Monday, January 31

Private or Public Charity Watch

One of the best systems that is out there is the taxable income deductions given for nonprofit organization gifts. I don't know what Grassley is thinking, whether he is in league with the liberals who want to make the government in charge of all poor-aid or what, but I don't think he should change any laws governing nonprofits if it takes away incentive to give to them or makes it harder. We want less government welfare not more and nonprofits are the only thing that are going to make that happen.

"Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement that he 'noted with interest' the suggestions to change laws governing nonprofit groups and charitable donations."

My Way News

A Correction That Must Be Made More Often

"An article on Jan. 16 about the way presidents fare in their second terms misstated the reason Bill Clinton was impeached. He was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice, not of having an affair with an intern."--correction, New York Times, Jan. 30

Via Best of the Web

Blue Fingers and Votes

With the successful voting that has gone on in Iraq I am tempted to color my
index finger blue in support of their noble demonstration of freedom in
voting yesterday. Some have suggested that President Bush show up for his
state of the union address on Wed. with a blue finger himself. It sure would
be a cool gesture.

Saturday, January 29

I got Jury Duty...

...and I'm pleased as punch. It's just to bad I don't think they will let
me live blog as a juror. I'm also trying not to be too excited about the
occurrence since it might ruin my chances on actually serving on a jury if I
seem to excited to do it. I serve in March. Look for jury updates then.

Friday, January 28

State Superintendent Election

I attempted to do some research on the Superintendent primary in Feb. and the election in April. Elizabeth Burmaster's lockstep cooperation with WEAC, the governor and her push to tear children away from their parents at early and early ages disqualify her for the post. More information on the race here, and here.Three others are challenging her for her post. I have attempted to contact them all by email. So far only Paul Yvarra has responded. Below are the questions that I asked and his response.
 
WW: Parental involvement and support has often been shown to be critical to the success of a child's education. How will you work to activate parents in the education of their children?
 
Paul Yvarra: I will work to support school choice in Wisconsin.  I believe it will provide an opportunity for parents to select the educational approach they would like their children to receive.  School choice will also provide parents the opportunity to be actively involved in the educational process.
WW:Arizona has implemented successfully a system that enables individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to organizations that give students scholarships. Would you support a similar system in our schools?
 
PY: I am unable to answer this question, since I have no knowledge of the Arizona system. (Ed: I included a link. I wonder why he didn't follow it to find out about it?)
WW:How would you support the home schooling trend in our state?
 
PY: Home schooling like all educational delivery systems must be regulated and student progress monitored.
 
WW: Would you seek to restrict the teaching of all scientific theories that contradict evolution? If so, why?
 
PY: I believe in school choice so parents are able to select the educational program they want their children to receive.  This should also create more parent involvement in the educational process.
 
WW:Would you support abstinence based sexual education. If so, how?
 
PY: Certain social issues should be dealt with by the parent using their value system.  Public education should not become involved in social engineering.
 
Other than his than his ignorance of the school tax credit system, and possibly a more heavy handed approach to homeschooling, I think Dr. Yvarra is largely on the right track. His emphasis on the part that parents play in the education of their children was excellent. Look again especially to his response to the evolution question. Such a response demonstrates an understanding of the issue far beyond most people I have met. He demonstrates a keen understanding in the part that parents play in the education of their children. Whereas I believe that this parental education should be encourage through homeschooling and tax credits and he pushes for vouchers, the parental educational goal is the same.
 
Wild Wisconsin would like to hear back from the two other candidates before it makes a final endorsement, but so far Dr. Yvarra gets a good thumbs up.

For School Board: Endorsed!

Wild Wisconsin again endorses two candidates for the Menomonie school board.
Mike Cady and Tom Jorgensen would make excellent additions to the input of
ideas in the area. Tom is a thinker. He realizes the heavy burden that has
fallen on the taxpayers of Dunn County. Wisconsin is in the top five taxed
states and Dunn County is the second highest taxed county per capita in
Wisconsin. Feeling over taxed? It was no illusion. Tom and Mike would also
be innovative in their ways to deal with the problems. Please vote for Tom
and Mike on Feb.15 and Apr. 5th.

Thursday, January 27

New Twist to Tire Slashing

The big election news about the tire slashing that occurred on vans that were hired by the Republicans to take people to the polls has only gotten more serious over time. Five young men have been charged with felony accounts of vandalism. Even more serious, one of the young men is the son of a Democratic congresswomen Gwen Moore; another the son of a former Mayor Marvin Pratt.

For their actions the five could get up to a $10,000 fine and up to 3 1/2 years in prison.


They kicked us out of our nice visit of the D.C. Zoo early. We couldn't hardly figure out why. It was only snowing a bit--I think D.C. got about four inches over the deal. But when it snows out East, watch out, things become a zoo! The picture above was taken as we crawled along at around 15 mph on five lane freeways. I didn't mind. It was all extremely entertaining. Corvettes slid sideways over nothing, SUVs with the wrong tires could not go anywhere, and people traveled along with their hazard flashers on as if in shock and mourning over the event. Four to eight inches of snow, I was informed, is quite debilitating. Schools are down for days, everyone runs to the stores to stock up on necessities, and politicians lose careers when the roads aren't cleared quickly. What would be considered an average Wisconsin snow storm creates spectacular zoo sights in Washington. Get in line. The number of good viewing spots on the roads are limited.
Click to enlarge

Angels Unaware

Hebrews 13:2 came to mind quite a few times during our trip, in a bit of an unusual way. The verse says that by entertaining strangers some have entertained angels unaware. I wondered though if you could also be entertained (hosted) by angels unaware when you ARE the stranger. Many thanks to the Stinnette family for their gracious (angelic???) hospitality above and beyond the call of duty in hosting us during our visit to D.C.

A call of thanks must also be extended to the Formanak family for their care of our animals back at home as well.


Here, at the inauguration. It was truly inspiring to be at this event in person, to listen to this amazing President enter upon his next four years of office. It was an honor to be there.
Click to enlarge


The day was cold and even hardy Wisconsin toes froze in their shoes, yet that did not stop over 100,000 people from coming out to cry out against the destruction of human life. At my first March for Life I was impressed with the commitment and civility of the event. President Bush spoke to us by phone, and promised to continue his stand for life. S. Brownback as well as many other leaders from Congress encouraged us to go forward in the cause of life as well. Every age group, race, and religion seemed to be present. This young supporter (above) shared from a Dr. Seuss quote how even the very smallest have worth.
Click to enlarge

New Wisconsin Embryonic Stem Cell Info Site

You can find it on the right hand side of Wisconsin Right to Life's homepage.

Saturday, January 22

In D.C.

I jot quickly from near the capitol. Inauguration day seemed to go with very few hitches. We watched with admiration as the President took his oath. We were squished. It was standing room only, but we were thankful that we could see the President live take his oath. We stood next to some Dems, but I could see no one do the "turn your back on Bush" deal. I took a good look as soon as he took the oath and I could see no one doing anything that you could count as a protest. I must put in one exception. A few ladies were taken out in front of us yelling "bring them home!" They hardly were noticed.

I even looked for the protesters in other places. I only saw people carrying signs, out of the bus stations, like they were going somewhere to protest. I never saw any protesters.

Washington is high security, but impressive otherwise.

Monday, January 17

Blog Updates

I was fooling around today with things to do with my blog and decided to put some ads up in the blank space at the bottom of my side bar. Click away!

Sunday, January 16

Got Mud slides? Move to better weather in Wisconsin

Not a hint of sliding mud around here, or flooding rains like they are
having down in California. The sparkling weather that has been dipping to
about 12 below zero keeps us well outside of the possibility of mudslides or
rains. Wisconsin is clean, crisp, and open for those who are tired of all
that type of nasty weather.

Off to Washinton

I head off to Washington D.C. with the rest of my family on Monday. I will
attempt to keep this blog updated with first hand news of the Inauguration,
pro-life marches, and my visit to Patrick Henry College, but I might have to
do some audio post to fill in when I don't have a computer link.

Saturday, January 15

Wisconsin's Own Voter Fraud

It appears that there could have been massive voter fraud here in Wisconsin. The loose standards that Wisconsin employs in checking the people that vote creates thousands of address that need to be verified of people who register at the polls. After the election as these addresses are suppose to be confirmed--immediately. Milwaukee took two months to verify these addresses. Even worse, there was up to 10,000 registration cards that were not readable. Potentially all of these votes were frauds.

This presents a serious possibility that the state of Wisconsin could have really gone for Bush instead of Kerry.

Milwaukee must get to the bottom of the problem.

My View on it here.

Boots and Sabers here.

And the JS here.

Friday, January 14

Quote: I'm Ending it for Good Reasons

"I have the utmost respect for life; I appreciate that life starts early in the womb, but also believe that I'm ending it for good reasons." --An anonymous abortion doctor
 
Thought: I don't like to throw Hitler at an argument flippantly, but doesn't this sound like something he would have said?

Let's Cheer for Private Sports: Do we need to support sports with tax dollars?

I can remember distinctly when I attended my first school board meeting
about a year ago and heard with loud moans that if the taxes were not raised
then the gymnastic team and the swim team would have to be cut. I thought
that was an easy call. I know I'm out of the school loop, I know, but would
some one please inform me why school sports must be tax supported? To my
knowledge the local Menomonie school does not have a hockey team. That
doesn't stop there from being a hockey team that is supported by the parents
and I assume, local businesses. What would happen if we took away all public
school sports?

When I was talking with a college student at church not too long ago he said
that he had an injury in highschool "My senior year!" he said like that was
all that mattered at school--sports. I know it is often true: kids live for
sports at school not education. It shows. Maybe we should consider
emphasizing the RRRs of education once again and let spots be supported by
parents and businesses rather than the ever escalating property taxes. Any
objections? Remember, there would be no reason why you couldn't pray at
private football games.

All it's good for: (All together now) Laugh!!!

Scrapple Face humor blog has his take on the judicial decision that called questioning evolution as a theory in textbooks unconstitutional.

Gist: It violates the evolutionist first amendment rights to the free (and exclusive tax supported) exercise of religion in the classroom. Perfect!

O the Wonders of the Modern Public Education System

By 2009 every high school student will need to know how to read to graduate from Milford Connecticut. Pity those who graduate this year.

via OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

My Favorite Word of the Year: Kerfuffle

Constitutional Quiz

Minimum Wage

Doyle came out swinging in his state of the state address in favor of pushing up the cost of running a business here in Wisconsin by putting up the minimum wage to $6.50/hr. John Gard caved in and said he would negotiate a minimum wage hike up to $6.00/hr. I heard it rumored that Doyle's heavy handed work will backfire, but I still think with John Gard on board it will likely pass. Too bad. John Gard probably believes that since most businesses already pay this much it's not worth holding to the high ground.

Minimum wages is the government playing games with the labor market. It is as bad as saying you have to sell a gallon of milk for at least two dollars. It is not free market. If people don't feel they are making enough at their job I have little problem if they move on or form a union to get higher pay. Begging the government to change it only wreaks it all. When the wages are forced up, the jobs leave town. This is not only about the low-paying jobs. If the lowest get more, everyone else feels like they need more too. Hello new minimum wage, good-bye Wisconsin jobs. Wonder no more why the jobs are shipped off to China.

Milwaukee has a new city minimum wage. A restaurant moved out to the suburbs to get away from it. Do you see the connection?

Thursday, January 13

Mark Green for Governor

Mark Green has been the first person to anounce his bid for governor. John Gard and Scott Walker have also been rumored to be be looking at taking a run for the spot.

I could support any of these guys from what I have heard. My initial favorite would be Mark Green, but that is only because I have had the most contact with him. Boots and Sabers would like to see Scott Walker take up the Republican banner.

via brainpost

War on Terror Marshall Aid: Freedom Aid

As some have already hinted there may be an unexpected benefit from the
recent tsunami: an opportunity to show this area of the world that Americans
do not hate them, and that they have no reason to hate us. In the 1950s
Marshall Aid helped the war ravaged countries of Europe and held back the
forces of communism and formed a strategic security assistance in the Cold
War. In an unlooked for way, the tsunami may be able to have a similar
affect on our war on terror. The countries and areas that were hit by this
wave are hotbeds for radical Islam. They are areas that have been seen as
the likeliest grounds for the recruitment of new Islamic terrorists. Freedom
Aid may be able to change this. The Freedom Aid that the US is providing to
these nations allows Americans to show these people that they do not hate
them, Americans only hate terror. (Looking at Freedom Aid as strategically
important gives the US government legitimacy in giving this aid too).

I call it Freedom Aid for another reason. Since we have noted that much of
the American aid is private, and much of that private aid comes from
churches, Freedom Aid enables those who provide their aid in the name of
Christ to share with those they serve the ultimate freedom that Christ can
give to their lives. "If the Son makes you free, then you will be free
indeed." Support Freedom Aid. In the midst of disaster there is opportunity.
We help because they are hurting, but that does not mean we shed our vision.

Wednesday, January 12

PHC in the News

PHC was briefly mentioned in the Opinion Journal in an article that outlined a growing trend in religious higher education.

On the negative side, it was a classic liberal lumping of us (the secularists) and them (those that hold to a faith) that ignores distinct differences in the goals that are pursued at these different institutions.

On the positive side, it credited these lumped institutions which includes many evangelical colleges with sober students intent on learning and who are producing high caliber results.

(via Different Lights)

Oh, yes, a welcome to all fellow PHC students on this first day of class. I'm looking forward to an exhilarating semester. For the rest of you who are interested in taking a limited peek at a distance learning classes, click here.

Tuesday, January 11

Spin At Its Best: Leader-Telegram calls personal responsibly not productive and not what the people want

So the Leader-Telegram thinks that John Gard's Assembly goals miss the mark:

Medicaid reform and tax-deductible health care savings accounts don't address health care Doug Mell say.

Excuse me, but encouraging personal health care accounts will provide health care for more people since there will be more incentive.

School vouchers don't address the educational needs?

Excuse me, I think your right, but would you be happier if we helped schools out by increasing the vouchers beyond Milwaukee or how about tax-credits to all the state increasing the amount of education money around for everyone?

And on the job, front keeping out minimum wages is suppose to be a distraction.

Excuse me, but most business leader would agree that artificially raising the price of all labor is one of the fastest ways to kick their job producing business out of the state.

Finally, Doug Mell wants the legislature to "encourage local governments to merge or work together"

Excuse me, but wouldn't a property tax do that? "Encourage" is a wad of paper in front of the donkey; tax freeze is the carrot.

You can't list everything as top priority in the Assembly. Even worse, do you expect John Gard to list Doug Mell's big government solutions when the people just expressed through their votes that they wanted less of it? Just ask Joe Plouff and Mary Panzer about it if you don't know what I'm talking about.

When Mr. Mell concludes by saying "Maybe this is the session in which people regain [the control of the government]" he's already forgetting what happened in November.

Monday, January 10

Rathergate Report

So we finally know officially what blogs dismissed in a few hours. The CBS memos were fake and NOT accurate. Some significant things that Rathergate.com noted about the report: Mary Mapes and four other top people at CBS were fired. Mary Mapes was given permission to contact the Kerry campaign although her supervisors deny it. Joe Lockhart agreed that he talked to Mapes. On the down side, the report failed to find any political bias (how did they do that?) although they did find that the investigation on the documents started in 2000, then lagged until 2004 when it was approached in ernest once again. Coincidence?

So Mary Mapes is credited with all the problems and along with the speed with which the story was produced. Rathergate concludes by saying: "So in short, any changes made to the network will be nothing but window dressing. CBS will re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic."

Also see Ratherbiased.com.

Can a Pastor Pray at the Inauguration?

Some guy who's name I wish not to repeat has filed a complaint in court about the Pastors who will be praying at the inauguration. It doesn't look like the challenge has a chance since there are and always have been paid chaplains in Congress, and this view has been upheld in court.

Still this action demonstrates to me once again that our liberties are protected not by paper documents but by an unrelenting vigilance to their preservation.

The ACLJ is helping out the Justice Dept.

I look forward to hearing those prayers in person as apart of our trip out to D.C.

Will Washington Get a Governor?

The inauguration of Ms. Gregoire as governor this Wednesday will probably not end the race. With only 129 votes giving her the seat, and plagued with mounting election problems that keep emerging, a new race may be in the making. The craziest was when up to 5% of ballots in King county were "enhanced" with White-Out or pens.

Interestingly enough, back in 1963 the Minnesota governor was changed after the courts found that in a very close race the already inaugurated governor had actually lost to his opponent. The real winner became governor. May the real governor take their place in Washington as well.

(via powerline)


Wild Wisconsin Camping! I tried some winter camping along with some friends and family. A gigantic fire and lots of warm clothes kept us warm, but we wondered what we were thinking when we forgot our plates, silverware and cups. The bother turned into pleasure when we had to improvise and make our own plates, silverware and cups from what we had and found. We were roughing it. Coffee and hot chocolate kept us awake late, and tired now.  Posted by Hello

Friday, January 7

Scofflaw's Subsidy

Scofflaw's Subsidy is one of the best Wisconsin blogs I've seen yet. There just seems to be more and more good blogs comming out of the web work.

Abu Graib Blog Live

Caffeine and Irony: Is blogging live from the Abu Graib prison scandal. I really think bloggers are at their prime when they do original work like this.

Real Hope is on the Way

I helped out at a rescues mission this evening and came back feeling like
there was hope for the homeless. The HOPE gospel mission that we helped out
assists hundreds of homeless people each year. Not only do they just offer
them food and a safe place to sleep but they find them jobs, and have
reestablishment as hard working citizens as their goal. Above all, they take
no funds from the government. They get their funding from local churches and
businesses and share Jesus as much as possible, because Jesus, they
understand, is the only one who can really make a difference in their lives.

I asked about faith based initiative. They said they refused that type of
funding because they feel gov't should not be involved in poor aid (thumbs
up!). Thankfully for those who have gone this route though, the person I
talked to felt that the programs that did take advantage of the funds were
not restricted from sharing Jesus. The ALCU has gotten word of it tho...it
might not last long.

Thou Shouldest Find Better

What is an acceptable translation of the Bible? These days you often have to
be careful with the new versions of the Bible since they are often not
translated but reconstructed to fit the political correctness of the day. On
the other hand we shouldn't be stuck with the King James version of the
Bible either. Many have argued that this version is the only acceptable
version of the Bible. They argue that there are no other versions out there
that match its accurate translation. I will not argue that its translation
is good, but if it is the only good translation out there we should be
concerned and pushing for a new translation. Why? It's archaic.

Interestingly enough when the King James Bible first came out many of the
Puritans in England refused to use it since they thought it was too modern,
to closely written in the language that everyone used. Such thinking is
reminiscent of the old Catholic church thinking that the scriptures should
be written in Latin lest the people should read it for themselves. I hope
this is not why people still use the King James Bible, but I often wonder.

There is no reason why an accurate and truthful translation of the Bible
could be made that uses standard English. Go, find it and use it. Nothing
should keep us from the fullest understanding of God's Word, especially
archaic words.

Thursday, January 6

Boots & Sabers Make a stab Medical Mistakes

Floating around the web and trying to acquaint myself with more bloggers, I ran across Boots & Sabers explanation as to how medical mistakes should be dealt with. I would concur in their assessment that there is some medical mistakes that are criminal and should be punished by jury awards and other punishments, and then there are others mistakes that are done when the doctor makes the best decision possible based on the circumstances. It deserves to be read in full.

Wednesday, January 5

New Look Attempt

I'm working on a new header for this blog. Here is one rough idea of what it would look like. I'm hoping to put a picture of an American and Wisconsin flag on the left hand side. We'll have to see if I can get it set up in the right part of the blog. My HTML knowledge is limited so any work I do with it is like having a city slicker ride a horse--a hit and miss affair.

Click to enlarge

The Good American Heart

The greatest source of America's generosity is not our government. It is the good heart of the American people." I haven't seen the nail hit so squarely on the head for a long time, in words or action as when Bush introduced his father and Bill Clinton as the head of a campaign to solicit funds for tsunami victims with these words. I wondered for a while if Bush would ever catch on that private and not public funds is the best way to distribute aid. I now have high hopes. This is the best place I have ever seen Clinton in yet I do believe. The post fits his huge fundraising capabilities, and minimizes his many dangers in the best way.

And by the way, the liberals are hopping mad about it accusing Bush with passing the buck. They are the ones who are trying to pass the buck, trying to dump the relief of the victims onto the gov't instead doing their own giving, and solicitation of gifts.

Oh yes, BTW private charitable giving is up to half of what the gov't has spent and expected to surpass it. Are they going to drop that stingy label? Nope. But that's OK so long as we energize others to give and don't pass it off to the impersonal (and religious restricted) government.

What is Being UNdone

If you ever wondered if the UN tacks in the direction of inaction only when their is an Iraq to fight then you should wonder no longer. The Diplomad has been doing an excellent job documenting on the job how the UN has failed the tsunami victims disasterously. The UN is concerned about getting their coordinators and coordinators of coordinators set up in five star hotels so they can go to more meetings, and have more press conferences in the disaster areas so they look like they are helping out while many other nations (U.S. Australia, Singapore, and the Dutch) set about actually helping the people out.

(via worldmag and Jessica)

The Article

I am told that it can be cumbersome to access the link to the
Leader-Telegram article that featured this blog. Blow is the article in
full.

In their Web
Blogs express ideas, keep media in check
Michael Klein
Leader-Telegram Staff

Blogs came into their own in 2004 in all their intemperate but colorful
glory, offering refreshing insights and a lot of self-congratulatory pap.

Bloggers also charged into some ugly feuds with each other and the
mainstream media - the MSM, bloggers call it - bringing public exchanges of
cheap shots not seen since 19th century newspapers slugged it out.

Although Wisconsin, and particularly Minnesota, had many blogs that made a
splash on the political scene, western Wisconsin has seen little effect so
far.

For the uninitiated, blogs, or Web logs, are personal journals kept on Web
sites for anyone to view. Well-known political bloggers such as Instapundit
and Daily Kos had a major effect on the recent presidential election with
their reporting and analysis, often written with certain ideological bents.

Conservative bloggers say the MSM has a liberal bias, while liberal bloggers
insist it favors conservatives. But many bloggers agree that newspapers and
television networks are yesterday's news.

Wisconsin has a few blogs such as Althouse, Brainpost, Boots and Sabers, and
The American Mind. St. Croix County even has a new blog called "On the
Borderline - St. Croix County Daily News" that comments on local and
Wisconsin news from a conservative viewpoint.

Wild Wisconsin blogger stays busy

Blogger Lucas Pillman is a rural Menomonie college student who runs the Wild
Wisconsin blog at wildwisconsin.blogspot.com. His posts are chiefly
political in nature with a conservative, pro-life slant, although he also
blogs about computers and personal matters. He has written an average of
seven posts a week since starting the blog in May, according to his site.

Pillman, 20, said he enjoys blogging, as putting his views in words helps
him formulate them.

"Often the reason I need an outlet is because I see only one side of an
issue reported, some issue is not reported at all or the real heart of the
matter is missed," he said.

For instance, Pillman recently wrote a post returning the charge made in The
New York Times that the United States is stingy because it initially gave
only $35 million to tsunami victims. He points out that total doesn't
include private contributions, and he links to an article that details the
growing effect of such contributions.

Bloggers are not afraid to go after traditional reporters they see as lazy
or biased, which has led to MSM-blogger conflicts.

Powerline, a blog written by three Minneapolis attorneys, recently was named
Blog of the Year by Time Magazine for leading the bloggers' investigation
that revealed the CBS "60 Minutes" story on George W. Bush's Air National
Guard Service was built on forgeries.

But last week, Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman wrote a column
criticizing Powerline, which in the past had ripped him.

Coleman wrote: "They (Powerline bloggers) attack the mainstream media for
not being fair while pursuing a right-wing agenda cooked up in conservative
think tanks funded by millionaire power brokers."

In its response, Powerline called Coleman "a little-read, third-rate
columnist for a second-tier daily newspaper." Powerline's fellow
conservative bloggers piled on Coleman, calling him jealous, lazy, cowardly,
even insane.

Bloggers say they bring reform

Pillman doesn't think bloggers will replace the mainstream media so much as
reform it, as Rathergate demonstrates. Many bloggers call it a
democratization of the news, as blogging allows just about anyone with a
computer to send out his or her ideas.

"Under the new watchful eye of bloggers and thousands of informed readers
that make bloggers experts, bloggers are the ones who are keeping the media
accountable," Pillman said.

Pillman said blogs cost nothing to create and maintain, so readership is
determined solely by the quality of their content.

"Most blogs don't try to be neutral as much of the mainstream media attempts
to be, and many find this refreshing," he said. "People are tired of veiled
bias."

So far the Leader-Telegram has been almost untouched by bloggers, as almost
none write about Chippewa Valley news. That may be because small newspapers
such as the Leader-Telegram are by nature closer to their communities. Local
residents are more likely to get their views quoted and letters published in
the Leader-Telegram than, say, in The New York Times. And if they don't like
something, they easily can contact a reporter to voice their displeasure.
And they frequently do.

Still, I have no doubt the bloggers will come nipping at our heels at some
point. And we should welcome the feedback - at least they believe we're
relevant.

Klein, a Leader-Telegram staff reporter, can be reached at 833-9204, (800)
236-7077


Not Just Deer

I'm sure the first few times that the dispatcher was told that a Kangaroo was hopping about they thought that people were seeing things. But as the calls kept coming in they probably began to wonder if it was real.

When the Martens were contacted to see if they had lost their pet wallaby (they hadn't) they went out and lo, and behold found Mr. Kanga "slipping around on the icy highway."

So as you travel keep your eyes peeled for the guy, and give please give him a little help by reporting on it too. Dropping in from Australia to a wintery Wisconsin has got to be a bit of an unpleasent surprise.

Tuesday, January 4

Ten Commandments to Stay

It has been reported that an attempt by city of La Crosse to remove a monument that had the Ten Commandments on them was squashed on appeal. This case has gone down the winding path of first being successfully challenged by the ACLU because the monument was on state land, then the city sold the land that the monument was on to the Fraternal Order of Eagles only to be sued again by the ACLU. Why? You're asking the wrong person. Thankfully the appeals court foundthat you still can display the Ten Commandments on private property.

Wisconsin Blogs and the Badger Blog Alliance

Due to the Leader-Telegram article, I have been introduced to some other great blogs from Wisconsin, and a select few from the western Wisconsin area. These I have now added to my blog roll and I urge you to check them out especially if you are interested in Wisconsin news.

Although I was taken back a bit by Darn Floor's name, he is an experienced blogger who has good Wisconsin news.

On The BorderLine also provides exclusive coverage of the St. Croix/Wisconsin side of news. This was the first blog I have seen yet that had the substantial local content equivalent to what you would see in a local paper.

Jiblog is another good place to stop in on.

Look to Brainpost to fill out your Wisconsin news.

Finally, last but not least the Badger Blog Alliance has officially been formed, in an attempt to bring together the different blogs from Wisconsin. I am excited to be involved in this effort along with Jiblog and Drew to get some good blogs from Wisconsin together.

Madison II: Policy Report

I asked each representative we visited yesterday what they saw as the
important aspects of legislative policy that they were interested in
pursuing and thought was going to be central to the focus of Madison.

Sheila Harsdorf figured that Meth was going to be big. It has sprung up
quickly in the area and can really wreck havoc. She was looking at
legislation that would keep the medications that are used to make the drug
behind counters and make it necessary to sign before the purchase of the
drug. This initiative I think will pass without too much huff.

TABOR of course will again be big, Andy Lamb mentioned. Many legislators
including...Lamb got their seats in part because of
this issue so they can't and will not miss this one. Sheila was explaining
that this bill as well as pro-life bills like the conscience clause (a bill
that keeps pharmacists from being forced to dispense drugs that they cannot
conscientiously fill orders for), had a tough road before them. Doyle will
veto the bills and even if some of the Democrats would normally vote for the
bill they will never vote to overturn a veto because to do so would create
the first overturned veto in many many years and perhaps, they would hear
argued, weaken Gov. Doyle's governorship. Sad partisan politics.

And of course they always reminded me, the budget was going to have a
shortfall again so that will be the first work of the season. Am I ever
thankful tho that we have to balance that budget each year instead of
putting my children in debt.
Tom Reynolds also talked about a fetal pain bill, he would like to pass. As
well as a bill that would require social workers to have a copy of the
Constitution on them. (Actually read the document maybe too? How novel!).
Interesting enough this initiative came from Mike Farris, my past Prof. this
year and head of the Homeschool Legal Defense Fund. This law was really no
surprise for me. My moot court case that I had to write a brief on was on
this precise issue--social workers not knowing the Constitution. It was on
his mind.

I shook hands with Doyle as well, but I really did not know what to say to
him. And for that matter all he was there for was the pictures so I let him
pass on.


Sheila Harsdorf (fifith senator from right) being sworn in at the captial.

Click to enlarge

Is this Science?

The New York Times asked several scientists "what do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" There answers said much.

"I believe...that that three processes were involved in human evolution."--Judith Rich Harris

"I believe that microbial life existys elsewhere in our galaxy." --Kenneth Ford

"I believe, but cannot prove, that all life, all inteligence, all creativity and all "design" anywhere in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection." --Richard Dawkins

And finally...

"[I believe] there is a God"-- David Myers.

Each one of these people are entitled to there own opinion, but aren't all of these opinions, these beliefs as they all admit, a religion and not science? Since when did unproven beliefs become apart of the once vaunted study by observation and critique? Face it, it is imposible to study the origins of man without religious beliefs--a religious belief that should be kept out of the public schools. I don't mind admitting that my belief in Creation is a religious belief so long as the other side admits that same.

Monday, January 3

Madison Visit I

We visited the capital today to witness the swearing in of our Senator, Sheila Harsdorf and to congratulate Andy Lamb our Assemblyman. It's too late to tell it all now but I will try and put it up tomorrow.

Welcome!

Welcome to all of you who are visiting here for this first time after reading the article about this blog from the story in the Leader-Telegram. In general the article did a pretty good job, giving an overview of the blogs in the area. Click on the "Read More" to find the questions that I was asked and my response.

Why did you start the blog?
Originally I started my blog as a personal website. I set it up for the fun of it. Additionally, I was interested in having an avenue to write about current events and have it critiqued. My blog also worked as a nice complement to my college studies over the internet on government and public policy.

What are your usual topics?
Roughly divided up, I blog on about three different topics or in three different directions although I don't limit myself to these topics. First of all I blog about personal things. I blog about school work, I post pictures of how my garden is growing, I blog about family celebrations. Second of all I blog about computers. New programs or websites that I have found helpful I will pass along through my blog. Third, I blog about politics. I have a special interest in this area and have seen how the blogosphere has thoroughly shaken up the media world in this arena. Special interests that I have include the pro-life issue and other issues that affect family values. Although I have made an effort to include local news, it is much more difficult to find then what is swirling around nationally.

What's your motivation for blogging?
I am motivated to blog first of all because I enjoy it. I don't have to be paid to produce a blog post. But I also blog as an outlet. I need to be able to articulate and place down in words what I think and feel. Blogging helps me formulate my views, it helps me think through what I believe and I hope by posting it where others can read it the same might happen to them. Often the reason I need an outlet is because I only see one side of an issue reported, some issue is not reported at all or the real heart of the matter is missed. My recent post "Who's Stingy" demonstrates precisely the reporting of only one side of an issue.

Do you feel blogs are taking a bigger role in providing information, and
mainstream media is fading?

It is hard to deny from the evidence of this last elections cycle that blogs are taking on a larger and larger role in providing a strong competing source of news. Blogs have several things that make them unique and powerful. First, it costs absolutely nothing to create and maintain a blog. Readership is determined solely by content. If you write well, if you have information that people want to hear, if you report the truth, you get in blog terms, "more hits." Another interesting aspect of blogging is the way that blogs identify and will inform their readers upfront where they stand on the issues and unashamedly report from a certain viewpoint. This happens on both sides of the political spectrum. If I go to Powerline I know I will receive a more conservative viewpoint; from Daily Kos the other. Most blogs don't try to be neutral as much of the mainstream media attempts to be, and many find this refreshing. People are tired of veiled bias. They believe that they can make up their own minds.

Do I think that the mainstream media is fading? No. The TV did not destroy the newspaper, the blog will not destroy mainstream media. It will reform it. Rathergate was the prime example. Under the new watchful eye of bloggers and thousands of informed readers that make bloggers experts, bloggers are the ones who are keeping the media accountable. Stories cannot be dismissed by the concerted effort of several news organizations. The mainstream media has not been destroyed by blogs, blogs just make news democratic.

Saturday, January 1

Happy New Year!