collectivist that he is, was being as subtle as possible in all of his comments but the bottom line was that he and his cronies down in Madison seem to think that they have a crystal ball with some amazing properties, and a mandate for controlling one of the largest economic factors of production - land.

First of all, Nilsestuen indicated that he painstakingly took the time to put together a "blue ribbon" panel of people to look into every nook and cranny of Wisconsin to come up with an overall strategy for land use and land development for the State. I'm not talking about State-owned land here folks, the Ag Secretary was talking about private property regulation... The panel, he said, was composed of people with impecable credentials bla bla bla... He went on to state that the population of Wisconsin will increase by over 1 million by 2030 and that this is a clarion call to action. Thirdly, he indicated that currently 30,000 acres of land was being converted annually to "developments" (to which the WPR interviewer damn near gasped in horror) and, again, sounds an alarm. Lastly, he indicated that "we want to make sure Wisconsin turns out looking the way we want and not looking like New Jersey." New Jersey?

1. Regarding his "blue ribbon panel" - This was nothing more than a hand-picked task force not too dissimilar to the very same charade purportrated on citizens of many a school district in the state, aka Long Range Facilities Planning Task Forces. Point being, a hand-picked task force put together by a government appointed official to examine the strategy for government planning and control over land use is no different, fundamentally, from a group pulled together to examine what next to build in a government monopolized school district. Nobody on either task force is there to question its legitimacy, or the premise for their planning. In the case of school districts, for example, to suggest breaking the monopoly as a viable means of managing facilities planning (or even part of the strategy) is never broched. In the case of the land use panel, clearly there was not a representative number of private property owners and advocates for the elimination of land use arm twisting by the state, or the devolution of the DNR, or massive increases in private land-ownership, or anything else contrary to the overall Doyle command and control vision. The premise was how, as an ever-growing socialist state, should we force counties, towns and other municipalities to conform Governor Doyle's progressive vision of Wisconsin's future.

2. The Secretary's premise for action was based upon two comments he made. First this idea that Wisconsin's population will be increasing by over 1 million by 2030. Let's briefly look at this prognostication. Current statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services indicates the State's population at 5,581,980. An increase of over 1 million to this number is approximately an 18% increase in 24 years time. The net average increase in population per year will need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 42,000 each and every year. The data from HHS further shows the following:

State Growth If you run the numbers what you will find is that we have increased in population by approximately 31,000 per year since 2000. Projecting this actual growth forward to 2030 results in a population increase of at most 750,000 additional residents (assuming we keep pace with current growth). age group trends since 2000But look at the components, the age group where the largest percentage increase is found will no longer live in the state in 2030... In 24 years, half of that group will be dead, and the other half living in Florida, Tennessee or Arizona! So, just using the data that is out there the Secretary was off by 25% in his premise (at a minimum). Moreover, look who is leaving - 30 to 39 year olds. And who are they taking with them (or not producing); 0 to 14 year olds. These trends do not portend massive growth in this state now or in the future. Plus, the tax consequences of the Doyle Administration will not be making things any better any time soon.

The second part of his premise for action was the comment regarding the acreage going into or converting to "development" (which during the interview he conceded included roads). Let's consider 30,000 acres of development, shall we? Sounds like a bunch of land, doesn't it... Well, the fact is the state of Wisconsin comprises 65,500 square miles of land (41,920,000 acres); 30,000 acres represents .07% of the total land mass of the state. That's right, 7 onehundreths of a percent. Even if you take out the lakes and streams you hardly change the result (.08 percent). Now, there's a premise for a blue ribbon panel - and the spending of unknown amounts of taxpayer dollars to get er done...

3. Time and again, the Ag Secretary commented that we don't want Wisconsin to end up looking like New Jersey. Well Mr. Scandahoovian, I don't want Wisconsin looking like a socialist country! Good grief, the market place of individuals and businesses all competing for land, along with private owners doing their own due dilligence with stewardship, along with the natural course of events will shape the way the state looks. You, on the other hand, want to push your vision of what you and your state cronies would like to see the state look like. And what, pray tell, is that?

Secretary Nilsestuen came to his position from running co-ops around the state. He is a farmer by history and a farmer by trade. His vision is that of Wisconsin looking a heck of a lot more like McLean County, Illinois than either New Jersey or the Wisconsin we all know and love today. His vision is Doyles vision and it includes massive state subsidy of corn and other biofuel Ag products. Frankly, moving currently unused land (wood lots) into corn production is a horrible idea with no sound economic or scientific rational. Moreover, mandating through whatever stick mechanism they have in mind municipalities land use regulations belys the work of the free market. The idea of state or federal subsidized bio fuels production as a underlying premise, or guiding factor, for land use conversion policy at the state level is simply one giant step towards the state owning/controlling - defacto - one of the most important factors of production; Land. When the state controls or owns the factors of production, the market ceases to exist we all become far poorer in the end. Just take a trip back in time to Stalinist Russia for a primer...

Nilsestuen is simply gaming for a incredible step by the State of Wisconsin towards big time, in your face, socialism and is in lock step with all the other proposals by Doyle and company including socialized health care, increased scope and expropriation for the education monopoly, etc., etc. Moreover, he was allowed to get away with misstating population growth arguably by over 25% and also allowed to create a "development crises" thesis with no challenge regarding an amount of land that is wholely insignificant. The fact that farm land or wood lots convert to other uses, referred to as "development" says nothing about the value received and what that capital did post purchase. Neither point was ever challenged by the WPR interviewer and in fact was simply obfuscated (all the interviewer could say was, "wow, 30,000 acres is a lot of land").

The interviewer failed to ask the Secretary what his policies imply for crop subsidization and overall taxes.

The interviewer failed to ask the question in this whole debate - the use of a property tax.

Yet, there was the Ag Secretary spewing dubious growth data and rediculous scare tactics regarding current levels of property conversions, and using it as a premise for promoting "tools" for counties, cities and towns to regulate private property further. I have heard some biased and unbelieveable intereviews over the years on WPR but this one was stunning.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Paul Harvey just reported Wisconsin residents get free University of Wisconsin tuition to stay & work in state for ten years.


It is just a proposal at the moment, a proposal based on faulty analysis.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Empty your wallet

You hear them on street corners or outside stores. The sound is distinctive. It’s a sound of hope. A sound of caring. It’s the sound of The Salvation Army bellringer heralding the season. As if a voice for the silent, the hurting, The Salvation Army bell rings out, declaring they’re not forgotten. You can help restore hope to the hopeless, bring comfort to the hurting and a respite to the weary by taking part in The Salvation Army Christmas effort. The Salvation Army offers many opportunities for you to make the season brighter for families and individuals in need.

* Visit to create your own Online Salvation Army Red Kettle and ring the bell without even leaving your house
* Click here to donate now
* Or for more information on ringing at a traditional Salvation Army kettle and other volunteer opportunities contact your local Salvation Army.

There is a tradition passed from a reader and contributor of this blog to me and is one of true benevolence. Well that statement isn't exactly 100% correct, to be true benevolence it should also remain 100% anonymous. However, it is one I've practiced ever since I've heard it. The tradition goes like this. Anytime you walk into a store and there are bell ringers collecting for the Salvation Army, it is your duty to empty your wallet. Not the credit cards and such, but all your cash, be it $10, $20, or even $150. During the past 10 days or so, I have somehow found myself short of cash as I have been going to multiple places to shop over the last 10 days. The Salvation Army has long been one of the most efficient charity organizations around. Compare that to the United Way. A case in point is the difference of salary between the organization's heads is literally 100 fold, the Salvation Army being the less. So start and pass on this practice of emptying your wallets each and every time you walk into a store with a bell ringer. You'd be surprised at the looks you get and the warm feeling helping others brings.

Chris - OTBL

Sunday, December 17, 2006

An Interesting Comment:

Another hat tip to Jo Egelhoff's Fox Politics.

Terry Growcock, chief executive officer of the The Manitowoc Co., which manufactures cranes, food-service equipment and ships, said attracting and retaining skilled workers is a priority. New North must overcome a reputation of a state of low temperatures and high taxes, [emphasis added] he said. Other challenges facing area businesses include high health-care costs, energy costs, competition and threat of litigation.
The Green Bay Press Gazette has the whole story.

There is that high tax thing again. I like the way it is phrased low temperatures and high taxes.

The Green Bay Packers were once know as a team in a cold and unhospitable climate and losers to boot. These were two things Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren had to change. So what happened? The cold environ of the Green Bay became The Frozen Tundra, they leveraged the football heritage of the Packers, and Wolf & Holmgren managed to turn the wins - losses around.

Mr. Growcock notess a similar problem with the business climate of Wisconsin. The state does not have to go from its (near) the top of the highest tax state list to the bottom but we need to make an effort to get our taxes more competitive. Also, on the climate stress the diversity of the four seasons and oppurtunities for all sorts of different and varied activities. The lakeshore is becoming a national golf destination, and with some proper management the lakeshore can become again an international racing stop.

Emphasize how our region's cities time and time again hit the top of safest city lists. Quality of life may not be the first consideration but they are mighty important. How excellent if we can tame taxes and push the Wisconsin lifestyle.

Not a Bad Idea

Keeping tabs on the press release stream on has become one of my favorite pastimes of late.

Well, not really, but I have been doing it more than normal. While the below is not what I am looking for it is something that caught my eye:
U.S. Sen. Feingold: Statement on Pentagon Recommending the Establishment of an Africa Command

Contact: Zach Lowe (202) 224-8657

"I am pleased the Pentagon is recommending the establishment of a U.S. military command in Africa. I called for the creation of such a command earlier this year. For too long, our Africa policies have failed to meet the new and emerging threats to our national security in that continent. A U.S. Africa Command will be a vital component of what must be a broader U.S. engagement throughout Africa, which will strengthen our relations with African nations, bolster their capacity to address threats, and prevent them from becoming staging grounds for attacks against the U.S. or our allies."

In June 2006, Feingold had an amendment accepted into the Defense Department authorization bill requiring a feasibility study for the establishment of an Africa Command. The President later signed the authorization bill including Feingold's Africa Command amendment into law. In August 2006, the Pentagon announced it was considering the creation of an Africa Command. This week, the Pentagon officially recommended the creation of an Africa Command to the President. To learn more about Feingold's efforts to create an Africa Command, click here:
If our fine senator does a good thing I want to provide the positive reinforcement just as much as I have to spank him when he does a bad thing.

This is a good thing, after all it is apparent Somalia is now a jihadist Islamic state and will serve as a base for the radical Islamists who war on us. However, I fear the likes of our Senator will complain and carry on if the African Command does anything more than deliver AIDS/HIV drugs. Establishing an African Command is an excellent idea if only it is used properly.

This is Terrific Stuff!

I mentioned on the Podcast with Jay Bullock that I thought the Iraq Study Group report ought to be good for a laugh or two. I couldn't have been more right! I've started reviewing the 79 recommendations made by the ISG and I'm astounded at what they saw fit to print.

Watch my blog for running commentary. You can can already see my comments up to recommendation number 18, and I've got plenty more in the cue. I'm going to keep at this until I get through them all or I get bored of reading this junk.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Throwing This Out

A hat tip to Jo Egelhoff of Fox Politics for pointing this out over cups of – joe, this morning:

(AP) MADISON A developer who wants to build a new casino in Kenosha plans to donate $50,000 to help cover Gov. Jim Doyle's inaugural expenses, a contribution he could not legally make to the governor's re-election campaign.

Contributions to the inaugural committee are not covered under state campaign finance laws, which limit individual campaign donations to $10,000.

Doyle will not profit from the donation. Money given to cover his inauguration goes to the nonprofit Boys & Girls Clubs, which pay the expenses and then split whatever money is left over. The same approach was taken in 2003, when more than $225,000 in profits was distributed among 28 clubs statewide.
See WFRV's website for the complete story

A couple of things from my end. When people do good things I try to disregard their motives, so even cynical deeds of good I regard as – simply good. However, it is hard not to be cynical about the nature of this at least as far as the donors are concerned!. For example, let us ponder Mark Green holding a similar event. Would A developer pony up the same for Mark's fundraisers? I am skeptical.

However, in the end, unless a situation develops similar to the Air America deal (e.g. the Boys & Girl Club members all of a sudden start making "loans" to the Dems or the members start pounding the pavement for the Dems etc) I am guardedly okay with this.

My "group" has had politicos at events; both Republicans and Democrats. I feel having a political leader at events or to help out with the group's efforts lends credibility to the group.

What is your take? BBA posting members please follow up with blogs, all others leave comments.

Is it okay, to be okay with this? Or do you suspect something?

Boots & Sabers Win!!!

The polls closed and preliminary results have Boots & Sabers winning a 2006 Weblog Award. Congrats Owen, Jed, and Wendy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sleep Tight

The hidden camera video of courthouse employees sleeping could really use a soundtrack.

You know something? This story could've easily been broken on a blog! With all the high tech gear and initiative of the Cheddarsphere, there's no reason we can't be the watchdogs.

Cross posted at Subject to Change

Math Proficiency Test

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Clint at Milwaukee Id10t has the latest version of the math proficiency test for Milwaukee Public Schools.

Where's My Dossier?

The Badger Blogosphere hasn't reached it's peak yet. We'll know it when campaigns start doing opposition research on us like the Jim Webb campaign might have done in Virginia.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"It kind of gives you the creeps when you look at it"

"Wisconsin Man Runs Over, Eats Seven-Legged Transgendered Deer."

Alas, no pictures.

And, since two full sets of reproductive parts were found, but no neckties or brassieres, I think the use of transgendered is hype at best. Maybe 'pangendered' is a better term.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Possible AirTran takeover of Midwest?

It is possible:

Midwest Airlines Inc. has spurned a $288 million takeover bid by discount carrier AirTran Holdings Inc., but AirTran still hopes to acquire Midwest to build a larger airline with major operations from the East Coast through the Midwest.

The offer to Midwest Air Group Inc. was $11.25 a share, according to a source familiar with the situation. Oak Creek-based Midwest Air's stock closed Tuesday at $9.08, down 43 cents a share.

From a business standpoint, this might make sense. But as a flier who has used both airlines, I'll be very disappointed if it happens. AirTran is cheaper than Midwest, but then again, you get what you pay for. For me, a flight home with AirTran only added to my fatigue from the trip because it wasn't enjoyable. A flight home with Midwest is much more pleasant, relaxing, and worth the extra money. Discount airlines may be all the rage right now, but there is definitely something to be said for paying a little more to fly in a more comfortable, cleaner plane where the service is just a little bit better.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just in case you've misplaced your reading glasses... can download the Iraq Study Group Report in an audio file.


UPDATE - Patrick informs us you have to be a member of something called Audible to download from the above link. Well, if it's available in one place on the internet, it's gonna be available somewhere else on the internet soon, too.

The Republicans for Dennis Kucinich for the Democrat Nomination for President, 2008, Committee

Back in 2004, I was the chairman of a group by that name. Had a Kucinich sign, and everything.

Now that the soon-to-be creator of the Department of Peace is planning to run again, we can get our group together again, too.

Anybody want to join? We really need officers. I've got a vice chair, but she's too embarrassed to admit it publicly.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Crappy California Cheese

The story about California cheese production catching Wisconsin's is back again. Hey, California may catch us, but why would you want to eat anything from e.Coli-fornia?

McGee calls for political opponent to be hung

Alderman Michael McGee / Jackson Jr. called for a political opponent of his, Leon Todd, to be "Hung… Straight up, for his betrayal of the community." Guess who has the audio?

McGee: Leon Todd — Hung for his betrayal of the community (Audio of McGee quote)

Mark Belling picked up in this and turned it into an interesting discussion, not only of McGee, but also of media bias.

McGee non-coverage shows media bias (Audio from the Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show)

UPDATE: McGee Sr. explains it

Michael McGee Sr. has informed us that if you are white, you don't understand what black people are saying, because:
“White folks is sickening! They are some stupid idiots. I mean, they really are stupid…”

He also schools us in terms like fagots (we remember his son's use of this word on more than one occasion), it seems that this term doesn't refer to sexual orientation. And the "N-word" is also a topic of discussion.

You can read, and listen, here:

BadgerBlogger: McGee Sr. attempts to explain Jr’s comments on Leon Todd

The Kabuki Dance

A few days ago Maxfill posted about how the Federal Reserve has now found itself in a pickle. At the end of his piece, Maxfill referenced Murray Rothbard and his theory of the business cycle or the causes of economic depressions. Earlier this year I ran a series of posts concerning Rothbard’s book titled America’s Great Depression. Any one interested in a serious discussion of Federal Reserve policy needs to read this book. But the Federal Reserve is only one component, albeit a major one, in this Kabuki dance we call government economic growth manipulation.

The role of government is to alter behavior; whether it is a standing army or the members of the monetary politburo that we call the Federal Reserve. Changing interest rates and the money supply [these are not necessarily parallel terms] has a direct affect on individual mindsets as to borrow or save and the relationship between debtor and creditor. Monetary policy is not and never will be neutral in nature.

Economic growth through expansive monetary policy at its core is accomplished by means of debt. Individuals and businesses are enticed to leverage current dollars against potential future growth. Simple examples are well illustrated in either the stock market or land investment. An individual can buy stock on margin where they only have to put up 50% of the purchase price. During the 1920s the margin requirement was as low as 10%. By using margin, an individual could literally, in simplified terms, double their purchases of stock. All is fine as long as the price of stocks go up. However, when prices fall below the purchase price, then the margin may be called setting off liquidations to cover the loan. No different with mortgages where little is put down. All is fine and dandy as long as the home value increases. But what happens when the value, due to over supply, drops precipitously to the point where the market value is less than the mortgage? In the cases of foreclosures, the debtor walks away and the creditor is holding the bag.

It would be a mistake to imply that economic growth is the determinant for increasing the money supply. The fact is that the government has rung up huge debts with the largest coming as a result of Medicare and government pension-retirement programs. These liabilities which I reported on this past summer are somewhere in the neighborhood of 57 trillion dollars [more than the wealth of the world]. This debt needs to be funded. But how can such large government debts be funded without causing economic havoc. The only answer is to flood the world with liquidity [dollars everywhere].

This liquidity has been growing at an alarming rate. Domestic money credit year over year has increased 10% and foreign dollar holdings are up 19%. The world is choking on dollars. This liquidity has shown in real estate speculation which has led to an over supply of houses. The countryside is choking on housing construction. This malinvestment in real estate is now rearing its head at Andersen Corporation and other suppliers. Dollars for some time have not only been chasing real estate, but also oil, commodities, and stocks. At some point and time the world can consume only some finite amount of houses, oil, stocks, autos, and commodities.

There are definitely storm clouds on the horizon. In the housing market foreclosures are up dramatically. Not only are suppliers feeling the impact, but now lending institutions are feeling the affects of loans gone bad. Today a sub prime lender, Ownit, declared bankruptcy. The commercial banks are loaned to the gills. Wage growth is increasing while productivity is flat. Iran, probably for political maneuvering, will now transact oil in Euros instead of dollars. And state public pension funds whose obligations are greater than wealth have turned to investing in hedge funds which use sophisticated leveraging techniques to increase returns.

Debt is like what the late Ohio State football coach Woody Hays said about the forward pass, “three things can happen and two of them are bad.” The truth is our country is leveraged to the hilt. The chances of completing a long a one is not good.

Mark Pribonic - OTBL

RE: Remember to Vote

We're voting for Althouse because...

her lack of Wisconsin coverage (the only way we know she lives here is her Madison campus pics);

her lazy post titles (let me just quote a clever turn of phrase from the article I'm linking);

or simply because she lives in the Badger State?

Help me out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Remember to vote... the 2006 Weblog Awards. Your Wisconsin candidates are:

Althouse for Best Centrist Blog
Boots and Sabers for Best of the TTLB 1001-1750 Blogs
Nehring the Edge for Best of the TTLB 1750-2500 Blogs

You may vote once a day and voting ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 15.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Worthwhile Project

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Our wounded soldiers need your help to have a Merry Christmas and it takes very little of your time, money and effort.

Today and every day until Christmas, send a Christmas card to:

Recovering American Soldiers
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

Nothing you can do this Christmas season will be appreciated as much as sending a Christmas card to a recovering soldier.

Do it. Please.

You’ll feel good about it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm in a rut.

I need some new blogs to read. Interesting blogs. Informative blogs. Blogs that keep me so wrapped up that I won't even notice my wife shaking the bucket full of ice water and threatening to dump it over my head if I don't GET OFF THE DAMN COMPUTER.

So. BBA'ers and BBAphiles - what blogs do you read? Conservative, liberal, Wisconsin and national. Answer in the comments or in your own post (if you must) or you can email me, too. If there's interest, I'll post the list after New Year's.

Or I'll just keep it for myself. One of those.

Found in my Inbox:

The House of Representatives today passed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which contains legislation coauthored by First District Congressman Paul Ryan to expand opportunities for both workers and employers to contribute to health savings accounts (HSAs).
Wanna read the rest?

It's been a big week for Ryan. Yesterday, he was named ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee.

Vote for B&S Now!

Have you voted for Boots & Sabers yet?

Why not? Have something more important to do?

Do it now. I'll wait.



Don't worry about me. I'm patient.



Welcome back. Feel better? Good for you. You did your good deed for the night. Now, go watch Battlestar Galactica.

I'm This Close to Taking the Wordpress Plunge

Since yesterday, Blogger is not letting me publish my blog. I hope Jib doesn't mind me posting this week's podcast here while I try and sort this out.

Guest: Jay Bullock

More rambling than ranting. We were topic light going into this one, but it didn't stop us from having some interesting discussions about a wide variety of issues. Of course, we discussed Iraq because it's the big national story. We also got into stem cell research and some other wild tangents.

Listen here (38 minutes)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Forget about any legitimate election reform

Spencer Coggs has been put in charge of the Senate committee that would be responsible for any election reform in Wisconsin.

Yes, that Spencer Coggs, the one who was running around after the '04 election demanding Republicans should apologize for daring to raise the issue of organized election fraud after tire slashers and registration fraud and generally all kinds of fraud from the left in Wisconsin.

Mr. I see nothing, I see nothing, I see nothing is now in charge of election reform on the Senate level in Wisconsin.So much for the sanctity of the vote.

If Republicans are ever to take Wisconsin back, they will have to cheat like Democrats do because if you think the deck is stacked now, you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

The only difference, when Republicans cheat, they get prosecuted. Hopefully the new Milwaukee DA will not be as corrupt as the old Milwaukee DA.

Check this out, Coggs is known for and has been acknowledged for making it EASIER TO VOTE.....

Just what we need extra unaccounted ballots laying around.

When liberal groups give you awards for your election reform measures, look out.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Congratulations Boots and Sabers!

Congratulations to Owen!

Owen's blog Boots and Sabers has been listed as one of the best of the top 1001 to 1750 blogs on the internet!

The 2006 Weblog Awards

Best of the Top 1001 - 1750 Blogs

Boots And Sabers
Boi From Troy
Soldier's Angel
The American Princess
Scottish Right
A Town Crier
Deep Thought
Holy Mama!
Murdoc Online

Another Sit-Com Guv Doyle Can Not Watch.

Andy Dick apologizes for using slur

LOS ANGELES - Andy Dick is apologizing for using the same racial slur that got ex-"Seinfeld" star Michael Richards in trouble last month.

Dick, a former co-star of the 1990s sitcom "NewsRadio," jumped on stage during a routine by Ian Bagg at L.A.'s Improv on Saturday night and used the n-word in an apparent attempt to joke about Richards, the celebrity Web site reported Tuesday.
Dick issued an apology through his publicist.

"I chose to make a joke about a subject that is not funny," said the statement, which was provided to the Los Angeles Times. "In an attempt to make light of a serious subject, I have offended a lot of people, and I am sorry for my insensitivity. I wish to apologize to Ian, to the club and its patrons and to anyone who was hurt or offended by my remark."

According to TMZ, Dick had been heckling comedian Bagg from the audience and then joined him onstage, when the two discussed Richards. When Dick exited the stage, he suddenly grabbed the microphone and shouted at the crowd, "You're all a bunch of...'" — using the n-word.

Question, can a gay man get away with being a racist? Apparently. No on eknew about Dick's comments until he told us about them here.

Massive Explosion at Falk

I have some coverage as well. I have some video, but the TV news sites all have better video. It was quite a fire.

Update: Do you work for Falk?

WISN's Early Spin is looking for people from Falk to discuss their experiences on the radio tomorrow. Click here for information on how to hook up with them.

Massive explosion at Falk Building in Milwaukee

My wife just called me from the Free way where she they are stopped due to the massive fire caused by an explosion at the Falk Corporation site.

One of the buildings is gone it looks like it was hit with a 2000 lb bomb the exlposion just leveled that building

This looks really bad from what they are showing on TV.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Wisconsin is a Bunch of Cheapskates

The Badger States ranks pretty low on the giving scale:
A new study shows that Wisconsin ranks 40th in the nation in charitable giving.

``In Wisconsin, the charitable giving was below average,'' said John Havens, an economist and an author of the study released last month by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.

If you've ever seen a Milwaukean tip you'd understand.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Another Greedy Tax Grab

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

Looks like the tax-and-spend crowd, feeling its oats after the recent elections, is gearing up for another run at your money.

Oh, that’s right, I forgot. It’s really their money. They just let you keep a little of it.

Gov. Jim Milhous Doyleone wants the state to be able to collect sales tax revenue off your Internet purchases. Once again, they’re going to try, and with the Democrats in control of the state Senate and the Republicans with only a razor thin margin in the Assembly, it’s likely to pass this time.

Madison - Gov. Jim Doyle and the top deputy he appointed Friday said Wisconsin must join the list of states that have agreed to uniform national standards for sales tax collections and promised to try a third time to get it through the Legislature.

Doyle and Michael Morgan, whom the governor Friday named secretary of the state Department of Administration, said it is unfair that Wisconsin retailers have to charge 5% state sales tax to customers in their stores while those who buy over the Internet rarely have to pay the sales tax.

Now they’re disguising it as “fairness.” Uniform sales tax standards, national standards, whatever — it’s ANOTHER TAX INCREASE, folks. When you start paying sales tax on something you didn’t pay sales tax on previously, it’s a tax increase.

But Don Doyleone and the Democrats think you’re too stupid to understand that. If they use nice-sounding words like uniform or national standards and fairness, why, who could possibly be opposed to that?

I am. Because I know a skunk when I smell one.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snownami of 06

Kudos to the TMJ listener who though up that name for this Blizzard. Finally a real Wisconsin blizzard

Everyone to the battle with the Blizzard Comrades.

Stay safe and warm everyone