This Page

has been moved to new address

Wide White

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Wide White: June 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Poll: beer no longer rules campuses

That's right, the iPod has taken over.
Beer traditionally has had the biggest buzz with college students: Seventy-five percent consider drinking beer "in" on their campuses, according to Student Monitor's Lifestyle & Media Study.

Only once in the past decade of the biannual survey, in 1997, was beer bumped from the top spot — by the Internet, says Student Monitor's Eric Weil. The Ridgewood, N.J., research firm surveyed a representative group of 600 students.

Among the findings:

• iPods were the No. 1 "in" thing on campuses; 73% of students mentioned it. iPods were even more popular with Hispanic students (77%) and women (76%).

• Drinking beer tied with the college networking site (71%).

• Nos. 4 to 10 were drinking other alcohol (67%), text messaging (66%), downloading music (66%), going to clubs (65%), instant messaging (63%), working out (62%) and coffee (60%).

I must be the most uncool person ever. I don't have an iPod, I don't drink, I have a meager Facebook account that I rarely use, I don't have a text messaging plan, I don't download music often, I don't go to clubs, I don't instant message often, I never work out, and I only drink coffee occasionally.
But then, I'm not in college.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nothing like a bold campaign video

Vernon Robinson is a challenger to incumbent Democrat Brad Miller. He's pulled out all of the stops with this campaign ad. Wow!

A cow?

I never thought I'd say this, but I just saw a cow run by my office window. Someone (its owner, I presume) is chasing it down, with the local chief of police in tow in his Dodge Charger. I'm afraid that the Charger will meet his match, but the drama is still playing out here in this downtown Winnesota community. I'll keep you updated if there are any further developments.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How impersonal have we become?

Or are we not so much impersonal, but we simply use alternative means of communication?

I just upgraded my cell phone service online. I never spoke with a live human, though I did call a number with a voice recording.

I just finished a two-hour conversation with a friend on instant message. During that conversation I fielded no less than eight phone calls from at least three different people, all work-related. My friend was low on cell minutes, so we just stuck with the IM conversation.

What is this culture doing to us? My grandpa was ragging on me this weekend for not being able to figure out my microphone and webcam (neither of which actually belong to me) because he wanted to talk to me on this thing called Skype.

When your grandfather is more technologically advanced than you are, you know the world is coming to an end soon.

So, while we try to figure out how to communicate with one another without saying a word - we'll just read each other's minds one day - you all can debate how the world is going to end.

I for one have been up for over 37 hours. I'm going to bed. (By myself with no computer nearby. But if you want to text me, it's available to you.)

The communist city of St. Paul, MN

If I were okay with drinking, I'd be down at the Gopher Bar.
Gopher Bar acts as a kind of bulletin board for the views of its owners and patrons, views that often stray from political correctness. The city's human rights department once pursued discrimination charges for hanging a Confederate flag inside the bar and for anti-gay T-shirts [I wonder how St. Paul defines "anti-gay"...the shirts probably said, "I'm straight"] worn by employees. (At the time, owner George Kappas said he was neither racist nor homophobic.)

The bluntness continued after the ban went into effect, with much of the ire directed at Council Member Dave Thune, the leading force behind the prohibition. Kappas, in fact, said the bar had recently ordered deodorizing urinal "cakes" with Thune's picture on them.

She also said the bar sometimes posts a sign on the front door: "Closed for a well-deserved cigarette break, compliments of the communist city of St. Paul." But, she said, the smoking takes place outside.
Kappas said bar business is down 40 percent since the ban went into effect March 31. Employees were laid off, and Kappas now works a shortened Saturday shift by herself.
Isn't it nice to know there are still people who believe in defending the Constitution!?

I agreed with Barack Obama

until I kept reading.
Sen. Obama: Democrats Must Compete for Evangelicals

WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.
So far so good. Democrats have often ignored the fact that "faith" - however abstract and obscure they try to make it - is an essential part of someone that can't be turned off by laws.

I even agreed with him here.
"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,"' he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."
Then I read the rest of the article.
"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."
The United Church of Christ? That says a lot about the kind of "faith" he embraces, as I found out in the following paragraph.
Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why "we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway."
Just what is the "field of religious discourse?" It's like the thing I read from the Interfaith Alliance in which point number 2 of 10 points on political campaigns was this: "Religious groups are not voting blocs." Yeah, and Iowa smells nice. Like it or not, the process is what it is, and as long as they try to ignore the facts, Republicans will continue winning. That's where Obama gets this thing right.

And then he just had to throw in one last shot at the all-powerful "separation of church and state" - a phrase never found in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence.
Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.
In other words, conservatives must come to the debate on Democrats' terms.

Not gonna happen. Especially when it's a debate that conservatives are winning in a landslide.

H/T: Pat.

Why I continue supporting the war

It's letters like this one from the La Crosse Tribune that keep me supporting the war in Iraq, despite the difficulties we're facing.
Support us troops, not the terrorists

By TODD ANDERSON / Tomah, Wis.

Speaking as a soldier serving in Northern Iraq, I believe that we are truly doing a great thing here in helping to establish a stable government and military force able to protect themselves. I work with members of the Iraqi Army every day, and they are glad we are here to train them.

We have become their “brothers.” The majority of Iraqi civilians that we pass in the streets are glad we are here. They wave to us and are very friendly. Sure, I miss my family and wish I was back home, but I don’t want to leave here before our job is finished and we can truly say we have done all we can.

When we sign on as soldiers, we agree to take the risk. It is our job. What we need from U.S. citizens are your prayers and support for us, for our government and for the new Iraqi government. If you don’t want to support us, then one of your rights as a U.S. citizen is to leave our country; but don’t give support to the terrorists by denouncing what we are doing as wrong.

To leave Iraq too early would be like a fireman leaving a burning building before the fire is completely out. The flames would rekindle and totally destroy the building. Let’s make sure the “fire” is put out for good this time before we leave.

At least we'll beat the Mexicans in track and field

Though we still need some serious work on soccer.
Presidente Vincente Fox has announced that Mexico will not participate in the next Summer Olympics. The reason is that anyone who can run, jump, or swim has already left the country.
But then, soccer doesn't matter anyway. Besides, you can't kick yourself over the border.

H/T: my grandpa.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Media bias

Here is some food for thought on bias in the media.
Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when one of them was attacked by a rabid coyote. Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off a nearby fence, wedged it into the animals mouth and twisted it, breaking the coyote's neck.

A newspaper reporter from the Boston Herald witnessed the incident and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline:" Brave Young Red Sox Fan Saves Friend from Jaws of Vicious Animal."

"But I'm not a Red Sox fan," the little hero interjected.

"Sorry" replied the reporter. "But since we're in Boston, Mass, I just assumed you were." Hitting the delete key, the reporter began: "John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend from Horrific Animal Attack."

"But I'm not a Kerry fan either," the boy responded.

The reporter said, "I assumed everybody in this state was either for the Red Sox or Kerry or Kennedy. What team or person do you like?"

"I'm a Texas Rangers fan and I really like George W. Bush," the boy said.

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began again: "Arrogant Little Conservative Dirtbag Kills Beloved Family Pet."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'd vote for John Murtha

No, not the Pennsylvania anti-war Congressman. The Baldwin native who's running for state assembly in the 29th district.

I met him Friday night. I also found out that not only is their middle initial both "P," but their middle names are both Patrick. How random is that? Apparently the only difference is that the PA Murtha is a Jr.

In any event, Murtha seems like a really good guy. As I've said, I'm not endorsing anyone in the primary at this point, but he's definitely someone I'd support in the general. He and primary opponent Isaac Weix got to meet each other and seemed to get along well with each other. They talked for a long time and I didn't notice any fighting. Hmm...a friendly election? How much fun could that possibly be?

Check out Murtha's website here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Schwarzenegger lays down the gauntlet

Schwarzenegger Denies Bush Troop Request

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week rejected a request from the Bush administration to send an additional 1,500 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, the governor's office confirmed Friday.
I'm not decidedly against this move. I don't think there's a necessity to be "for" or "against" this move though. He didn't feel that the California National Guard could handle the strain, so he said no. Most people don't know that when the President calls up the National Guard, the governor must approve the move.

I'm sure there will be many accusations that Schwarzenegger is playing politics with this, considering the large Hispanic population in California, but just three weeks ago he did send troops to the border. He's simply saying no to any more for now. So I don't think he's playing a political game with this.

But I could be wrong. It's happened before....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yes, I can spell "opera"

I just noticed that I spelled "opera" "O-P-R-A" in my music poll at the top of the right column. My bad.

Actually, I initially spelled it "O-P-R-A-H" before deleting the "H" and deciding to go with it. That's what I get for putting the poll together with little sleep.

Either way, no one has voted for it anyway....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

29th Assembly wrap

I've had a few posts on the 29th Assembly seat (click here for a map), which is being vacated by Andy Lamb.

Isaac Weix of Elmwood was the first Republican to enter the race. He officially filed May 11.

John Murtha of Baldwin was next. He filed June 7th.

Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond is the last to declare. According to the State Elections Board (page 20), he has yet to officially file. However, I've spoken with him and he's definitely serious about the race and is putting together an organization.

Regarding occupations, here's what I know at this point. Weix owns some kind of a hardware and appliance store in Elmwood (T&S Hardware, if I'm not mistaken). I believe he is co-owner with his brother. He also served in Iraq with the Marines. Murtha owns Murtha Sanitation in Baldwin and is apparently a member of a big local band that's been around for a while. Stafsholt works for St. Croix Financial Services. I believe he also has a 1100-acre cash crop hobby farm (he did as of two years ago, anyway, based on what he said on page 34 here).

I've spoken with both Weix and Stafsholt and by the end of the week should have the opportunity for meet Murtha. I'll be working with all three of them until the primary, so don't expect any endorsement from me. (I should note that when this post was written, Weix was the only announced candidate.) I also have complete contact info on all three candidates, so if you'd like to get in touch with them, just let me know.

According to the State Elections Board, the only two announced Democratic candidates are Craig Mohn of Woodville and Kerry Kittel of New Richmond. I know little of either. I've seen Mohn and I know that he ran in 2004 for the same seat as a Libertarian. His dad was the Democratic assemblyman for the 29th back in the 70's. Kittel is a teacher who I'm told took a leave of absence to run for this seat. I'm not sure if that leave was paid or not, though I could certainly speculate. Anything else I know about him would be on his website, which you can find here. (I do know that he says "principal" where it should say "principle" and says "of" where it should be "off." Wouldn't normally care that much, but the guy's a teacher....)

I should note that Kittel's "Issues" page is worthless. It says next to nothing about where he stands. Just a bunch of broad, general statements. Most telling was this sentence: "A well-educated society produces a higher tax base." Of course! Educate people so we can tax them! I love the logic....

There's my summary of the 29th Assembly seat, for what it's worth.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Isn't it ironic?

No, not the Alanis Morissette song.

The Relient K song.

I like Relient K. I Googled them recently for some reason that I have since completely forgotten. I found their MySpace page and a user had a really good comment. She said,

In your song "My Girlfriend" you have the lyrics:

"Go up to her and say you're a believer.
Disgusting trash on MTV it makes her smile."

And now you guys were on Mtv.

Kinda makes you think....

Actually, I'd never thought about it. I did think it was kind of odd that they were on MTV, but then, they've always crossed over between really solid Christian songs like For the Moments I Feel Faint and more secular songs like Sadie Hawkins Dance. They even opened for Simple Plan and Good Charlotte last year.

It's very odd though. I just hope they don't go downhill now. If their next album is as good as their last album, they won't.

Reagan quote #15

Unfortunately, this is where most of it ends.
All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

Do you know someone with the gay disease?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Pentagon document classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, decades after mental health experts abandoned that position.

The document outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service members with physical disabilities, and in a section on defects lists homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.
What really gets me is this:
The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, uncovered the document and pointed to it as further proof that the military deserves failing grades for its treatment of gays.
Are you kidding? We have a public university with public tax dollars going to a Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military? Even for California, that's a...okay, maybe it's not such a stretch for California.

While we're at it though, why don't we start a Center for the Study of Left Handed Arachnophobic Bank Tellers?

I definitely think this next guy is really wrong though.
Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the center, said, "The policy reflects the department's continued misunderstanding of homosexuality and makes it more difficult for gays and lesbians to access mental health services."
Shouldn't this actually make it easier for gays and lesbians to access mental health services? I mean, hey, they're classified as having a mental disease already, so that should automatically put them in the front lines for mental health services!

Okay, that wasn't funny. My apologies.

But I think the Department of Agriculture is still considering left handed arachnophobic bank tellers to be officially insane. I'm going to go back to working on my application for a grant to start that Center for the Study of Left Handed Arachnophobic Bank Tellers.

Like a faucet

Two things are reminding me of a faucet. One happens to be my nose. Being sick really stinks.

The other is my defense. My glove was a faucet last night, forgetting to stop any softball that came near it.

Okay, so there was really just one big blunder with the glove, but hey, one blunder is one too many for me. It was a line drive that was going to land 25 feet in front of me. I came in on it and tried to scoop it up a foot off the ground and throw it in one swift motion.

I should have just tried to scoop it. I don't know if I should blame the fact that it bounced off my palm and went behind me on the lights on the field. It's definitely different playing under lights at night. I also didn't hit well, though I didn't strike out either. Granted I was up with 2 outs every time I went to bat. I never do well with 2 outs for some stupid reason. Maybe I'll blame it all on the fact that Kristi was there. But then, Pat was there too. So was Martha. So was Larry. And Gregg was pitching. (Illegally, I might add.)

Whatever. We lost fair and square and I was over it before it was over, especially considering that it was basically against ourselves since we were playing the other team from our church. Hey, at 4-1, my sources tell me we're still on top of the league.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Making fun of Bush

And no, it's not Conan O'Brien. It's me. (And my grandma...she sent me this.)
BREAKING NEWS: In an attempt to thwart the spread of bird flu, President George W. Bush has bombed the Canary Islands. Turkey is next.
If you can't poke fun at yourself, you're probably taking life a little too seriously.

So the ACLU isn't for free speech...

But then, who am I kidding to think they are?
The valedictorian of Foothill High, Brittany McComb, decided to share her faith voluntarily at her graduation cermony. However, before she could get to the part that meant the most to her, Christ, her microphone went dead. Her speech was in no way endorsed by her school, however the school directly participated in censoring her free speech.
You can read the rest of it here from Freedom Folks.

I really liked what the girl had to say about the whole thing.
“I went through four years of school at Foothill and they taught me logic and they taught me freedom of speech,” McComb said. “God’s the biggest part of my life. Just like other valedictorians thank their parents, I wanted to thank my Lord and Savior.”
Thank God we have options other than public school.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why learn English?

Especially when the government ensures that you don't have to.

If you were to visit the Wisconsin State Elections Board's website, this is what would be staring you in the face.

Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I want to check the history books to see if they had Norwegian forms when my mom's family came over. What about Polish for everyone who moved to Chicago?

But I digress...

Retracting my forgiveness for the Chicks

A few months ago I flirted with the idea of forgiving the Dixie Chicks.

However, I'm going the way of Natalie Maines, who took back her apology for her remarks about President Bush. I'm retracting any hint of an idea that what she said was okay.

Here's why:
"A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do," says Robison.

"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Earth to the Chicks: waving the American flag is NOT a promotion of one's career.

May the United Kingdom welcome them with open arms.

Good grief.

H/T: Owen.

A new poll; reflecting on the last poll results

First, the results of my first attempt at a poll were pitiful.

No, the percentages weren't pitiful. They were...interesting, I guess. The number of people who voted was pitiful.


There are more people than that who read this blog everyday. But then, I suppose there aren't many people in this country who vote anyway. Even those who do vote don't know who they're voting for on most of the ballot. So I shouldn't expect anything less on this blog.

In fact, to highlight my point, I found out yesterday that a friend of mine doesn't know who Al Gore is. This individual admitted to only voting in presidential elections, but still...the former vice president of the United States for 8 years and the presidential candidate who received the most votes in 2000 and was part of a month-long election fiasco that dominated the headlines...and you don't know who the guy is!?!?

So I have a new poll. It's not political. It's for you, ____ (you know who you are), and those like you who, well, just don't care about the things that affect your lives every day.

Oh, final results on the previous poll.
Who would you vote for in Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District?

8th Congressional District? Where's that? 24% (8)

John Gard 32% (11)

I don't care for any of them 6% (2)

Terri McCormick 12% (4)

A Democrat 21% (7)

A third party candidate 6% (2)

34 votes total

San Francisco: loony since 1976

I read this story about a pet cemetery being dug up because the lease on the lot was up because I was intrigued by anyone who would want to actually pay for a grave for their pet. I don't hate animals but, um, a cemetery for pets? I find it very strange.

However, the solution to these pet owners' (or should I say, former pet owners') problem was pretty predictable.
Frantic pet owners recently staged a rally at the cemetery, and they are exploring legal options to stop the exhumations, said Cathryn Hrudicka, whose buried her dog Poquito at Pet's Rest.
Protesting and suing. The primary tools used by liberals! (And let's face it: what self-respecting conservative a) buries their pet in a pet cemetery b) protests and c) sues every time they don't get their way?)

On top of that, who knew there were psychologists who dealt with pet loss?
Grief counselors who deal with pet loss say mourning a pet is as natural as mourning a person.
I'm not shocked, but I'm rudely awakened to the fact that the world I live in is drastically different than the world in which many other Americans live.

Electrify the border!

In a story about ranchers putting up ladders to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing, I found this guy's method much, much more effective.
Rancher Michael Vickers never liked the ladder idea and instead has ringed his fence with 220 volts of electricity.

"I've had a dose of it myself, it's not fun," he said. "That's just my attitude, why make it easier for them to trespass?"
Now that's what I'm talking about!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Don't knock the sunglasses, man!

Heh. This is just funny.
WASHINGTON - President Bush, who often teases members of the White House press corps, apologized Wednesday after he poked fun at a reporter for wearing sunglasses without realizing they were needed for vision loss.
Bush called on Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten and asked if he was going to ask his question with his "shades" on.

For the viewers, there's no sun," Bush said to the television cameras.

But even though the sun was behind the clouds, Wallsten still needs the sunglasses because he has Stargardt's disease, a form of macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss. The condition causes Wallsten to be sensitive to glare and even on a cloudy day, can cause pain and increase the loss of sight.

Wallsten said Bush called his cell phone later in the day to apologize and tell him that he didn't know he had the disease. Wallsten said he interrupted and told the president that no apology was necessary and that he didn't feel offended since he hadn't told anyone at the White House about his condition.

"He said, `I needle you guys out of affection,'" Wallsten said. "I said, 'I understand that, but I don't want you to treat me any differently because of this.'"

Wallsten said the president said he would not treat him differently, so Wallsten encouraged him to "needle away."

"He said, `I will. Next time I'll just use a different needle,'"
Wallsten said.

Wallsten said he thought that was a pretty good line. And his only complaint is that the president didn't answer his question at the news conference.

Wallsten, who is also author of a book coming out next month titled "One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century," had asked about White House credibility now in the aftermath of top aide Karl Rove having been cleared in the CIA leak investigation. But Bush said he wouldn't comment with another top White House aide still facing prosecution in the case.
For being a journalist from the LA Times, he was pretty cordial. Granted, journalists often do a lot of sucking up to important peoplein an attempt to get a good story or get their questions answered. Still, funny stuff.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The only post on the World Cup from me, ever.

This is for Matt. You should all check out his blog, Stitched Up. I've already posted on illegal immigration in Arizona today, so I might as well post on another subject close to Matt's heart.

In the opening match of soccer's World Cup Friday, German midfielder Torsten Frings scored an amazing goal from 40 yards out. The ball started off straight and then tailed sharply to the right in the last 10 yards or so. It was an unstoppable shot, but with a different ball it might have been a simple save.

A scientist has explained why a new ball being used in this year's World Cup is frustrating goalies.

The new Adidas Teamgeist football, as it is called, has 14 panels instead of the 26 or 32 that traditionally create the hexagonal pattern.

Fewer panels means fewer seams, which will make the ball behave more like a baseball, says Ken Bray, a sports scientist at the University of Bath in the UK.

[emphasis added]

Okay, I'll be honest. The only reason I posted this is because it compared soccer with the only sport that would be worth keeping if all other sports were to disappear: BASEBALL!!!

Soccer is fun. I played it for a year. However, I was forced to choose between baseball and soccer. Sorry, but soccer doesn't hold a candle in the wind to baseball. It's America's pasttime. It's the only sport in the world in which at any point in the game you can feasibly win, right up until the game is over with. It's the only game in which you can have a 10-run comeback in the bottom of the ninth. You can't have a 10-point comeback in basketball with 10 seconds left. You can't have a 10-goal comeback with 5 minutes left. It just doesn't happen.

Baseball is the best. Period.

(But read Matt's blog anyway. He's still got good stuff to say, even if he is a World Cup fanatic.)

Increased border patrol actually keeps illegal immigrants out?

Apparently that's the case. I know, it's a shocking concept.
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico -- The arrival of U.S. National Guard troops in Arizona has scared off illegal Mexican migrants along the border as a whole, significantly reducing crossings, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.

U.S. authorities said Monday that detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border have decreased by 21 percent, to 26,994, in the first 10 days of June, compared with 34,077 for the same period a year ago.

Along the Arizona border, once the busiest crossing spot, detentions have dropped 23 percent, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
It's such a novelty. Who'd have thunk it?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Isaac Weix may have primary opposition

Rumor has it that John Murtha is considering a run for the 29th assembly seat as a Republican. No, this isn't the Pennsylvania congressman who's been ranting against the war in Iraq. This guy is from Baldwin.

I have no personal confirmation of the rumor. As of now, it's still a rumor. I'll keep you posted as I hear more.

P.S. If this John Murtha is the guy who I think it is (based on a White Pages search), then his middle initial is "P," which is the same as the Pennsylvania congressman. Very odd/ironic/weird/whatever-adjective-you-want-to-insert-here.

UPDATE: It's been confirmed: John P. Murtha is running. I checked it out with the State Elections Board. Apparently he's got some band in Baldwin that's got a local following. Forgot their name. I'm sure more will come later.

This one's for Martha

I met Martha tonight. I didn't know Martha, but she knew me. Martha reads my blog. She was sitting behind me and asked, "Are you Joey?" She said I talk the way I write. I guess that makes sense.

Martha was disappointed that I hadn't entertained her today. First, I should thank Martha for reading this. I'm humbled that anyone actually reads this and I'm sorry that I don't have time to post more. I actually just wrapped up a meeting (yes, at 11:00 PM) and still have a few more hours to put in here at the office. Second, well, it's going to be tough for me to find time to blog through most of the year. I'll be out of the office late tomorrow afternoon until Thursday afternoon, and that's just one of many times that I'll be unable to blog. Even when I'm in the office, I have so much work to do that blogging just doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

However, I will attempt to keep up with at least a post or two a day that is at least mildly entertaining, thoughtful, and possibly even provocative. I'd post on the meeting at which I met Martha tonight, but there are some things that are better left for a forum other than the blog. I'll try to think of something though.

Until then, thanks Martha. Thanks for reading.

Steamrolling to 4-0

That's right. The mighty...well, whatever softball team is now 4-0 and sitting on top of the league. Not a bad place to be.

I have a ton of things swirling around in my mind that I'd love to post about things pertaining to the usual topic of this blog, but I just don't have the time to post my thoughts on politics and religion right now. Maybe tonight.

So until then, I hope you're able to cope without any inspiration from me.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The entire USA now infected with Wide White

I was on the phone with cbass (who refuses to actually get a blog but seems content with just commenting on all of her friends' blogs) and was perusing my blog hits when I came across a visitor from Maine.

I've been keeping track of where visitors are coming from for less than two months now, just for the fun of it - curiosity, I guess, plus it feeds my geographically inquisitive nature. For weeks I've been stuck on 48 states, with just Maine and Vermont to go. Maine was the 49th.

Twenty minutes later I came across this hit.

Now that I've had a visitor from all 50 states, should I shoot for all of the Canadian provinces and territories? Or do they have the internet in Nunavut?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bob Barker would be proud!

But I'm not.
Rhode Island requires that cats be fixed

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Gov. Don Carcieri signed a law Friday making Rhode Island the first state in the nation to require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets.

Cat owners must spay or neuter pets older than six months unless they pay $100 for a breeder's license. Violators can be fined $75 per month.
And, like any good government requirement, there are government subsidies for the unfortunate among us (i.e., the poor).
Under the law, low-income pet owners would be eligible for subsidies for low-cost surgery. Farmers are exempt.
This stuff ticks me off. I know, you're probably thinking, "Dude, Joey, chill out." (Okay, you older people are thinking, "Young lad, you should really simmer down a wee tad bit." That last part is only if you're Irish.) I'm just fed up with the government passing stupid laws because they have to watch out for us because Mr. Citizen just can't be responsible on his own and needs Mr. Government to step in and take over.

Good grief.

Why even consider joining the military?

This letter comes from Bob Dohnal of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest. I thought I'd post it because it speaks for many of the reasons that I have seriously considered joining the military over the last 8 months. I still don't know what I'm going to do in the end, though I'm leaning towards not joining at this point for a number of reasons, but I know that not everyone understands why I'd even consider it.

While everyone has their own reasons, I think Jake does a good job of explaining the reasons it's worth at least considering. This statement was written for his OCS application.
I have been asked why I am joining the Army. It may seem odd to most that a student already on an established path toward a promising, and lucrative, law career would choose to postpone his life for three years to serve as an Army officer. To me the proposition of serving one’s nation at a time when it is surrounded by enemies is not at all odd and is indeed the only reasonable option.

I recall in summer of 2004 that I many had conversations with friends about joining up with the Army as a service to the Republic. At the time I decided that my law career was more important. I have since come to the realization that it is called service and sacrifice for a reason. This nation cannot continue to function as a proper republic without those who come to accept that there is something larger than careers, jobs and individual goals. This republic is rife with apathy, self-centeredness and very little sense for the common good.

This nation was founded by those who, despite their lofty positions within the British colonial society of the time, felt it necessary to have the courage to postpone their lives and careers for a great cause. Indeed, throughout the history of western civilization great men are always those who didn't play it safe by continuing their careers as lawyers, bookkeepers, brew masters etc...

What is striking about our leaders today is that so very few, whether they support the war in Iraq or not, have given any real service to their nation. Up until a few centuries ago, the men who made the decision to send young men off to war were often leading those very same young men on the field of battle. Napoleon led his troops across Europe in his attempts to bring order to a turbulent continent. Several Roman Emperors died in battle, including the last Roman Emperor Constantine XI, who fell at the walls of Constantinople in 1453. Flash forward to 2006 and what do we have? Hundreds upon hundreds of Senators and Representatives, who never sacrificed much at all for their nation, avoided military service and, in many instances, merely use their office for personal gain.

The state of politics in this nation is unacceptable. The Republican Party is being destroyed from the inside out by the cancer of corruption and arrogance. Many of our current leaders have forgotten the reasons why they have been chosen to lead, and have thrown traditional conservative values out the window in their efforts to win at all costs. Though they have been successful in winning election after election since 1994, they have never stopped to consider if they have been actually worthy of success. In my view, many of them are not worthy in any sense of the word. Our generation must do better and the road to reclaiming our party begins with the individual realizing that he can do better and that only actions, not words, can restore the purity of our cause.

Everyone from my parents and friends to my recruiter has asked the same question: "Considering your education and future career in law, why would you do this?" The greatness of this nation can only be restored by those who will have the courage to look our problems in the eye and do something about them. Democracy can only be maintained by those who have a share in the society they defend and uphold. In today's America we seem to have a profound shortage of both virtues. As a consequence, as a matter of honor, duty and principle, I feel I can best contribute to the nation by serving as an Army officer.

Jake F. Creecy
Board of Directors
Citizens for Sound Leadership
605 N. 23rd Street #11
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414.704.5027

Friday, June 09, 2006

Reagan quote #14

I think my mom would agree with this one.
A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.

I'll eat at Geno's

Geno's Steaks is one of Philadelphia's esteemed producers of the Philly Cheesesteak.

They also demand that you order in English.
Situated in a South Philadelphia immigrant neighborhood, Geno's — which together with its chief rival, Pat's King of Steaks, forms the epicenter of an area described as "ground zero for cheesesteaks" — has posted small signs telling customers, "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH.'"
The owner has been pretty public about his politics for a while though.
Vento, a short, fiery man with a ninth-grade education, arms covered in tattoos and a large diamond ring in his ear, also sells "freedom fries" to protest France's opposition to the
Iraq war. He rails against Mumia Abu-Jamal, the black man who was convicted of killing police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981 and has become a cause celebre among some death penalty opponents. Memorials to Faulkner are posted at his shop.
I'll have to make a note to stop by next time I'm in Philly.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Get a real campaign website

If you're going to run for Secretary of State, you might want to get something other than a Geocities page. It takes a few simple steps.
  1. Get a host
  2. Get a domain name
  3. Design the webpage (or just use the template provided by your host)

I guess when you're Green Party candidate Mike LaForest though, that's asking a bit too much. But hey, that "LaForest Fire" slogan is cute. Unfortunately for LaForest, I don't think most voters are too crazy about that kind of cute.

Hey, I'll give him this much: at least he doesn't admit defeat like Mike Miles does up in the 7th District Congressional race.

The reality is that no one can beat Dave Obey.
However, Mike has never been a true believer in reality.
Well, at least he's not trying to light a LaForest Fire!

Coverage on the governor's race

For you poll junkies, Kevin has some great insight into the polls from the governor's race here.

Mark Green is doing very, very, very well.

Everyone already knows, but...

...AL-ZARQAWI IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just had to say it. It feels good. This is as big or bigger than getting Saddam. This is the guy who's been behind all of the suicide bombing and kidnappings and beheadings. He's disgusting and this will be an ENORMOUS boost to our efforts in Iraq.

I was actually up late last night when the story came on the news. ABC broke away from regular programming (which at that time was probably either Jimmy Kimmel or Inside Edition - when I turned it on, they'd already broken into the program) to air the news. This is the first mainstream media news that I've actually wanted to watch in a while.

You can read the full story here.

(I'm watching the press conference now. A reporter actually asked Press Secretary Tony Snow what he thought about the plausible scenario that this came about because another terrorist tipped off coalition forces just so he could move up the ranks and take Zarqawi's position. Tony Snow's reply: "That would be a pretty stupid terrorist." Snow went on to point out the short life expectancy of terrorists. It was a great answer to a stupid question. If the media can find a reason this isn't good for the U.S., they will.

One thing is for sure: terrorist attacks will go down. The only question is will al-Zarqawi be replaced by anyone of equal "caliber" among the terrorist world? We can only pray the answer is no.

Just one WI Congressman with no opinion...

...on the marriage amendment, and it's my Congressman.
Kind mum on state vote

La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind refuses to say how he plans to vote on the Wisconsin amendment, “preferring to keep his vote as a private citizen private,” spokesperson Stephanie Lundberg said Wednesday.

Kind opposes the federal amendment banning same-sex marriage, voting against it in 2004.
In all fairness, Dave Obey didn't give his view either. However, Obey refuses to give interviews to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ever since they stopped home deliveries in his home district.

And by the way, since when was a politician ever a "private citizen"? Since when did a politician's view on something become something his constituents weren't supposed to know?

I understand that politicians are also humans with families and deserve an amount of privacy. However, when you won't give your constituents your beliefs on a political issue that's this big, there's something wrong.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Reagan quote #13

In response to a heckler at his last campaign stop on Election Day in 1980:
"Oh, shut up!"

Republicans did NOT dodge a bullet

The media loves to paint the election this year as if it's the Republicans' to lose. In all fairness, elections are always the majority party's to lose. However, if you listen to the media, you'd think that Republicans can't help but lose it.

California had a special election yesterday to fill a vacant seat that had been held by Duke Cunningham. Of course, Cunningham was a Republican who was convicted of accepting bribes. He was forced to resign. The media said that this should have been a disaster for Republicans.

In the primary for the special election, the Democrat received 44% of the vote. The leading Republican only received 15%. So when the Republican jumps 40 points and wins with 55% in the general election and the Democrat is only able to scrap up one more percentage point, why isn't that a huge story?

Because the media assumes that Republicans will lose. If they don't lose, it's because something went wrong. "Well, the district leaned Republican." Yeah, I know that. But Mr. Media, you told me that the district was going to swing towards the Democrats this time because of X, Y, and Z. You told me the stars were aligned for the Democrats. What happened now?

What happened is the media's sources are often biased. It's not always the fault of the journalists writing the stories. Sometimes they're simply relaying what they're told. For example:
"The Republicans dodged not a bullet, but a bazooka. Things look brighter for them today," said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato.

"It's going to be a Democratic year, but will it be the kind of year that produces a victory big enough for them to take control of the House?" Sabato asked. "That's much less sure today than it appeared to be on Monday."
So, you're a reporter and you interview this guy who's a political science professor, and of course these political science professors know all. This professor tells you, "It's going to be a Democratic year," and, "Republicans dodged a bazooka," what would you think? You'd probably think this guy was right. Afterall, as a reporter, your job is to simply report the news, and your source for the news just told you it's going to be a Democratic year.

However, this source is pretty biased. He's a Democratic contributor (though $500 isn't exactly a ton of money). The bottom line is, it's no surprise that this professor thinks it's going to be a Democratic year. He's a Democrat.

However, with the legal and ethical problems that guys like William Jefferson and Harry Reid and Jim Doyle are having, Democrats are having a pretty difficult time painting Republicans as being proponents of a "culture of corruption."

Remember: all politics are local. The election in California proved that. As long as Republicans get back to the 1994 "party of reform" ideals, we'll be good. I for one can't be concerned about the Republicans around the rest of the nation. I'm confident in the candidate in my district, and I'll be busting my butt for him.

I'm not going to worry too much about how Republicans in other areas of the country are doing because quite frankly, I don't care too much. All I can worry about is my own backyard. And that's all that most Americans will be worrying about come November.

Is Kennedy really reclaiming America for who he says he is?

Not the Kennedy you're probably thinking of. I'm not talking about John F. or Robert F. or John F. Jr. or Ted or even Patrick.

I'm talking about Dr. D. James Kennedy. Honestly, I probably agree with the guy on a lot of his theology. But that's not my beef.

My problem is with the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, an outreach of Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries.

I've had enough of "Christians," or what is known as the "Christian right," politicizing Christ. Too many people have a skewed view of what it means to "reclaim America for Christ." I've seen little evidence of the Center for Reclaiming America doing more than energizing people to vote a certain way. If that's your goal, start a political party. Call yourselves the "Center for Reclaiming America for Our Values." Because that's what these things are to you; they are your values. They may be Christian values, and they may be your values as a direct result of the fact that you love Christ. But don't tell me that you're reclaiming America for Christ because you've been successful at passing a law.

Let's take gay marriage as an obvious, glaring example. The issue has been brought to the forefront by those of us who are against gay marriage. However, what we've done with the issue is shameful. We seem to think that by banning gay marriage we are somehow more Christian; that our nation is more favorable in the eyes of God because we have passed this law.

As the Catholic church recently put it, gay marriage is "one of the factors threatening the traditional family as never before."

No, gay marriage isn't threatening the traditional family. Whether our courts or our legislators decide gay marriage is okay or not will have little to no bearings on the traditional family. What has been threatening the "traditional family" is the divorce, fornication, unwedded and single mothers, and secularism to which the church has turned a blind eye. What threatens the "traditional family" is sin. When are we going to start caring about those sins? When will the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ get upset over the sins that are rampant in their own churches? When will they start petitioning for an end to no-fault divorces? Or is that something that doesn't necessarily contradict their values?

Go to the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ's News section. Do you see anything about outreach? I sure don't. I see a lot of petitions and legislation. That's about it.

Don't get me wrong. I agree with most of the Center's political positions. However, I disagree that these things will result in America being reclaimed for Christ. America won't turn to Christ because we've outlawed abortion or ensured that gay marriage will never happen. America won't turn to Christ until hearts are softened.

Would I like to see abortion outlawed? Yes. Why? Because I believe it is murder and that's something that I don't believe should be tolerated. However, sin will continue whether abortion continues or not. If we outlaw it, sin will still be evident. That sin will either come in a new form or it will be hidden from the law. But either way, the sin will continue.

The cure for that sin is Christ. It isn't laws and legislation and petitions. I might be okay with the Center for Reclaiming America if it didn't add the "for Christ" part. I do believe that as a Christian, every decision we make - including those that are political - should be made with the conviction that we have as Christians.

However, a center that claims to be working for Christ should be working towards doing just that: bringing people to Christ. I don't see any evidence that the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ is doing that.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ron Kind has another opponent

But this one is a fellow Democrat.

(Sorry there's no link, but this came via email and I can't find the story on the La Crosse Tribune's website.)
DeNure running

Local political activist Chip DeNure plans to formally announce his opposition to U.S. Rep. Ron Kind for the Democratic nomination for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District seat.

DeNure said he opposes Kind’s votes in support of remaining in Iraq.

“If a political upstart such as myself who’s never won an election can defeat a five-term incumbent on the issue of the war in Iraq, what a message that would send to the entire political establishment,” he said in announcing his press conference, set for 12:15 p.m. Thursday in the basement at La Crosse Public Library, 800 Main St.

Joan Kent can be reached at (608) 791-8221 or
I don't think DeNure has much of a real shot at winning this one, but Kind's base is definitely disinterested in him, so it could get interesting. It will basically come down to two things: a) can DeNure fire up the base enough to garner the volunteer support he'll need? and b) will he be able to get enough name recognition to win the primary? It will also be interesting to see if he actually campaigns in the entire district or just parks it in La Crosse.

Either way, the anti-war establishment now has a candidate in the 3rd.

UPDATE: You can find that story here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Why blog?

I haven't been posting as often lately. Work has been way too busy to spend time blogging as often as I'd like.

Something that I've thought about though is what's the point of blogging? Does a blog have to have a specific purpose? For example, should a political blog be exclusively political and never about anything else? Techincally, the blog's owner dictate's the topic. However, in the interest of the reader, it generally helps to keep the same general theme.

I haven't generally gone outside of politics, current affairs, and some Christianity and personal story posts. I try to stay as far away as possible from the 15-year-old MySpace blog types. You know how they go... "Michael looked at me today, but I didn't look back, because I'm playing hard to get, but I like him so much and it's so hard. What would you do?" And then the comments run something like, "Oh Bethany, I so totally feel for ya. Life just sucks sometimes, huh?" Except it wouldn't be spelled correctly and there would be countless acronyms like "bff" or...ah, I don't know them, so I'm not even going to try.

Anyway, that's what I don't want this to be. But I do have a number of family and friends who read it, and they like to see more than, well, dry politics. So I've tried to mix it up as much as possible.

I came across the email I sent out to a number of friends when I first started the blog. It sort of sums up why I started this in the first place.
-----Original Message-----
From: Joey -------
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 6:00 PM
Subject: New blog

Hey all, [what kind of a salutation was that?]

I've followed politics for a number of years now, and I often email stories that I find to friends. I also enjoy reading blogs (those that are political in nature anyway...not personal blogs that go "my name is...I like her but she won't look at me...I had such a bad day today"). As most of you know, I had a column when I was a student in college. I miss having that outlet, so I decided to create one.

If you like keeping up with state and national politics but don't have much time and want my digested version of world happenings, you might be interested in checking out the blog I started. It's called "Wide White," and it's at Considering that politics is my job, I come across a lot of information over the course of my workday, so I figured I might as well help those who don't have the kind of job I h ave and don't have the time to follow things.

Hopefully it will be insightful, fun, and most importantly, time well spent. Let me know what you think!

So there it is. That's a bit of a summary of why I initially got going with Wide White. It's evolved somewhat in the last four months, though I think it's stayed fairly consistent.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping it going. I've loved the comments and the people I've been able to meet through this venue. I was somewhat nervous about the people I'd meet. I thought they might be a bunch of techie nerds who I'd never want to hang out with. Instead I found that they're a bunch of techie nerds that are actually cool to hang out with. Just kidding. There are a lot of really neat people that I've been able to meet through this, and they haven't been the weirdos that I thought they'd be. Well, not all of them anyway.

Here's to blogging...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

If I were to join a Party...

...I'd join the Republican Party.

I guess that's not a shock since I'm pretty conservative - though I'm not so sure the Republican Party wants to be conservative any more - but I found another reason why I'd be a Republican before I'd ever be a Democrat.

(This was part of a story speculating who would be the committee chairs if the Democrats were to take control of Congress this fall.)
Republicans award chairmanships based on the evaluation of a leadership committee that takes into account leadership fealty, fundraising prowess and other factors. Democrats would award would-be chairmanships strictly by seniority.
Sounds like the way public school teachers are recognized. The longer you teach, the more you get paid. Who cares if you don't really know how to teach? You're tenured!!

Any Party that awards leadership positions solely on account of the length of employment is one I can't support.

Grown men do cry

Even men with tattoos, leather, and nose rings.

The Patriot Guard Riders showed up in full force for a funeral for a Minnesota Marine killed in Iraq.
One of those lining the street outside the church was an Iowan who calls himself "Scary Jerry." Jerry Myers' shaved head gave way to fat silver hoop earrings in each ear, a nose ring, and a long beard. At 3 a.m. he had finished transporting residents of a halfway house home from their factory night shift, and at 4 a.m. he was on the road from Garner, Iowa.

"If I tear up, I'm sorry," he said, and he did, a little. "This is the absolute least I can do."
Thankfully the Wichita group didn't show up to protest. Governor Tim Pawlenty even personally thanked the riders.

In a "perfect world" I'd have a Harley and I'd have been there with them.

Feminists are at it again...

...this time it's at Elizabeth Vargas's expense.

Of course, Vargas just announced that she's stepping down from ABC's World News Tonight. She's supposed to be the co-anchor, but since her co-anchor, Bob Woodruff, was seriously wounded in Iraq, she's been flying solo. Ratings have taken a nose dive. The woman is pregnant. So, she decided to resign.

However, ask a feminist what her take on it is and she'll insist that Vargas is being pressured out and it's all because she's a woman.
Feminist groups say Vargas is just being publicly graceful about what was really her abrupt removal from the job.

"We see it as a demotion," says Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and one of the country's most recognizable feminists. "We're worried. Is this a return to the days when it was tougher for women to get ahead?" [Don't feminists argue that it still is tougher for women to get ahead? So we really aren't returning to anything, we're just maintaining the status quo. Or is Smeal admitting that it's not any tougher for women to get ahead?]

Smeal was one of three feminist leaders to sign a letter this week to the heads of ABC, asking them to reinstate Vargas.

"This clear demotion signals a dispiriting return to the days of discrimination against women that we thought were behind us," said the letter. It asked the network to find a work schedule that would allow Vargas to be both a dedicated mother and a dedicated journalist — and even brought a little show business into the equation, decrying ABC's cancellation of "Commander in Chief," starring Geena Davis as the first woman president.

"You have now managed to eliminate two of the country's most visible women role models," said the letter, also signed by Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, and Susan Scanlan, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations.
A few thoughts here.
  1. Bad ratings end anyone's tenure as an anchor. Male or female.
  2. Pregnancy and motherhood "slow down" many women's careers. And they choose that.
  3. How Eleanor Smeal sees this is completely irrelevant. Being the President of the Feminist Majority Foundation doesn't give her the leverage to say that Vargas's voluntary decision is a demotion.
  4. The fact that they even brought Geena Davis and "Commander in Chief" into the equation is ridiculous. Refer to 1. Bad ratings kill shows. Period.
  5. If Elizabeth Vargas were the best anchor ever, they should have made sure their favorite anchor was also a feminist whose family took a backseat to her career. Or they could have actually watched Vargas' newscasts.
  6. Geena Davis and Elizabeth Vargas are the two most visible female role models? Since when were Hillary Clinton and Cindy Sheehan taken off the list?

Those are my 6 thoughts, for what they're worth.

Friday, June 02, 2006

French jokes

I love French jokes. If you don't, then stop reading now, because you won't like the rest of this post.

Q: Where can you find 60,100,000 French jokes?
A: In France.

Q: What do you call a Frenchman advancing on Baghdad?
A: A salesman.

Q: How do you kill a Frenchman?
A: Slam the toilet seat down when he's getting a drink.

"Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion."
- Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin.

Donald Rumsfeld was being heckled by a French anti-war weenie when he suddenly turned and asked the Frenchman:
"Excuse me. Do you speak German?"
The Frenchman replied "No."
Rumsfeld looked him in the eyes and said "You're welcome."

True quote from French President Jacques Chirac:
"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure."
True quote from Rush Limbaugh:
"As far as France is concerned, you're right!"

Q: What do you call 100,000 Frenchmen with their hands up?
A: The Army.

The 10 senators I like right now

As I said yesterday, I'm not going to be mad about this new car seat bill. Government has been getting bigger for years, so there's no reason to flip out too much now.

So, instead of ripping into the Republicans in the Senate who voted the wrong way, I'm going to thank the 10 senators with whom I'm pretty happy right now.

Glenn Grothman
Sheila Harsdorf
Ted Kanavas
Neal Kedzie
Alan Lasee (interestingly, he was originally a cosponsor)
Mary Lazich
Joe Leibham
Tom Reynolds
Dale Schultz
Cathy Stepp

Some of these are folks with whom I disagree on issues like ethanol, but it's only fair to give them just as much credit when I agree with them as grief when I disagree.

According to The Badger Herald - a publication I'd never endorse, with reporters, including the author of this story, who are hardly neutral - there were ulterior motives in voting for this.
“By signing AB 618, the governor made Wisconsin eligible for $625,000 in new federal funds this year alone, and up to $2.5 million in the next six years,” she said, adding the funding will be used for safety-seat education and training programs, as well as for programs that purchase and distribute safety seats to low-income families. [Um, do you really think that's where that money is going to go? Ha!]

Federal funds are offered as an incentive to states with laws requiring booster or safety seats, Lupardus added.
I should have guessed there was a monetary incentive somewhere from the federal government.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Major action on Prince Edward Island

I've had people directed to this site through some pretty random Google searches.

But I think this one beats all. I'm still scratching my head.

First, I've got to thank the guy for being my first visitor ever from Prince Edward Island. Anne of Green Gables would be proud. (By the way, what is her last name? Is is just "of Green Gables" or what? And then changed to "of Avonlea" when she got married?)

But this guy found my site by Googling "old wilsons plumbing car crash on P.E.I" All I can say is wow. Just wow.

How is it that out of 17,100 sites on "old wilsons plumbing car crash on P.E.I", Wide White comes up number one? Are the other 17,099 sites really as equally irrelevant to the story of Old Wilson's Plumbing's car crash that happened on P.E.I.? And the fact that I actually posted something that included "old," "wilsons," "plumbing," "car crash," "on," and "p.e.i." in the same week....

What are the odds?

(And I'm afraid there will be no more politics from me today. I'm too sick of being mad at Republicans and others in politics right now, so I'm just not going to be mad; I'm just not going to talk about it any more today. Besides, the car seat story was enough to keep me mad enough for a while if I want to be....)

This is way more than just "click it or ticket"

This is wrong.

I wasn't going to post this because I read about it when it passed a few months ago. It made me mad then, and still makes me mad.

However, the law goes into effect today, and I realize there are probably some parents who read this who it may affect.

Bottom line: If your kid is under 8 years old, you'll get a ticket if they're not in a car seat!

It's a little more complicated than just that. If you'd like a chart from the Department of Transportation explaining things, click here. (Note: it's a PDF.)

If you can't open a PDF, Owen also posted the flow chart here.

That's right, a flow chart. This thing is so comprehensive (or complicated) you need a flow chart. And what gets me is if your kid is between 4 and 8 and is over 80 pounds, he/she doesn't need a car seat. Are we trying to encourage obesity here or what?

It's a happy day for Graco. It's a sad day for low income families who now have to spend another $80 on something the state has told them they must have.

Car seats are great. Hey, I have no doubt it's safer for kids 4-8 to be in a car seat. But it would be safer for adults to be in a car seat for that matter. Why don't we just drive NASCAR vehicles? So what if we have to pay an extra $10,000 for our cars...if the government deems the safety precautions necessary, let's mandate them!!

In a related story, a Wisconsin bill was recently proposed to allow kids to hunt at the age of 8. So once you've unbuckled your 8-year-old from his/her car seat you can hand the kid a rifle and go shoot a deer.

Good grief.