Saturday, April 30


I became a mole or maybe a badger today, and took a cruise underground in some really cool caves. Here's a pic of me in the belly of the earth. No, you don't really want to wear your Sunday best when you are slithering down these rat holes, but the adventure is quite incredible. My brothers and I probably went a few hundred feet in and still had not found the end. No real stalagmites but there were a few bats, and some neat other rock formations, and even one room where you could stand up in! Quite incredible for these types of caves.
Click to enlarge

Friday, April 29

Why No Real Filibuster?

Since in the past I liked this idea, I found it interesting why it would never work.

Why Not Go 24/7 on Judges?

The Myth: Republicans are permitting Democrats to get away with a “gentlemen’s filibuster” on the judicial confirmations. But to win, Republicans must force Democrats to talk 24/7 until they break. The Facts: Despite conventional wisdom “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” a “bring-inthe- cots” counter-measure has never been successful in breaking a filibuster. This is true even in their hey-day, when Democrat Majority Leaders fought southern Democrats. Moreover, the 24/7 counter-measure is not what many think it would be under the Senate rules. It is impossible to force Democrats to “talk till they drop” or “read from the phone book.” (Click Fullpost)

1. It’s impossible to force Democrats to talk about a nominee beyond the first three hours of the legislative day. After that, they can talk about the war, the economy, or anything they want.

2. If Democrats tire of talking, they can simply suggest the absence of a quorum, which requires 51 Senators to show up to continue conducting business. If a quorum does not appear, the Senate must adjourn or at least suspend its proceedings until a quorum is established. Consider this scenario: Democrats run out of things to say about a judge at 11 p.m. The Minority Leader suggests the absence of a quorum:

 Option A: Not enough Senators respond. The Senate is "stuck," and it must adjourn. Under this scenario, both parties sleep soundly through the night.  

Option B: A quorum is produced because all Republicans show up (Democrats can keep sleeping) and then debate on judges resumes. Under this scenario, Republicans are awake, and Democrats sleep. This works to the advantage of the filibustering Senators, so the burden rests on the Majority to ensure that the constitutional quorum requirement always can be met.  

Option C: Not enough Senators respond and the Sergeant At Arms is dispatched to bring absent Senators to the Chamber to vote. Once the quorum is produced, debate resumes. But at 2 a.m., the Democrats again note the absence of a quorum and once again the Republicans are back to Options A, B, or C.

Baby Survies Abortion, Abandoned to Die

World reports on "Rowan" and his mother Angele as he survives his abortion at 23 weeks only to die under incompetent, and potentially obstructionist faculty deny him proper medical attention while Angele calls 911 for help.

Thursday, April 28

Frist's Deal

Frist has a new proposal to end the stalemate over judicial nominees. The gist: guarantee votes on judicial appellate and Supreme Court nominees in committee and on the floor and the filibuster will remain unchanged.

First, it concedes in practice that even the blocking done by Republicans in committee when Clinton was President was wrong.

I will admit, by promising to allow an up or down vote, Democrats promise not to use the filibuster, but like Frist says, this has been the precedent forever. Never before has an appellate judicial nominee been denied an up or down vote by the majority.

This gives the Democrats a way to save face and graciously accept Senate decorum and precedent once again, but the question is, will they?

Doyle Vulnerable

That is the result of the latest poll by the Scott Walker campaign. "Only 35% of Wisconsin voters think Doyle deserves to be re-elected. Almost half (49%) of the Wisconsin electorate have already committed to a new person in the Republican Primary.

And Green responds by saying: "Polls won’t be beat Jim Doyle – organization and resources will. That’s where our focus has been, and it’s why Green has $1.3 million in the bank and Walker has only $100,000."

Walker conveniently taking the poll just before Green will announce his run on Sunday, of course finds himself in the lead at 39% vs. 25% for Green. I really have seen little difference between these two guys yet to commit one way or the other. All I hope is that they save their best for Doyle and not for each other.

Best Expose Job

Opinion Journal's Best of the Web does an excellent job today exposing AP anti-life bias in response to the bill passed by the House that makes it illegal to skirt state parental consent laws.

AP said: "The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions, the latest effort to chip away at abortion rights after Republican gains in the November elections,"

Abortion rights? Chip away? Doesn't that sound like an infusion of their own opinion? Would it sound politically neutral to say Roe "chipped away at preborn rights?"

It was pointed out that a pregnant minor is by definition statutory rape too. Does that mean we are chipping away at criminal "rights to rape" as well?

Best of the web has another example of AP bias you can check out too.

Salazar Waffles

Colorado's Senator's change of views on the filibuster is the most blatant. He knew exactly what judges, and what type of Senate he would be working with when he said: "In a pre-election interview... Sen. - elect Ken Salazar said he favored an up-or-down vote in the full Senate on judicial nominations."

And now he goes back on his word and filibusters the judges. Yup, Salazar waffles.

Wednesday, April 27

Janice Brown Trips up the Atheocrats

Justice Janice Rogers Brown is one of those rising stars in the Confirmation battle. She knows exactly how to trip up the other side in their opposition to nominees because of their religious faith. In a speech she made this last Sunday she said that this nation was at war with people of faith.

There seems to have been no time since the Civil War that this country was so bitterly divided. It's not a shooting war, but it is a war...These are perilous times for people of faith, not in the sense that we are going to lose our lives, but in the sense that it will cost you something if you are a person of faith who stands up for what you believe in and say those things out loud....When we move away from that, we change our whole conception of the most significant idea that America has to offer, which is this idea of human freedom and this notion of liberty...atheism handed human destiny over to the great god, autonomy, and this is quite a different idea of freedom…. Freedom then becomes willfulness....You can be spiritual. You can meditate as long as you don't have a book that says something about right and wrong


Janice Brown dared the liberals to oppose her nomination because these remarks demonstrate that she believes people should be allowed, no freedom depends, on deeply held religious beliefs and people are discriminated against in pursuit of public office(unconstitutionally let me add: "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office...under the United States." (Article VI)) if they hold to those beliefs.

And did the they ever fall for it!!! Listen to what Barry Lynn said about these comments: "Judges must be fair-minded and impartial. Brown's comments show she does not have a judicial temperament and is unfit for the federal bench. We urge senators to oppose her confirmation."

I can just hear Janice Brown saying, "You prove my point exactly!" You can't serve on the federal bench if you hold religious views? The American people must not stand for it.

UPDATE: Benedict blog (HT: CQ) was at the event, and asks, "Why does the Times make no mention of the breadth and depth of Justice Brown's intellect?" and "Why does the Times not repeat any of the historical evidence which Justice Brown offered in support of her position?" Concludes: "Having now met Justice Brown, I understand both the speculation that her nomination to the D.C. Circuit is a stepping stone to the Supreme Court, and the fear that would drive the liberal establishment to shut down the Senate to keep her off the bench. In case Senator Frist still doesn't get it, let me put it plainly:This is a nominee worth going nuclear over."

Tuesday, April 26

SPECIAL: Wisconsin Paper Prints Ctrl C Letter

The La Crosse Tribune got duped big time. This last Sunday they printed a letter to the editor that was practically lifted word for word from the talking points of Moveon.org. If I did what this letter to the editor did for a school paper, I would rightly be charged with plagerism. To top it all off, the Moveon.org talking points spelled Janice Rogers Brown's name wrong (Janice Rodgers Brown).

You take a look. I've placed the letter and the Moveon.org talking points side by side below. The words in bold are from the Moveon.org website here. Letter linkhere.

In the next 10 days the Republicans will try to use the "nuclear option" to seize absolute power to appoint judges who will roll back decades of progress in protecting worker rights, the environment, and privacy.

In the next week, the Republican Party will try to use the "nuclear option" to seize absolute power to appoint judges who will negate decades of progress in protecting workers rights, the environment and privacy.

The "nuclear option" is a parliamentary trick to eliminate the filibuster - the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations.

This parliamentary trick is intended to eliminate the filibuster, which is the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations.

One of the first judges the "nuclear option" would force through is Janice Rodgers Brown of California, who is nominated for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, a common stepping stone to the Supreme Court

One of the first judicial nominees that could be forced though is Janice Rodgers Brown of California, who is nominated for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, a known stepping stone to the Supreme Court.

Judge Brown follows an extremist judicial philosophy that calls for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such things as the 40 hour work week, the minimum wage, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Judge Brown's judicial philosophy is extreme in that it calls for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such things as the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage and the Clean Air Act.


If you google it you find out that other papers fell for it too.

State 29 blogger is finding all of the Iowa papers that fall for the trap.

Is there any La Crosse area reader out there who can write a letter to the editor and show this error? If you do, please email me and let me know.

UPDATE: I found out that the La Crosse Tribune staffers have some blogs that can be found here and here. I don't know if they helped at all picking the letters to the editors, but if they did it would make sense that this letter slipped past.

UPDATE II: Since the Tribune staff admit that they like the filibustering of judicial nominees, I wonder if that led to the copied letter slipping past. They also demonstrate that they don't understand modern filibusters (...the filibuster, a practice by which a single member can tie up legislation by holding the floor and speaking for hours without interruption.)
which might explain explain other things as well.

UPDATE III: Another letter to the editor in favor of judicial filibusters from the La Crosse Trib. last week. I can't find any reason search result to believe that this letter has been lifted but it does prove that the paper wasn't in any special need of a letter in favor of the filibusters before the "copy, paste" one was printed.

UPDATEIV: The Tribune does a nice job of responding; they didn't just ignore the whole thing like others have done.

In this case, Dick told me he wasn't suspicious about V.J. Ash's letter because she called him and told him she had written a letter on the subject before she sent it. And, it was the only letter like it he received.

The Trib has editorialized in favor of keeping the fillibuster (sic), which Lucas thinks makes us less careful in screening letters from people who agree. I asked Dick about that, and he doesn't think it does. He noted that he just ran a Cal Thomas column about the filibuster, which certainly gives a conservative viewpoint.


They also said that normally they google letters to make sure they are not copied. I guess it only takes one tho...

Feingold: Voted Against the Filibuster Before He Voted For It

Republicans are pointing to the 1995 vote as a flip-flop on the part of Feingold and eight other Democrats who sought then to roll back the filibuster. Iowa's Tom Harkin proposed the change. Those Democrats now defend the filibuster as essential to the Senate's workings.


You can read the whole thing here.

ADDITIONAL thought: If Feingold voted against the filibuster before and now he wants to keep it for judicial nominees that don't fit his ideology, what evidence do I have that he will stand to any sort of principle and not flip back to abolishing the filibuster again if the Democrats become the majority again?

Canadians Rally

...to defend marriage. via lifesitenews.com

The Headless Chicken

Hey I didn't know that a chicken could live without its head. At least Mike could.

Stem Cell Deceptions

Sen. Robsion's piece on stem cell research has several factual errors and more than a couple deceptions.

First she says that frozen embryos that were created for in vitro fertilization will just be discarded. Try telling the parents who have adopted frozen embryos from Snowflakes adoption that.

Second she paints glorious pictures of the benefits Wisconsin will gain from killing these embryos in the name of research when there has not been one, I repeat, not one successful treatment using embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells (which do not kill to for medical research) have already produced cures for many diseases (see here, here and here)

Of course Wisconsin must encourage medical research, but don't we want that research to be ethical?

Monday, April 25

Name that Speaker

"I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on any judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty. If we don't like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her down."


Answer at John Cornyn's website.

HT: Powerline

The Death Penalty

I answer "A Reader's" question.

Two main questions decide the fate of the death penalty. First, how much do we value innocent life? Second, how do we tailor our punishment to fit our standard of respect for innocent life?

People often ask how a person can be appose abortion, and yet still support the death penalty. The answer's simple: I'm pro-life. But let me get a few misconceptions out of way from the very beginning. The death penalty should only be carried out on those who have committed the most serious crimes like murder and treason. Furthermore it is the state that must carry out this responsibility. No private person can kill an individual because they have killed another person. That is revenge. (Click Full Post)

The same value that I place on the innocent life of the unborn is the same reason that I support the death penalty. When someone is given the death penalty, it is because they have murdered another innocent human life. I value the murdered human life so highly that if justice is to be preserved the murder's life must be taken by the state. If you catch a thief they should at least have to pay back what they stole. The life that a murderer took can never be brought back. That innocent life is forever gone. By that token it seems like the least punishment a murderer should recieve is capital punishment.

Again, the argument that I can't be pro-life and for capital punishment does not fit. Appropriate punishment for a crime does not deny a person's right, it preserves everyone elses. You could argue that since I believe in liberty and not slavery I should not believe in imprisonment or community service either under the same logic.

There are varying degrees of punishment for different crimes. Rape or lying under oath is not punished with a one dollar fine. Our government has decided that these crimes merit more punishment then that. How serious is murder? Does it require a one dollar fine? OK more than that. A one year imprisonment? Not enough even yet? OK take what most people consider the ultimate punishment if you don't have the death penalty: life imprisonment. Is this punishment appropriate to the seriousness that we want to place on murder, the value with which we place on every human life? First, by giving only life imprisonment you reduce the gravity of the crime of the death penalty since most murderers prefer life confinement to death. Second, life imprisonment fails to assure the carrying out of the punishment. Laws may change or judges may create new Constitution instead of apply it. With a life imprisonment the punishment is in question; captial punishment carried out cannot be reversed. Some may point out that life imprisonment also gives an opportunity for clearing an innocent person of being put to death for a crime he did not do. I am not saying this has not happened orhappens today in many different case. This does not constitute a reason tho to appose the death penalty since a person's liberty may in a similar way be trampled on if an innocent person is imprisoned innocently.

One of the basic reasons for punishment of criminal activity is deterrence. Capital punishment is no different. The National Review has compiled evidence that shows that those who commit violent crimes are less likely to kill their victim if there is capital punishment laws in place. It may be hard to prove by statistics that have a capital punishment law lowers the rate of murder. A criminal often only has a subconscious concern about the result of his action. The difference between a $100 fine and a $500 fine or life imprisonment and capital punishment may not always be reasoned by a murderer, yet if we laxs off on punishment of wrong we will sure to see an explosion of crime.

Capital punishment properly practiced can also be looked upon as a limit for punishment. The Constitution is right in rejecting cruel and unusual punishment. Capital punishment should be done as swiftly and quickly as possible. Dragging out a punishmentwith cruelty does not advance justice.

Some have questioned the cost of of capital punishment cases (they often cost amillion dollars). Good grief, if this is justice, it is finally an area where the gov't is in its legitimate sphere. I don't really want to limit my safety and the punishment of wrong to a dollar amount. Like Romans 13 says: "for this reason you also paytaxes..."

Finally, biblically capital punishment is correct. After Noah came out of the ark, he told man that "Whoso sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" Gen. 9:6. When we are kill another we are destroying the image bearer of God. God says the punishment for that is death. The law that God in Exodus to the Israelites confirms this over an over again. To think that this is just an Old Testament law is false. Romans 13 again says that the appointed governing authority "does not bare the sword in vain." What is the purpose of a sword? Normally its to kill or carry out capital punishment in the case of a gov't. I dont think that the responsibility of the state changed much in the area of punishment of evil between Old and New Testament.

The death penalty is based off of a love for life, the protection of life from those who would like to destroy it.

Fellow WI blogger blogger beer on the death penalty.

Filibuster: "We have the Votes we Need"

Those were Mitch McConnell the Republican whip's words over the weekend. Culminating in a telecast with Bill Frist and other Conservative leaders in what was called Justice Sunday their appears to be some sort of a break thru is happening in the area of the filibuster.

The charge that breaking the filibuster will destroy minority rights is unfounded. The minority party will still be able to block judicial candidates that they appose. They can still stall up everything in the Senate. What they will not be able to do, is to block them silently without standing up before the American people and explaining to them why these judges are not qualified to serve. I would require this of either party. Democrats are hiding the incompetence of their objections to these judges behind the filibuster.(Full Post for moe filibuster analysis)

The unconstitutionality of the filibuster comes when the constitutional right of the senate to make its own rules begins to undermine other parts of the constitution. For example if the Senate rules made it possible for only a majority to pass a treaty, that would be unconstitutional. The Constitution requires 2/3. The Constitution gives the Senate the responsibility to "advise and consent" the presidents judicial nominees. A filibuster keeps the senators from even voting on the nominees and requires a 60 (or almost 2/3) super majority to make that vote happen. I know some readers on this blog have questioned framing the filibuster as unconstitutional. The unconstitutionality of the filibuster might not be explicit, but it has become implicit.

Find the Bias

Actually my title should read, can you miss the bias? This AP report on the energy bill shrilly lists off the the Democrats talking points never wondering for a moment if there might be another side, never even mentioning that there is another side.

The energy bill that passed the House on Thursday will raise gasoline prices and subsidize oil companies but fail to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said Saturday.

Markey, who tried unsuccessfully to force changes in the bill during House debate, said the legislation will make the United States more dependent on foreign oil because it fails to require cars and sport utility vehicles to be more fuel-efficient.


If you want the other side, blogsforbush has Bush's radio address on what he hopes to see passed in the energy bill.

First, the energy bill must encourage the use of technology to improve conservation....Second, the energy bill must encourage more production at home in environmentally sensitive ways....Third, the energy bill must diversify our energy supply by developing alternative sources of energy like ethanol or biodiesel....Finally, the energy bill must help us find better, more reliable ways to deliver energy to consumers....

Kennedy Likely MN Senate Pick

From the ultimate blog authority on the subject Kennedy v.The Machine:

Grams addressed the 8th Congressional District delegates very briefly in a speech that lasted five minutes. His comments were very vague, focusing on what a good U.S. Senator should be. Our eyewitness didn’t overhear any departing sour grapes vis-à-vis Gram’s ”king-maker” comments earlier in the race, but who knows what others may read into his remarks. Grams did not endorse Kennedy, only saying he would be 100% behind the eventual endorsed Republican


AP:
Citing the potential for a divisive campaign ahead, conservative former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams said Sunday he is ending his bid to return to the Senate in 2006.

Grams told The Associated Press that while he believed he could still win the Republican nomination for the seat he lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton in 2000, he knew it would be a tough battle within the party. Dayton already has said he will not seek re-election.

"I felt this was the time we should be united," Grams said.

Grams said he'll support the party's nominee, likely U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, who announced earlier this month that he had raised $550,000 over a six-week period.


As we peak across the boarder we wish our neighbors the best in acquiring someone who will stand up and represent them. They deserve better then Dayton.

Saturday, April 23

Around the Web: Latin Translator

I found this Latin translator is a great tool when some person or translator thinks they have gone thru too many years of education to actually write something understandable in a living language. Ya know, it's beneath their dignity to have the lowly peons like me understand it.

You Help the Uninsured

Menomonie has a free clinic that helps those who do not have insurance or are in need of health care and are not able to afford it. Clinics like this and its sister in Chippewa Falls are left out of the equation when people talk about the uninsured. If people worry about those who are in need, (as especially the church should) they should be falling over themselves trying to help out these places instead of taxing taxpayers to increase the government welfare load. This is the way we take care of those in need. So far there has been active help by community businesses and also individuals in this initiative which is not, as far as I can find, supported by the government for those in need in our community.

The local Mayo clinic is offering its facilities. Bremer bank's foundation has given up to $100,000 toward the clinic which will cost close to $200,000 per year to run. The Dunn County News only has one report in its archives. (No kudos there.) Dr. Walker, one of the most esteemed physicians in the area is heading up the project. And if you want to contribute or volunteer you can do so at the following address: Free Clinic of the Greater Menomonie Area, P.O. Box 624, Menomonie. Donations of any amount are appreciated and are tax deductible.

Update:A reader corrects me and notes that the Dunn County News has run four articles on the free clinc. Let me give them kudos (see comment below).

Info God?

From Evangelical Outpost:

God, of course, doesn’t have to listen to his voice mail messages, return missed cell phone calls, answer email inquiries, delete trackback spam, write blog posts, and update his PDA. Sure, he has to listen to prayers. But since prayers can’t be sent by IM or text messaging how many people really take the time to pray?

Certainly not us Christians. Ironically, we consider it peculiar that followers of Islam stop five times a day to offer prayers to Allah yet we stop five times an hour to pay homage to our email. We contend that Islam is a false religion but what is it that we are worshipping? “One of the most basic biblical insights,” says theologian J.I. Packer, “is that whatever controls and shapes one’s life is in effect the god one worships.” For many of us, the one true god to whom we give our devotion is the deity known as IT - information technology.


Ouch! That gets close to home.

Thursday, April 21

Why No Real Filibuster

Confrimthem finally answers some of my questions why we have not seen real filibusters:

First, Senators realize that if the GOP were successful at forcing a real filibuster to occur and expire, then the majority party could do the same kind of thing in the future for legislative filibusters too, which would imperil the much-loved legislative filibuster.

Second, ever since 1975, the Senate Rules have required 3/5 of the full Senate to invoke cloture, instead of requiring 3/5 of Senators “present.” From a practical standpoint, this means that the GOP could not force a real filibuster and thereby get to a winning cloture vote of 51 to 34, for example. Instead, a “hard 60? votes would be needed, which would make GOP success more difficult to obtain. Note that this reason applies to legislative and nomination filibusters, but NOT to rule change filibusters (see Senate Rule 22).

Third, a real filibuster used to be the only way to do it. But, ever since Mike Mansfield changed the way things are done in the Senate, a filibuster can proceed on one track, while other Senate business can proceed on another track. So, filibusterers can maintain the filibuster with no effort, and without being blamed for obstructing other business. This shifts blame for a real filibuster to the majority, because they’d be the only ones insisting on a real filibuster that obstructs other Senate business.

It's the Judges Fault

David Brooks argues in today's NYT that until Roe is overturned politics will never get better. He uses the filibuster debate to make his point that ever since the Supreme Court legalized abortion the legislative branch has been torn apart over the abortion issue thru judicial nominees.

He's only partially correct. He is correct to see the abortion issue as prominent in the judicial nomination debate. But even if abortion was legalized legislatively the Supreme Court would have the responsibility under the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of life to strike down that law. Abortion is not an issue that will be smoothed over by making it more democratically acceptable. So long as some continue to deprive Americans of their most important unalienable and Constitutional right, heartland Americans must place stopping abortion as one of their most important objectives. We have no choice. Murder cannot be tolerated.

HT: World Mag Blog

Doyle's Illogic Rampant

Someone must have swallowed Doyle's begging the question logic and then spit it out again, only to have Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast it. This morning Wisconsin Public Propaganda Radio reported that the ACLU has brought suit against the state to allow live ins health care benefits. That's when they found that logic less person to defend the suit as right because "this is the right thing to do" (quote approximate story may be here soon). See the illogic again?


Meanwhile we find that this suit is old hat: (Click Full Post)

The lawsuit makes essentially the same argument plaintiffs made in an unsuccessful 1992 case. In that case, the 4th District Court of Appeals said the Department of Health and Social Services didn't violate the state constitution when it refused to extend family benefits to the lesbian partner of a state employee.

In upholding Dane County Circuit Judge Angela Bartell, the court found the employee was not discriminated against because of her marital status, sexual orientation or gender because she was treated no differently than any unmarried person.


Unless the courts can cook up some new right with ingredients from Europe or thin air (which I would not put pass them), this case will have a similar fate.

On the legislative end, the Republican response to this legislation has been framed as economic only instead of taking a firm stand in defense of the marriage it attempts to destroy.

The Info on School Choice

The Heritage Foundation has launched a new website with all the info on the progress of school choice across the nation.
Sample:

  • Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois all have an educational tax credit law in place


  • A tax credit law was proposed in Wisconsin in 2004


  • " A poll of 1,000 Illinois residents commissioned by the Illinois Family Institute before adoption of the tax credit program found that 77 percent of respondents supported allowing parents and students to choose their schools. Over half believed that families should be able to use their per-student tax dollars at a school of choice."


Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers families numerous choices in the education of their children. The state has a strong charter school law, and students may transfer to to schools in other districts. In Milwaukee, low-income children may attend private schools at public expense. Additionally, students in private and home schools may take up to two classes a semester at a public high school in their district. Juniors and seniors in public high schools who meet certain conditions may take classes for high school and college credit at a University of Wisconsin (UW) campus, a Wisconsin technical college, a tribally controlled college, or a participating state private nonprofit university.

Wednesday, April 20

Walker Blogs

Guv Candidate Scott Walker tweaks his blog and website. (And it actually feels like a blog too! Unlike most of the MSM wigs who attempt to blog and don't have a clue how it's done.) This is a candidate who feels the pulse of the blogosphere. I just got an email to alert me to his new website this evening that I noticed was "Cc" to most of the other wisconsin bloggers. He's a guy who does justice to Wisconsin's motto of forward both in his outreach over the internet in his campaign and what I have learned about his vision so far for Wisconsin. I must say that I am still partial to Mark Green the other likely candidtate for guv at this point mainly because I have personally seen him put actions behind words on important issues, but so far I have found nothing I can fault Walker on.

Another Monkey Posed as Expert

I wonder if she asked the bonobos if they wanted her to research them?

Visitors are allowed, but they must understand that the Great Ape Trust is not a zoo, she said.

Using a network of cameras and computers, the bonobos can see visitors who ring the doorbell - and will be able to choose through a computer touchscreen who will be permitted into a secured viewing area.

Catholic Politicians and the Pope

Found this about the new Pope:

In his writings he has touched on the so-called controversial issues, noting pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be denied Holy Communion, and that Catholic legislators may never vote in favour of laws allowing homosexual civil unions - let alone same-sex 'marriage'.
In a 2003 CDF Doctrinal Note, then Cardinal Ratzinger spelled out formally that Catholic politicians have a "grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life," and that "For (Catholic politicians), as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."

Tuesday, April 19

Getting Warmer?

Sanity in Mad City wonders about the global warming hype.

Eat More Bread

The classic food pyramid has been revised for different ages, sexes, etc. I always liked the pyramid since bread in general is one of my favorite foods.

I know I'm not suppose to live by bread alone...that's why I stick peanut butter and jam on it.

HT:In the Agora

Wisconsin Death Bill

Risser is doing it again. Just about every session Sen. Risser introduces a bill that destroys the value of life by allowing people to assist others committ suicide. Why would we ever want to suggest to a person that they don't deserve to live? Every life, even your own life, is valuable. And as we saw in Terri's case, once we accept that you can take your own life, it is a small step until others are taking your life for you.

Think of all the work that the law enforcement does to keep criminals from committing suicide: attempting to pursuade criminals from taking their lives, no shoe laces in the jail cells, etc, etc. These are criminals, often murderers that we are trying (and rightly so) to keep from taking their lives. Why should we suggest to the most vulnerable, the disabled, the sick that their life is not worth living?

Lifenews.com:

Lawmakers in the Wisconsin state legislature plan to introduce a measure that would legalize assisted suicide. However, the legislation won't go far as the head of a committee that would hold hearings says she won't bring it up for consideration.
Good. You can thank Senator Carol Roessler for that.

Notes on the New Pope

This is what the last World magazine had about Joseph Ratzinger in its analysis of possible picks:

A dark horse would be German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a liberal-turned-conservative theologian and the Vatican's chief doctrinal watchdog. At 77, he likely would be considered an "interim pope" whose courageous promotion of orthodox Catholic teaching would keep John Paul II's doctrinal legacy intact. Liberal-leaning Catholics in the West would be dismayed, but his selection could buy time if the electors end up deadlocked.


Wikipedia on him.

His fan club's homepage.

Update:Ratzinger gave a sound rebuke to those who thought that the Catholic church should conform to the relativism of the day:

In a further meditation on the Letter to the Ephesians, the cardinal focused on St. Paul's remarks about those who are "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine." That description, he said, captures the troubles of the current age. "The little ship bearing the thoughts of many Christians has often been shaken," he explained, mentioning the ideological forces "from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertarianism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism." In our era, he said, "a dictatorship of relativism is being formed," which the faith must oppose.


I appreciate his staunch opposition to the secularists relativism. I feel quite confident that he will hold the line for the Catholic church in that way. My only hope is that his resistance to relativism will not embolden the Catholic church to promote teachings that replace personal faith in Christ with traditional and empty rituals.

And Romancatholicblog.com seems to be the place to go to find blog info.

Dean to use Schiavo Case

Dean says that he is going to use the Terri Schiavo case for political gain:

This is going to be an issue in 2006, and its going to be an issue in 2008 because we're going to have an ad with a picture of (House Majority Leader) Tom DeLay saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?...The issue is: Are we going to live in a theocracy where the highest powers tell us what to do? Or are we going to be allowed to consult our own high powers when we make very difficult decisions?'"


I can't believe how bluntly Dean shows how the secular left have no moral authority in their lives except themselves. Do they think that heartland Americans find it abhorrent or contrary to their own views to think that the Republican leadership thinks there may be some higher authority that they are accountable to other then themselves?

HT: World Mag Blog

Monday, April 18

Frist the Info Santorum the Votes

Bill Frist now has up a website with up to date information on the filibuster.

Rick Santorum also emphasizes the democratic majority who support these nominees--the voters supported the judges in the respective states they come from, the public voted in a president who is selecting judges as he promised, and the voters ousted Daschle over his obstructionism and gave the Republicans an added majority in the Senate.

So far the only "political branch" that has any problem with these judges is the lefty big buck contributors.

Child's Play

I never thought I would see the day when you would have to encourage a 3-year-old to go play an active game.

For all The Europe Welfare Lovers

Read about how they are deceived into thinking they are rich when their socialism makes them poor.

Planned Barrenhood: Supports Long Term Fetus Health?

Yup, the health of the fetus. That's what they're worried about in Illinois.

Pro-abortion forces won a victory in the Illinois House Wednesday as State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan (R-Park Ridge) successfully passed HB 2492 which would make it a criminal offense for an ultrasound to be administered without a doctor's order. Mulligan said that Planned Parenthood and the Illinois State Medical Society encouraged her to sponsor the legislation because there was a concern about long exposure of fetuses to ultrasound waves.

"We should be concerned about the long term health of the fetus," Mulligan, who has voted against a ban on partial birth abortion, said.


As this article hints, I wonder if Planned Barrenhood is as concerned about how a partial-birth abortion could damage the long term health of a fetus as they are about an ultrasound doing so. The real reason for this bill is probably to keep crisis pregnancy center from helping out women in need thru ultrasounds which has been very successful.

So far the science I have seen supporting damage done thru ultrasound has been quite weak. But if it is found out to damage the baby, places like this should probably be shut down (but they do have some cool pics). And hey, if you were a baby and had a choice between having an ultrasound done on you or an abortion, do you think you'd take the risk of an ultrasound?

I hope this legislation backfires like it should, and show the pro-aborts how convoluted their reasoning is. Why are we concerned about this baby anyways if this is only the mother's choice and body we are talking about?

HT: World Mag blog

Around the Web: Tipping With Google

After starting to use google's ads I've realized that you can give a tip the size of what it would cost to get a U.S. News magazine by just clicking on about five ads. You don't even have to go to each site. Just click an ad, hit stop after you see that you are loading the ad site and then repeat with the next ad down the list. So now for a luxuryless student like me, I am much relieved to find out that I can tip great sites like lifenews.com in fifteen seconds by just hitting their ads. (Click Full Post)

I found this out after my brother started clicking on some of my ads while I monitored it. It was quite an intriguing little game. And no, this isn't suppose to be a bleg. to hit my ads...but it wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Friday, April 15

If the Filibuster Continues

There are significant problems for Republicans if the filibuster continues. You cannot expect a party to have a larger majority in all three branches of government then the Republicans have at this point. It is foolish, no unconstitutional, to think that we need 60 senators from one party to get legislation or judicial nominees passed.

We don't need 60 Republican senators, we need some backbone.

Sen. McCain has said he will not vote in favor of the filibuster because he wants to keep that action open for when the Republicans are the minority party. A defeatist attitude is no reason to keep a rule that has been tweaked to make it contrary to the constitution. All you need is 50 of the 55 Republican Senator Frist. The word is forward. Bring the vote to the floor and let us see those RINOs. The Democrats will still have minority rights: they can shut down the Senate if they want to. I support that right now and in the future, but I refuse to give the minority party the right to require a 60 vote margin on anything they please if they aren't willing to stick their neck out.

Hugh Hewitt was the talking points.

Update: Someone else supports the real filibuster:

Perhaps the best way to correct the courts' drift away from democratic accountability is to increase democratic accountability elsewhere. My unoriginal solution: real filibusters. Senators like the current filibuster rules because blame is diffused in the confusion of institutional logjam, parliamentary procedure and generic partisan squabbling. The old system required senators to pack a thermos and ramble from a podium for hours or days on end. Restoring the old school filibuster would put a human face on these fights. It would give partisans someone to jeer and someone to cheer. It would create drama and force the media to explain why that fuddy old senator is reading from the phone book. And, best of all, it would allow voters to punish or reward specific senators at the polls for stopping the people's business.


Well said. For some reason the drama and daring determination needed to keep a real filibuster have always appealed to me even if they weren't the best way to keep minority influence but reject permanent grid lock.

Thursday, April 14

Cloning Your Investment

This is a good thing. I hope companies that are involved in adult stem cell research take advantage of the tax credit too.

The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to provide enhanced tax benefits for companies that increase spending for research and development....

The measure passed the Republican-controlled Legislature by a 59-36 vote.

Legislators amended the bill to prevent the tax credit from being used by companies involved in cloning or stem-cell research that uses human embryos destroyed after federal restrictions were put in place.

Democrats, who largely opposed the amendment, said it would have a "chilling effect" on science and research in the state. But Republican backers said research already under way at the University of Wisconsin-Madison would still qualify for the exemption, because it uses existing stem-cell lines.


And here is the all so telling statement by Doyle.

Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, is concerned about the estimated $10 million annual loss in tax revenue that would come with passage of the measure, said spokeswoman Melanie Fonder.


He's fine with spending state tax dollars on this type of research, but complains about the 10 million it will cost in tax revenue. Huh? He would make no sense unless you understand his socialistic bent: companies must be under state control.

Wednesday, April 13

Canada, Gas Prices and Politics

Jack Kelly from the Jewish World Review has an article on how a change in Canadian government over the Adscam deal could bring down the price of gas if it opens up some to pro active development of Alberta's vast oil supplies.

Giving credence to the change of government in Canada at the next election is the switch of one MP out of the Liberal party.

All from CQ

Punishment of Conscience

Disheartening

A state board approved sanctions Wednesday against a pharmacist who refused to fill a college student's birth control pill prescription because of his religious belief that providing a contraceptive would be a sin.

An administrative law judge had recommended the Pharmacy Examining Board reprimand Neil Noesen and force him to attend ethics classes. The board voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations. Noesen also is liable for an estimated $20,000 in costs for the proceedings against him.


Two-fifth of Ameiricans Online Read Blogs

So says the Wall Street Journal

HT: Powerline

Abortion Reduces Crime?

That is what this article says a recent study has found:

Back in 1999, Mr. Levitt was trying to figure out why crime rates had fallen so dramatically in the previous decade. He was struck by the fact that crime began falling nationwide just 18 years after the Supreme Court effectively legalized abortion. He was struck harder by the fact that in five states crime began falling three years earlier than it did everywhere else. These were exactly the five states that had legalized abortion three years before Roe v. Wade.

Did crime fall because hundreds of thousands of prospective criminals had been aborted? Once again, the pattern by itself is not conclusive, but once again Mr. Levitt piles pattern on pattern until the evidence overwhelms you. The bottom line? Legalized abortion was the single biggest factor in bringing the crime wave of the 1980s to a screeching halt.


May I invite you into the land of "let's suppose"? In the land of "let's suppose," we will throw out my suspicion that there are flaws in this thinking and no other authority to back up this evidence. (Click "Full Post") We are going to take this study as fact: legalized abortion has been the cause of the lower crime rate. That doesn't make abortion right or desirable.

I think it is beyond statistical dispute that per capita, blacks make up a higher percentage of criminals then white or other races. But even if this weren't true, remember, we are in the land of let's suppose, so this WILL be true. So it seems probable that if we kill all the blacks then the crime rate will significantly go down. Does that make it right?

I can see it being possible that since abortions are done more frequently in inner city areas or other areas that have a higher crime rate, that if less children brought up in these areas the crime rate will go down--at least temporarily.

Again I ask, does that make it right? We could have the same affect if we rounded up all the three year-olds who's mothers had found them to be unmanageable and unwanted and thus decrease crime.

As my examples above illustrate, if you supported abortion because the above study was found to be correct you would be guilty of the worst form of discrimination. Just because a baby begins it's life with a statistically higher possibility for crime does not mean that we discriminate against them by killing them.

Proving this study to be correct would change nothing in the abortion debate. The issue still is: Is a preborn child a human, which then has a Constitutional right to life? The pro-death lobby may like to use this argument (whether it is true or not), but it does excuse them anymore for killing innocent human beings.

Tuesday, April 12

The Next Terri or Not?

BlogsforTerri and others have reported that Mae Magouirk in Georgia was being starved to death just like Terri was. But instead of the judge ordering it, it appears it is one of the family members who is going against or misrepresenting what the judge has ordered. BlogsforTerri is the place to go to keep up on this one--words from both the nephew and the judge posted there.

Update: Lifenews on the story too:

Magouirk was not terminally ill, comatose, or in a persistent vegetative state when the hospice accepted her as a patient at the request of her granddaughter, Elizabeth Gaddy of Hoganville, Georgia. The hospice began withholding food and water from Magouirk at Gaddy's request...

Probate Judge Douglas Boyd allowed Gaddy to continue as Magouirk's temporary guardian. However, one of the conditions of guardianship is "to see that the ward (Magouirk) is adequately fed, clothed, sheltered and cared for, and receives all necessary medical attention, including placement in a nursing home, if appropriate."

Judicial Anarchy

We've had judicial tyranny for some time now. Now we are bestowed with a justice system that does not even follow it's highest court--anarchy. If the Constitution does not limit a judge and the legislature does not check them I guess they feel that nothing can. In 2003 when Operation Rescue was sued by NOW under a racketeering and extortion law (RICO) designed to combat drug dealers, the Supreme Court said: "all of the predicate acts (under RICO) must be reversed," and that "the judgment that (defendants) violated RICO must also be reversed..." When the case was returned to the lower 7th Circuit court tho, NOW argued and the 7th accpted"that the Supreme Court had not reversed all of the RICO violations."

What part of "all" does the 7th Circuit not understand? The ACLJ has asked the Supreme Court to bring the 7th into line again. I guess if the Supreme Court can't seem to follow the Constitution they are suppose to support, how can they expect the lower courts to follow what they say?

Around the Web: Finding Local Blogs

Feedmap.net has a tool for finding blogs in your area. Here are the two blogs that I found near me.

Gripe About Blogs

Of course I think blogs are the best thing since Gutenberg's printing press, but I still wince half of the time when I read them. Why can't blogs keep their posts clean? Why do blogs think that their freedom to print anything they want makes it respectable for them to swear like drunken sailors when they need to add a superlative or dramatic element to their idea? I find it embarrassing.

Blogs are less formal. They are more of a conversation between people. I accept that. I also kinda like it when a little slang is thrown in occasionally ta keep dat informal attitude. What I do not accept is that blogs think that their informalness makes it proper for them to say things that they would not like their young children to learn. The voice of the average citizen is still attempting to make itself respectable as a source of news and information thru blogs. Taking God's name in vain and using crude language makes me respect a blog less, and I think the same is true for most of the population. At least I hope so. I say, if you wouldn't like the words in your blog post taught to your son on the bus or in Sunday school, leave them out of the blogosphere.

Boxtops for Homeschool Edcuation

You've all seen it. Business everywhere like to boast about how much they have pumped into the education system. It's become an obsession based upon PR and concern about the workforce that comes to them from the education system. But are homeschoolers ever included in the deal? Not often this article says.

(BTW, if there are any business out there that are looking for ways to support homeschoolers, send me an email. I know of some families that would be perfect candidates. Or how about this idea? Why couldn't a business coordinate with homeschoolers to supply curriculum and other educational materials at a local library? It could be an extremely cost and result effective initiative. It's really an idea as old as Carnegie's library with a new emphasis on helping out those who want to educate their children at home.)

But in today's education landscape, where even the most generous donors can't hope to sustain a system that burns through $500 billion a year, philanthropists ultimately function as venture capitalists: They support good ideas with seed money and hope the best ones eventually find a market.... (Click Full Post )

What makes such lack of interest especially baffling is that, theoretically at least, homeschooling seems tailor-made to the values and needs of business. It's a private, union-free institution in which the government plays only a minor role. It's an endlessly customizable approach to education that offers an alternative to the one-size-fits-all limitations of public school. It produces self-directed individuals who have learned how to acquire new skills without constant supervision or coercion.

The downside? It may be a little harder to mass-market Doritos, Nikes, and other articles of trade in a Southern Baptist's living room than it is in a public school. But in an era when the phrase school choice has become the mantra of so many education reformers and philanthropists, homeschooling, a choice that millions of parents and children have already enthusiastically embraced, remains the most unleveraged asset in the education universe.

Monday, April 11

So Rove Came to Wisconsin Again

From Wispolitics:

"I was sort of disappointed after the election because my friends in Wisconsin had their spirits down," Bush campaign manager Karl Rove said Saturday night. "You seem to think you came up short, and you did in the Electoral College. But without your effort here, we wouldn't have won. You don't fight someone just in one place, you fight them all along the line and make them spread their resources. You scared the **** out of [Kerry]."

Laugh for the Day

I let loose a good laugh when I heard that "Democrats are suppose to vote on Wednesdays"!!!

Power Line reported this:

Today John Kerry whined about November's election, suggesting that Democratic voters are too clueless to know how to vote:

"Last year too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated. Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote."

You'd think Kerry would be embarrassed to retail these hoary stories. Voters were 'denied their right to vote'? Sorry, when a voter doesn't show up because he doesn't know what day the election is on, he wasn't 'denied his right to vote.' He didn't care enough to vote. Likewise if somebody shows up at the polls, sees a line, and goes home.

Beyond that, why aren't Democrats offended by this nonsense? Does John Kerry really think that his voters are so dumb that they actually believe that members of different parties are supposed to vote on different days? News flash, John: that line about Democrats voting on Wednesday is a joke. I differ with Democrats on all kinds of issues, but I would never insult their intelligence the way the leaders of their own party do. Why do rank-and-file Democrats put up with it? Beats me."

Saturday, April 9

Yawn...Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

One day only! See the Earth's oldest known object

Guv in Circles

My Mom got this priceless letter from Governor Doyle today.

She wrote to tell him that she disagreed with his stand on giving benefits to domestic partners of the University of Wisconsin System. Now when you write to inform your representative that you disagree with how they voted or what they stand for it's obvious, in fact it is the question: why you think they are wrong; why they think they are right. Not if you are Gov. Doyle.

In a convoluted bout of reasoning he gives his reasons why he believes domestic partner benefits are correct:

I have proposed this [health care benefits] for two reasons: first because it is right...


Now think about that for a minute. He is trying to give reasons why he believes domestic partner benefits are right, and the first reason he give is that it is well... right. In logic that is called begging the question. You don't explain how something is right by saying it is right. It's plain and simple circular reasoning of the worst kind.


I have proposed this [health care benefits] for two reasons: first because it is right...


You have to be at least that smart to be the governor of Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 7

Kansas , Big Wins, and Marriage

Kansas has just protected it's married citizens in its constitution. Voters approved the amendment that “No relationship, other than a marriage, shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage.

The amendment passed by 70%. But lest we sit back and think the battle is over, Connecticut's senate also passed a bill that gives same-sex live ins the rights of marriage--everything but the word.

I have a few question for those want to destroy traditional marriages.(click Full post)

If marriage is only based on love, then why don't we let ANYONE marry another person? Why do we have to make sure they are single, or get a divorce first before they marry another person? If we allow homosexuals to confiscate the privileges of marriage, why shouldn't we give those same privileges to two elderly brothers who live in the same house? And then there is always the question why we shouldn't allow polygamist to marry as well.

Friends, if you can't see that the drive to give homosexuals legal approval for their relationships opens up this country a complete destruction of any sexual moral restraint, then I have little hope left for this country.

Captian Ed gets Press

The New York Times has a peice on Captian's Quarters blogging on Canada.

HT: Powerline

Wednesday, April 6

Global Life Rule Killed

What has been often called the Mexico City Policy that restricts American tax dollars from being used to support any international agency that provides abortions, has now been voted down by the Senate.

If this law passes, organizations like Planned (barren)hood would once again be able to use American tax dollars siphoned thru the UN to fund their destruction of the youngest lives if they pose an inconvenience. The President tho has indicated that he will veto the law, and I doubt this measure would make it thru the House. Just the same it shows again how many RINOs there are in the Senate. Here is the list of them for this vote:

Chafee (R-RI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Warner (R-VA)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Nelson (D-NE)

I add Bill Nelson from Nebraska onto the list just to show that when push comes to shove, he can't be counted on as a prolife Dem. What are you guys doing keeping him around?

P.S. The left has called this the "Global gag rule" The definition of a gag rule is: A rule, as in a legislative body, limiting discussion or debate on an issue. I haven't figured out who was limiting debate on any issue yet. It seems they just randomly picked a negative saying from the dictionary and applied it to this policy.

Feingold Uses Campaign Finance Deform

The great crusader for his infamous campaign finance reform deform has created his own little PAC with its own big money contributions in an apparent race for President.


As of Feb. 28, the latest report on file, Feingold's PAC had raised $57,000 from about two dozen contributions, most from Florida and New York. Although the March report is not due until April 15, Feingold's campaign manager, George Aldrich, said it will show the PAC has raised about $100,000 through March 31.

He [Fiengold] argued that the contributions are limited in a way that does not "corrupt" the political process, and are used to support progressive causes, not "big-monied" interests.


Contributions under $100 are normally considered "grassroots contributions" whereas those over that amount would be considered "big-monied" interests. So far if you look at the contributions, none have been under $100...and many of them have been up to $5,000. Additionally, if you look at who the contributors are, many of them are lawyers and business owners. Since when have lawyers and business owners become exempt from being a "big-monied" interest?

And then there is the first contribution by the PAC to.....Senator Byrd. Yes, that past member of the Ku Klux Klan and staunch obstructionist of the judicial nominees. Not a really great way to show that you're reaching out to the heartland America if you are planning to run for President. But again, his voting record doesn't show a reach out either.

There is nothing illegal with what Feingold is doing. I don't even fault him for doing it. What I do find hypocritical is that while he continues to tout his campaign finance reform deform that has squashed political free speech, he continues to demonstrate that for the savvy, smart, and well pocket lined his little legal traps are easily avoided--they continue to pour in the monies--while those who want to start a grassroots campaign are intimidated and restricted from participation in political speech.

I know. I work with a small grassroots organization that works on local politics and we always are fearful that we will run afoul of the election laws since we don't have anyone, let a lone a horde of lawyers, on our payroll to guide us thru the legal snares.

It appears that one of the stepping stones to the Presidency for Mr. Feingold was to enact his deform so that he would have less opposition. Let's just hope that McCain doesn't follow his lead and use his law to get the Republican nomination.

Numbers On School Board

Winners:
Margaret Briesch-1271
Chis Smith- 1110
Tammy Schneider-1063

Others:
Bill Rieger-974
Tom Jorgensen-971
Mike Cady-898

These are unofficial numbers at this time but I don't think that anything will change. Also of note, the Dunn County will probably have the wrong number since they were given the wrong info. They said that Jorgensen beat Tammy Schneider.

Make the Filibuster Real

This article outlines what I have always said about the filibuster issue: dont kill it, make it real. I'm sure the democrats would never use it tho if it were a real filibuster as often as they have. And that way the Republicans who still want it around for later would be able to as well.

Lost Touch With Our Repbublic

Dave Zweifel from the Capital Times here in Wisconsin repeats a claim that the Dems can rightly use the filibuster since Democratic senators combined represent more people, then Republican Senators.

The Senate's 55 Republicans, for instance, represent 131 million Americans while the 44 Democrats (there is one independent) have 161 million constituents.


It appears some citizens of this great land have forgotten that we are a republic and not a democracy. These guys shouldn't be so dumb as to think that since the Senator from Wyoming has far less people voting for him he should have less weight then a senator from California. Why just apply this to the filibuster? Why not weigh ever senator's vote according to how many people they represent?

The answer is clear as day to anyone who would take a glance at the Constitution: Senators represent a state thru the people who elect them. We have the House for popular representation (which BTW does not have any filibuster option). If these people would add a little history to reading the Constitution they might even find out that we would have never become a country unless each state had received equal representation regardless of land or population size.

Ya know, we are the United STATES of America.

Sheneider Wins!

Tammy Schneider Wins!!! Tom Jorgensen also just missed the ticket and came in fourth. Full results still trickling in... I look forward to how Tammy will help put some balance to the local school board.

Where's Taxcredits?

Congressman Kind came to Menomonie to talkabout the higher cost of higher education.

Kind said on Wednesday that he is proposing to:

# cover this year's tuition increase for every student at UW-Stout;

# reduce the cost of student loans;

# and, increase student financial aid by freezing the 2003 tax cut for the top 1 percent of taxpayers -- resulting in $29 billion in aid.


Classic. Here's the socialsits method of education down to the last period: tax the rich, aquire (read control too) educaiton. Why not increase the tax credit people can take for higher education. For those who can't afford it? Let those who don't have children in higher ed. take a tax credit for giving to a scholarship foundation for those in need. Businesses and individuals already do this to a large degree. Encourage it. (oh no a tax cut AND helping education at the same time. Terrible???)

Another issue is students working several jobs just to get by.

"A lot of students are increasing their workload burden," Kind said.


What's so bad about that? I don't mind working while I study. Plus working/doing internships while you study often opens doors and prepares students to use their education. Hard work should never be looked down upon.

Tuesday, April 5

Vote!

Why Vote Underheim (and not Burmaster)

Below are some of the reasons, that I posted before based on a personal interview with Underhiem, on why I support his candiacy. Also why I can't support Burmaster.

About Burmaster:

The Burmaster campaign continues to stonewall my effort to get a response to my questions. I have emailed Elizabeth Burmaster three times, and called twice and I have still received no reply. In my phone conversations they have acknowledged that they have received the request but so far they have returned nothing. [Ed. at the time of the election this continues to be the truth. I called Burmaster a fourth time and they said I would get a response within the week. Nothing. A totally unresponsive candidate. How am I suppose to find out what she stands for?]


Who She Does talk to (and take money from):
In my search around for info on Ms. Burmaster I found the so called Human Rights League, A PAC that is dedicated to advancing the homosexual agenda in Wisconsin. Not only did they endorse and give money to Elizabeth Burmaster but she openly said that she had and would continue to assist them in advancing their objectives. The whole survey which is really an eye opener is located here. Is advancing an agenda that leaves children without both a Mom and Dad really something that will help our children's education?

Do I need to mention again that Doyle supports her?

Do I need to say again that she continues to try and smash the virual education system that parents want?

And what about Underheim...

First, Underheim is very interested in other options in education in the state. When I gave him some of the information I had gathered on tax credits, he did not commit to any direct implementation, but seemed to be genuinely interested in it as an alternative. He also stressed the importance on the some of the new virtual learning systems that have been implemented in the state which save costs and have suffered litigious attacks from Burmaster and WEAC.

Second, he understood and committed to supporting in anyway he could the home schooling's communities basic desire to be unregulated and left to teach their children in the way that seems best--a system which he acknowledged has worked very well.

Third, Underheim pledged that teaching in the classroom must not be limited to only teaching one side of the debate like has happened with the evolution idea. Part of learning is understanding that there are two sides to the debate and presenting both sides. Hint: keep your eye on this issue throughout the campaign.

Fourth, he was supportive of abstinence education although he reminded me that many of those types of decisions are made on a local level.

From a legislative perspective I was disappointed to find out that he had voted against the constitutional protection of marriage in Wisconsin, but he did agree that the schools are no place to push the anti-marriage agenda, unlike Burmaster.

There was urgency behind him as he explained the W3 plan or what works in Wisconsin plan. Under this idea, he would push for more accountability in the schools and an emphasis on streamlining school administration to provide tax savings and results in schools across the state.

Underheim can be contacted at his website underheim.com

Vote Underheim.

Compassion At Work

If anyone can help out please do.

Nick Silverio of Safe Haven for Newborns in Florida has asked that we spread the word of a disabled newborn in need of adoption.

The child, born today, has no arms, only one leg, and is missing a good portion of his jaw - but his prognosis is good. The baby was abandoned by his mother under the Florida Safe Haven law and, unless potential adoptive parents can be found, quickly, the child will become a ward of the state (and, it is feared, the target of euthanasia). The Florida Department of Children and Families will not become involved unless information is obtained that may suggest some type of abuse or neglect (which is not evident at this time). Catholic Charities in Florida is not currently able to assist with adoption services.

Please forward this information on to any agency, organization or individual that may be able to assist in locating interested potential adoptive parents.
Nick's cell phone number is 786-246-1304


Via Wisconsin Right to Life

They Say Gas is Going up to $2.50

Ouch! Buy that liquid gold quick.

Now you Can Yagoohoogle It!

Yagohoogle!

Vote Today!

Vote Gregg Underheim for Department of Public Instruction, if you want a responsible and forward approach to education.

If you live in the Menomonie area also vote Jorgensen, Cady and Schneider for school board. We need more innovation in that body then "more money will fix the problem."

Monday, April 4

How the New Pope Get Elected

is found here. (Along with other info on what happens at his death).

Adscam: Canada's Watergate?

The question is over kickbacks that were given to the Liberal gov't for scholarships or revenue for ads that they had given out. Full background here

Things really started to break wide open tho when the testimony started of people who were involved with the scam and the Liberal gov't was all wrapped up in the deal. Not only was the testimony damning, but the court blocked the information from being published, purportedly because it would prejudice potential jurors but speculatively because it destroyed the Liberals.

Enter US bloggers like Captain Ed from Captain's Quarters.

Since the publication ban ends at the US/Canada boarder, Captain Ed got an informer inside the court room and then published the result (Main post here.)
This made the Canadian courts mad since Canadian sources (blogs, online papers and TV stations) linked to Captain's Quarters and made the Canadian lawyers threaten to sue any publication (even Canadian blogs) that linked or even mentioned US blogs that blogged about the subject. Thankfully those lawsuits went no where and Canadians with an internet connection to Ed can get what they need to make an informed opinion on their government and the massive corruption that appears to have taken place. Free speech is preserved again.

Could this force quick elections? New Prime Minister? Speculation runs wild.

small dead animals is a wonderful Canadian blog on the issue too.

Intelegently Designed Blog

Some of the best minds from the ID movement have gotten their heads together and formed a blog

They haven't gotten comment up and running yet. I can't imagine the outburst when they do. It should be fun.

And in a testimony to how real the ID blog's name, "ID the future" is this post (and this post) at the evolution supporting blog Panda's Thumb anounced that ID had just persuaded one doubter.

I recently read William Dembski's masterful rebuttal of the "case study" on the evolution of the bacterial flagellum by Nick Matzke, who, it seems, has so many noms de guerre he must be hiding something. I am profoundly ashamed. It seems that ID is not only possible, but necessary. This is my public recantation.


He is not kidding.

I will make this a stop at least whenever some new development appears in the ID debate.

Sample post from ID blog:

Critics of intelligent design argue that intelligent design is not a scientific theory. They do so, however, not by confronting the evidence and logic by which design theorists argue for their conclusions. Rather, they do so by definitional fiat. Essentially, they engage in conceptual gerrymandering, carefully defining science so that conventional evolutionary theory falls within science and intelligent design falls without. This device typically goes by the name of methodological naturalism or methodological materialism. Eugenie Scott, director of the evolution watchdog group the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), describes methodological materialism as follows:

"Most scientists today require that science be carried out according to the rule of methodological materialism: to explain the natural world scientifically, scientists must restrict themselves only to material causes (to matter, energy, and their interaction). There is a practical reason for this restriction: it works. By continuing to seek natural explanations for how the world works, we have been able to find them. If supernatural explanations are allowed, they will discourage—or at least delay—the discovery of natural explanations, and we will understand less about the universe."....



HT: World Mag Blog

Marriage Protection in Kansas

Good for them. Come on Wisconsin you should be next!

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage, and the ban's supporters are using a California judge's recent ruling in favor of same-sex unions as one of their chief arguments.

Gay marriage is already banned under Kansas law, and the law is not being challenged by anyone. But supporters of the ballot measure say the ban must be put in the Kansas Constitution to insulate it from legal challenge.

In Kansas and elsewhere, that argument was bolstered when a San Francisco judge ruled March 14 that California's law against gay marriage violates the California Constitution.

"That's precisely what I would like to see prevented here in Kansas," said a supporter of the proposed amendment, Dan Robison, a retired banker and Air Force pilot from Wichita who has been married 49 years.

Kansas voters are expected to approve the gay marriage ban overwhelmingly.

Zogby Poll Shows Americans Wanted Terri Saved

In previous polls done by ABC News and others on whether people supported what was done to Terri Schiavo, the result often showed a disregard for disabled life. Now a new poll likely demonstrates (as many supposed) that those polls were skewed. Zogby asked:

"'If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water,' the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.


The wording is very critical in these polls. Changing it from "food and water" to "life support" would change the way I would answer the question. These two polls demonstrate I think that the majority in this country believe that suicide is wrong, but they also believe that extraordinary medical procedures should be the option of the family. People still support life even tho the battle to continue that support is on going, and clear definition of the issues is essential.

The legislative arm of government responds to the people. It has its positives, it has its negatives, but for Congress to take the extraordinary measures they did without having popular support on such a high profile issue.....I just couldn't see it happening. I'm sure those in Congress knew better what their constituents wanted then those framed in a poll that ABC News used to push an apparent agenda.

Saturday, April 2

Pope: RIP

Professor Brainbridge has some good commentary from a Catholic perspective.

Well this Lutheran has an urge to make a post about some 95 differences he may have with the Catholic church over theological issues, I commend the Pope for his staunch stand in the defense of life from the youngest to the oldest, his support of marriage, and his fight for freedom in Europe. God used Pope John Paul II for good, and may those who mourn his loss be comforted.

Newsmax reminds us that the Pope was the one to coin the term "the culture of life" that has come to symbolize much of what the Pope fought for politically, and that Prez. Bush has taken as his own definition slogan in the defense of life.

The Atheocrats and Their Theocrat Label

Have you noticed how there has been a renewed attack on those who serve in public office and also hold that their actions may be influenced by their Christian beliefs? They call them "theocrats." They call them theocrats in what appears to me a derogatory way. I wouldn't take it as such, unless those who level that charge mind me calling them atheocrats. Atheocrat Maureen Dowd (DeLay, Deny and Demagogue) is a classic example:

Oh my [minced oath deleted], we really are in a theocracy.

Are the Republicans so obsessed with maintaining control over all branches of government, and are the Democrats so emasculated about not having any power, that they are willing to turn the nation into a wholly owned subsidiary of the church?


There is even a website devoted to the whole topic: Theocracy Watch

Even John Danforth who I would have expected to have understood church state matters better got the whole thing muddled:

By a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.

The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots.


First of all, they get the whole separation of church and state mixed up--completely. Separation of church and state (which I agree with) does not mean that the state has to keep people with any sort of a belief out of office (everyone, atheist and Christian have beliefs). Nor does it mean that those beliefs must not influence decisions in government. They will. What it does mean is that government officials must never force those they rule to follow any one faith (again Atheistic, Islamic, Christian, etc.). If elected officials started to tell the atheists that they HAD to believe in God and worship him in a certain way, then I would be the first to call those elected officials theocrats ruling a theocracy, and vote them out of office.
(Click Full post)

Second, if a theocrat simply means a Christian who is sincere enough in their belief and that belief influences public decisions, then they stand in good company. Most of the Founders of this country would be called theocrats by such a definition. Many more presidents would also fall under this definition. How would Dowd sound if she charged George Washington with being a theocrat?

Third, you would think that if the atheocrats were consistent, they would decry all types of Christians who are elected to office and base their decision on what they think the Bible says. But like you have probably guessed, they don't. No, the atheocrats reserve their ire only for those on the right, those who are apart of the Republican party.

Fourth, I can't see why some issues like abortion, are exclusively "Christian issues" while other issues like the national debt are not "Christian issues" like Danforth implies. Shouldn't Christians be concerned about all areas of gov't even tho they might put more of their energy into protecting the most precious God given rights?

Fifth, what makes the rest of the issues that atheocrats promote any less religious then what a Christian promotes? Both are based on belief. Don't let the atheocrats fool you into thinking that what they believe is all based on science. It's not. If study after study shows that welfare does not work, do you think that they will give it up? Fat chance. Furthermore, I am willing to defend scientifically any Biblical/political postition I hold to. (Not a risky thing to say so long as I get the Biblical principles right since the author of science also wrote the Biblical principles.)

So this theocrat, theocon, and theocracy label throwing is nothing more then hyperventalation by those who are mad at Christians who are no longer apathetic about the clear lack of justice in gov't, and who probably also wouldn't mind setting up atheocracy if they could. They really are going off the deep end.

Friday, April 1

First Day of the Minuteman Project

Michelle Malkin has a blog devoted to the illegal immigration issue:The Immigration Blog. This blog will also be following the Minuteman project: an initiative by Americans who are fed up with the gov'ts lack of concern over illegal immigration. Over 1,000 Americans are congregating down on the Arizona boarder to alert authorities to any illegal activities.

While I wish the US would let more immigrants in, I also wish they would crack down on those who come in illegally. More specifically, the US must also punish those that hire illegal immigrants.

Hugh on Religiousrightitis

Ok Hugh Hewitt beat me to the topic. I call it the attack of the Atheocrats. Why the new attack on those who hold a Christian world view on political issues? I have a post saved in draft on this so go over and let his take on the subject whet your appetite for more.