Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A reader responds to my Eagle Forum column

Curiouser and curiouser.

A letter in this morning's Daily News about my column on the Eagle Forum a few weeks back.

University of Wisconsin-Washington County college professor Mark Peterson wrote that his “hobby since the 1970s” has been following my career. But he apparently didn’t learn much about me. Almost everything he said about me is just a mish-mash of feminist delusions.

It should be obvious that I never wanted women to be bound by alleged stereotypes because I worked my way through Washington University on the night shift testing .30- and .50-caliber ammunition by firing rifles and machine guns. That was hardly a typical stereotypical job, and it proved to be good preparation to defend myself against the cheap shots fired by whining feminists who were peddling the line that American women are victims of an oppressive patriarchy.

As a result of their ideology of victimology, they refuse to believe that women can be successful, and they resent women who are successful. That’s why they put down successful women like Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Sarah Palin and myself.

Practically everything Peterson wrote about me has no basis in fact; he must have invented his litany of accusations on his moon voyage. His only true statement about me is that I oppose “federally financed and regulated daycare.” That was a major goal of the feminists in 1989-1990 because they believe it is discrimination for society to expect mothers to care for their own children. We defeated the feminist push for this expensive goal because the majority of American people don't want their tax dollars to provide babysitters for other people's children.

Phyllis Schlafly
President, Eagle Forum



I'd like to express my gratitude to Ms. Schlafly for taking the trouble to ask one of her interns to draft up this letter to the editor and prove my point.

[Let's face it, only an intern would have been tasked to respond to little old me, or have demonstrated the historical myopia to link Sarah Palin with fascinating, important, and literate, women like Maggie Thatcher or Jeane Kirkpatrick.]



hiho
Mp

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Modest Proposal for fixing the School Board budget crisis: outsourcing.

Hi everyone,

I cannot imagine why this wasn't obvious from the beginning.





Solve school budget woes by outsourcing

Parents’ disposable income will soar with tax savings


I made a mathematical error a couple of weeks ago about how much the tax levy would cost the average district tax payer. I’d misheard the number through the jeering crowd at the September School Board meeting. Some friends with better hearing pointed me to the printed documents and, rather than $15 a month for a $200,000 house, the actual number comes closer to $9 a month. For a median priced house in the district, the cost would be even lower.

Still, for the loudest complainers who heard the correct figure, even the lower rate was too much. I realized these people must be in rough shape financially or that, maybe, they’re just frugal. I looked at the 2007 American Communities Survey census-update to find out.

Admittedly, unemployment here is up from 5 percent in 2007 to 12.2 percent in September. If people are unemployed and paying a big mortgage, then $9 a month can be a lot of money, but what about the 87.8 percent who aren't unemployed? How are they doing? It turns out they’re doing pretty well.

About 72 percent of the housing in the district is owner-occupied. The average household of an owner-occupied unit is 2.6 people so, assuming 2 parents, that’s actually less than one child per household. Moreover 45 percent of these people have two cars and 20 percent have three. The median household value in 2007 was about $192,000 which means the average tax paying citizen in the district has a monthly mortgage of around $1,100, assuming a 30-year fixed mortgage at 5.6 percent with 20 percent down and about $2,600 a year in property taxes.

Those booing the rate increase, then, pay on average $1,100 a month in mortgage costs. Since about 65 percent of them have two or more cars and can afford $1,100 a month on their mortgages, an extra $9 looks pretty affordable.

So maybe they aren’t broke, maybe they’re just frugal and let’s face it, kids are expensive. In fact, the cost of raising a child in the U.S. rolls in – like a tsunami – at around $230,000 over 18 years.

But there’s good news. I’ve figured out how to save them even more money on the costs of raising their kids: outsourcing. Why not outsource raising our children to China? Why shouldn’t we apply the principles of free trade to child rearing? Let the market prevail! Ship them off for 12 years to be raised and educated in China.

I wasn’t able to get absolute figures from China or India but as a percentage of GDP, China spends 2.2 percent to the United State’s 4.8 percent (in 2003 data) so let’s be conservative and assume it’d cost about half as much to raise a child in China. That will leave parents not only with $115,000 in personal savings, but saves them money in lowered tax rates at both the state and national levels. Plus that extra $9 a month to spend on whatever they want. Think of the cost savings and the economies of scale – and think of what they can do with all that extra money.

Other advantages aren’t immediately obvious. Parents won't be bothered with the financial or psychological burden of raising their children, which will significantly lower stress levels and, with the introduction of these new child-rearing efficiencies, buoy the economy. People could finally afford all the toys they’ve been putting off buying for themselves, like that 52-inch TV, a fourth car, or maybe another snowmobile, and all the Starbuck’s mochas they want. They’ll be free to divert any of their income to satisfying personal wants instead of covering the cost of being responsible for their children.

Sure, the kids will be missed, but there’s Skype and Facebook – parents will still be able to see their kids, over the Internet, anytime they like. The kids will also learn Chinese and be better at math than other American kids, like Chinese kids are now.

Best of all, these outsourced kids won’t have to endure the psychological trauma of being raised by parents who think that $9 a month is more important than they are.

While we were are it, maybe China would cut us a deal for outsourcing Jackson’s police department, too.




Ah, Swift.


More seriously, there are alternatives. I see in the Daily News today that St. Joe's Hospital said their physicians are moving over to Slinger because West Bend's school facilities are hampering their recruitment -- something predicted last year when the Bleed the Schools cadres managed to disable part of the referendum. Nice going guys.

So, what to do? Support West Bend Schools, that's what. There's a new website with the details. Happily enough, it's called Support West Bend Schools.


hiho
Mp

Glenn Grothman: wrong on campaign finance reform

Hi everyone,

A bill that would diminish the financial power of corporations to elect Supreme Court Justices sounds like it might be a good idea, but not to Glenn.

Bill could add finance funds for justice elections

There is opposition to the bill, with some believing that with the current economic and budget problems the state is facing, no money will be left for financing campaigns, according to Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend.

"Our state is so broke that the idea that the taxpayers can handle the burden to pay for state Supreme Court candidates at this time is completely inappropriate,” Grothman said.

Thank heavens the corporate interests in the state can afford to drop millions getting their candidates elected. So long as corporations are happy, why should any of us worry whether they've paid for Supreme Court Justices? I mean, what could go wrong?


hiho
Mp

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glenn Grothman comes out in support of the West Bend School board?

Had to cross link this bit of news. Even Senator Grothman was able to do the math on this one.

Glenn Grothman: right for supporting the West Bend School board.

Where's Boots and Sabers when you need them? Probably off, being right, somewhere.

hiho
Mp

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sarah Palin to appear at State Fair Park

Nice to know she's got work... or is this, technically, a "job"? I mean, in some meaningful way?

Sarah Palin to appear at State Fair Park - JSOnline

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will visit Milwaukee next month for a speech at State Fair Park.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate will speak Nov. 6 at the Wisconsin Exposition Center in West Allis. Tickets cost $30 each and can be purchased online only at www.SarahPalinEvent.com. No tickets will be sold at the door.

The program is scheduled from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Palin's visit is sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life and will feature Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM (620) as master of ceremonies. Palin was Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election.


Uh, ceremonies?


hiho
Mp

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans

Some research on what's becoming the Republican base.

For the full report: The Very Separate World.

an excerpt:


The self-identifying conservative Republicans who make up the base of the Republican Party stand a world apart from the rest of America, according to focus groups conducted by Democracy Corps. These base Republican voters dislike Barack Obama to be sure – which is not very surprising as base Democrats had few positive things to say about George Bush – but these voters identify themselves as part of a ‘mocked’ minority with a set of shared beliefs and knowledge, and commitment to oppose Obama that sets them apart from the majority in the country. They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a ‘secret agenda’ to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism. While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country’s founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail.


Mocked? One of the things I've noticed, increasingly since last year, but especially over the past few months, is that these so-called conservatives have picked up and are playing the victimization card more and more often. It's very satisfying I imagine and really justifies the displays of indignation and self-righteousness -- but it also strikes me as ironic that these privileged white boys would use the same political technique they bash in groups that have been demonstrably victimized by our society.

Truth is, if Rush were black, the African American leadership in this country wouldn't even let him walk Jessie Jackson's dog.

hiho

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Eagle (Forum) has landed

Hi everyone,

I wrote a note back in September about the landing of the Eagle Forum in Wisconsin.

They now have a chapter in Washington County.


Saturday's column.


The Eagle has landed


I remember the thrill of watching Apollo 11 land on the moon and the calm confidence in Neil Armstrong’s voice when he radioed back “Houston, this is Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.” Watching human beings land on the moon was an amazing experience.

Not long afterward, a number of comedians joked that if the tables were turned, and Lunar inhabitants had landed on Earth, we might not be quite as thrilled – although it would still be an amazing experience. And that’s what it feels like to know the Eagle Forum has landed here in Wisconsin. It’s like having Moon people land on you.

But why are they here? Following recent failures to block civic progress (like failing to block an improved high school harassment policy that now includes hate speech based in gender preference, or failing to block successful passage of the last school referendum, or failing to prevent citizens from having free access to information in their library) one local group called for outside reinforcements in the form of the anti-equal-rights-for-women and anti-science storm troopers commanded by the redoubtable Phyllis Schlafly.

Phyllis Schlafly has been a hobby of mine since the 1970s. She’s a walking contradiction. While campaigning against the Equal Rights Amendment, editing a monthly newsletter, and earning a law degree from Washington University, Schlafly made a lot of noise criticizing women who, rather than remain bound by the stereotypical 1950s Jello-mold of womanhood, decided to live bigger, freer lives – women like my mom. For instance.

My mom sold real estate, was one of the first financial planners in the country, and now works in the tourism and convention planning industry – and, much to my horror, has become a Republican. My brothers and I are none the worse for wear as a result of her going off to work; in fact, she’s my role model for what a successful woman looks like. She baked great chocolate chip cookies, had a family who loved her deeply, and advised clients on mutual funds. Plus she plays the ukulele.

Schlafly has gone to some trouble over the years to characterize the choices my mom made as examples of a feminist conspiracy responsible for the downfall of American values. I am unable to think of my mom as being responsible for the downfall of American values.

That was then, but nothing has changed. The Eagle Forum’s anti-working woman bias is as silkily toxic and internally contradictory today as it was in Schlafly’s 1970s activism. Their mission statement contains the following plank, splintered through with class warfare.

“We oppose the feminist goal of federally financed and regulated day care.”

Um, wait … do they oppose daycare because they believe no working mom needs daycare for their kids or should expect help from her own government?

This is not the point of view of mothers from planet Earth. This is Moony talk. This is how America looks through the privileged lenses of a law degree and plenty of money. Recent studies from Brandeis University and from the Motherhood Project at the Institute for American Values have demonstrated that most women stay home only because they can’t get a job and that most women who do get a job, work – not because they want to, not out of choice, but out of necessity. They work to support their families.

If it’s a feminist goal to insist that the government help American women by providing day care – so that they can earn enough to keep their families off of welfare – then most of the women in America are already part of the “feminist” conspiracy to improve the lives of their families. You can’t claim to support the rights of women and families and then oppose the kind of social services that would actually improve their lives.

See? Lunar folks say the strangest things.

There’s also their opposition to science. Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum is the same street gang who helped push through a law that put labels inside biology textbooks in Alabama warning kids that evolution is “only” a theory. We’ve been here before. Maybe we should put warning labels on swine flu vaccine warning people that the scientific claim that germs cause disease is only a theory.

Are these the values we want our kids to assimilate? Should kids be taught that if mom doesn’t stay home, she’s a bad mom? Or that science doesn’t actually explain anything?

It’s true, I’m prejudiced. I am guilty of having an Earth-o-centric bias when it comes to evaluating politics that come from the Moon.





hiho
Mp

Sunday, October 11, 2009

When it's good to be too conservative: a correction to the school board taxy levy.

Whoops!

When I came up with the $15/$200k house estimate for the school board tax levy, I was using a figure I thought I heard from the chair of the school board through loud jeers from the crowd. A few friends with better math skills, and ears, wrote to correct me.

The rate is lower.

According to an Oct 6 newspaper article, the mill rate for the 9.9% increase would be a $7.44 rate... which works out to be less than $10 a month on a $200,000 house, not $15.

I've also had friends write in to note that, even though their homes have increased in value dramatically in the last 20 years, they are actually paying LESS in school taxes than they did 20 years ago... not a lower rate. They're paying less in real dollars.

So, those complaining that this rate increase is too high either can't manage their own budgets properly, have prioritized cable-TV ahead of their neighborhood education system, or are recently out of work.

Only the last group have a good argument.

If anyone can locate real numbers that contradict mine -- and everything I've seen indicates we live in a town with one of the most efficient school districts and one of the higher median household incomes in the state -- let me know and I'll post it up.

I'm also a bit confused by the argument that too many people are out of work... the rate has gone up some since April, but during that referendum half passed rather handily and the other half only lost by 16 votes inside the city limits. Maybe the rich folks out there in the subdivisions, with the expensive houses and the SUV's, have been hit harder than those of us who live in modest houses and drive economy cars -- that might explain some of the resistance.

I guess it is tough to scale back from two Hummers to one Hummer and a Denali. I imagine some of them had to give up one of their jet skis too, and maybe even a snowmobile.

Better to keep that $10 a month for gas money, rather than new kindergarten teachers.

hiho
Mp

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Should West Bend students bring their own toilet paper to school?

I imagine this idea would be a thrilling new possibility to our colleagues in the irate strangle-the-schools majority -- except the source is foreign and, therefore, suspect. Nonetheless:
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish parents struggling to buy schoolbooks and uniforms in the face of a deep recession may now have to worry about sending their children to school with a toilet roll as well as a packed lunch.

Pupils at a primary school in the southern county of Cork are being asked to bring their own toilet paper to school to help save money, one of the starkest examples yet of the death of Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy.

"The letter was sent out just as a way of balancing books here in the school and not intended as a demand," said Catherine O'Neill, principal at St John's Girls National School.

O'Neill said the request was made because of cuts to government grants for books and computers. She added that parents were responding well.

"I've done a quick tour of the classrooms this morning and I'd say at least half the pupils have brought them (toilet rolls) in," she told national broadcaster RTE.

"I have no doubt that there are an enormous number of schools out there that are doing the same thing."

West Bend's School Board: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Hi everyone,

The local rightwing blogosphere have been playing the "us against the elitists" card again last week when one of their posse said the West Bend School board had lost the trust of taxpayers.

They hadn't lost my trust. Considering the budget shortfalls they've had to endure, the board is being operated by Eagle Scouts.

So, why would anyone suggest we can't trust a school board of volunteers (their $2000 stipends are stipends, not salaries) who, repeatedly over the last few years, saved us money? Lots of money.

The only answer I can come up with is that this isn't about trust -- it's about making political hay.

As usual.

Saturday's column.

A trustworthy school board doesn’t need to swing an axe




Trust was nowhere to be seen in the public display by irate protesters at the School Board meeting on Sept. 28. The relatively straightforward financial analysis presented by the School Board in support of a plan to correct a state imposed budget shortfall had no effect on the crowd. Their apparent distrust of the School Board’s recommendations was curiously unmoved by the facts and their questions – and the almost staged cheering that followed – were curiouser still.

The first question from the NO side was a thoughtful comment about how difficult it is to increase public spending with the economy in its current state. It drew a healthy round of applause and lots of nods from people on both sides of the issue.

After this courteous beginning, questions from the negative side grew increasingly irate and accusatory – and weird.

One of the first negative questioners accused the School Board of giving itself raises and then taxing us to pay for them. The crowd cheered wildly in solidarity – until they were quietly reminded that School Board members receive a stipend that hasn't been raised since the 1980s. The crowd seemed disappointed.

Another questioner criticized the board for not publicizing the meeting – his implication was that the board had tried to hide the meeting from the public. He complained he’d only heard about it from local conservative talk radio. The crowd howled with satisfaction – but again, the facts were disappointing. Like all public institutions, the School Board is bound by clear and enforceable rules that mandate how they announce their meetings. The gym fell silent as school district Superintendent Pat Herdrich counted out the number of public announcements that had actually been made. More than a dozen.

One of those who spoke in favor noted that most people with a $200,000 house should be able to afford the modest $15 a month increase in the taxes, since West Bend was in one of the wealthier counties in the state. People booed angrily as if this fact were not true. Again, I have to wonder why they’d boo the truth.

Frankly, if citizens in a county with one of the highest median incomes in the state can’t manage their personal budgets well enough to afford an extra $15 a month for their kids, but can still afford cell phones (a great number of the loudest protesters dutifully switched off their phones at the beginning of the meeting), then they aren’t the best people to criticize public spending.

The School Board, by contrast, has demonstrated great skill and frugality with our money. Despite crushing economic circumstances, the board has managed to keep district spending, compared to 24 similar districts, the lowest in spending per student, second lowest in the property tax mill rate, fourth lowest in administrative spending per student, seventh lowest in administrators per student, and 14th lowest in staff wages and benefits per student – well below the state average. A lot of the negative comments complained we were paying too much for education in West Bend. The facts say we’re paying less than almost anyone in the state.

In fact, tax history over the last 14 years makes the West Bend School Board look like financial wizards. You can check for yourself at the Department of Public Instruction’s Basic Facts and in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Over the past 14 years, taxpayers in West Bend have seen total school taxes increase by about 1.5 percent per year while inflation averaged 3 percent; in other words, inflation has increased at roughly twice the rate of school taxes. During the same period, personal income in Washington County increased at nearly three times the rate of local school taxes. In other words, not only do we have one of the most efficient school districts in the state, we are better able to afford it now than we were 14 years ago.

So here's the question that keeps popping into mind: how can anyone call a school board that saves taxpayers money and produces some of the best students in the state un-trustworthy? You can’t – not honestly.

But back to my suspicions: if the board is trustworthy – as demonstrated by the money they’ve saved us over the years – then why did people show up at the meeting to angrily muddy the waters?

Some of the protesters carried Tea Party signs, so I tracked down the online affiliations for one of our local Tea Party related groups to The Sam Adams Alliance. I found a quotation from Sam on their home page that, sadly, explained why some people may have acted as they did on Sept. 28.

Referring to the enemies of our young Republic, Sam said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in the minds of men.”

Sam was right, of course, but why would anyone use the guerrilla tactics employed by one of our Founding Fathers against their own schools? Maybe these people believe the public schools are their enemy.

The facts do not support that point of view. The School Board has repeatedly demonstrated that it is trustworthy, loyal, thrifty and brave. The board has an obligation not only to us, but to the next generation of American citizens – they should approve the rate increase and meet that obligation.



Elected officials, even school boards, are elected to represented us -- to exercise their judgment on our behalf. Not to be sock puppets for whoever happens to be loudest that week. They should stick with their judgment now and not blend to the irate and shifty winds of political bluster.



hiho
Mp

Thursday, October 08, 2009

30 GOP Senators Vote to Defend Gang Rape

You take 8 years of lid off the pot, and it all starts to boil to the surface.

30 GOP Senators Vote to Defend Gang Rape
It is stunning that 30 Republican members of the United States Senate would vote to protect a corporation, in this case Halliburton/KBR, over a woman who was gang raped. The details from Think Progress:
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and "warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job." (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Offering Ms. Jones legal relief was Senator Al Franken of Minnesota who offered an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court."

Seems simple enough. And yet, to GOP Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama allowing victims of sexual assault a day in court is tantamount to a "political attack" at Halliburton. That 29 others, all men, chose to join him in opposing the Franken amendment is simply mind-boggling.


Oh, when money's at stake, what's the problem?

hiho
Mp

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When it's bad to be Number One. Driving Drunk in Wisconsin.

Hi everyone,

Tragically, one of the teachers at a local middle school died as a result of driving while intoxicated just after I'd written this and before it got to Press. The teacher, popular with her students and colleagues, had a blood alcohol level .24%.


Saturday's column.



When it’s bad to be No. 1




Saturday night. Midnight. While heading home from a long and happy day at the Milwaukee Ukulele Festival, I was nearly picked off by a driver who swerved across three lanes of traffic directly in front of me.

“Damned drunk,” I thought – and then I started counting. I counted four obvious drunk drivers in the 45 minutes of highway time it took to get home.

The next day I read the Saturday paper and found that a woman from Campbellsport had been sentenced to two years in prison for her fifth drunken driving offense. On Sunday, I finally caught up on the previous week’s news and discovered the Assembly had unanimously passed a new law increasing the penalties for drunk driving.

The new law is a disgrace and an indignity to Wisconsin voters. It looks like it was drafted by a frat party kegger committee.

We all know how much drinking and driving is going on. The tragedies spill across the evening news in weekly tides of carnage and death. But when you hear about a drunk driver with six or seven previous convictions, don’t you wonder how he stayed out of prison after the fourth conviction? Me, too. The answer is simple: our laws are designed to let people drive drunk, over and over again.

Bad laws create bad consequences: Wisconsin is number one in the nation when it comes to drunk driving. Number One. The DOT reports that last year we had 42,000 convictions for drunken driving. Approximately 40 percent of all fatal car crashes, and 50 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin, were alcohol related. That works out to 234 dead and 4000 injured. In 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a study that showed more than 26 percent of Wisconsin adults admitted they’d driven under the influence of alcohol in the previous year.

Right now, we’re tied with North Dakota as the only states where drunk driving is not a felony until the fifth offense. This bill will make the fourth offense a felony – so watch out you drunk drivers: from now on you can only get caught three times before it gets serious. Wisconsin remains the only state in the Republic that refuses to treat a first offense as a crime.

A few details from the bill show some teeth. For instance, if someone is convicted of a second OWI-related offense AND causes injury, the offense is treated as a felony with fines up to $10,000 and prison time. The bill expands treatment programs and requires ignition interlock devices – a kind of breathalyzer offenders will have to blow through in order to start their car. The new law also lets people reduce jail time by going into treatment programs after a second or third offense. That’s a great idea. Friends in the mental health professions tell me that, a lot of the time, first and second offenders are just stupid and careless but, by the time you get to drunks on their third and fourth offenses, we’re not talking about stupid anymore, we’re talking about serious alcohol and addiction issues. That makes sense: anyone could make a terrible mistake once, or even twice. After that, something more than stupid is involved.

One part of the bill got my attention. Here’s the actual text: This bill makes a fourth OWIrelated offense committed within five years of a prior offense a Class H felony and requires a person who commits a fourth, fifth or sixth OWI-related offense to serve a minimum of two years in prison under a bifurcated sentence. The bill requires a person who commits a seventh, eighth, or ninth OWI-related offense to serve a minimum of three years in prison under a bifurcated sentence and a person who commits a tenth or subsequent OWI-related offense to serve a minimum of four years in prison under a bifurcated sentence.

You don’t include language to cover seventh, eighth, or ninth (!) offenses unless you plan to give someone that many chances. What the 95-0 vote make clear is that all of our legislators thought everyone deserves nine chances to get caught drunk driving. Reading over the bill, I wondered whether our legislators were impaired when they voted. Letting drunk drivers get away with four, much less nine, convictions for OWI is even crazier – and more dangerous – than that inebriated idiot who nearly ran me off the road last Saturday night. Here’s a suggestion: maybe we need to install ignition interlock devices on the doors of the state Capitol.

China's anniversary parade.

Just so we remember where we are.




China's 60th Anniversary national day - timelapse and slow motion - 7D and 5DmkII from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Cheney in denial as grandparent, again.

Mary Cheney, the daughter the Right won't talk about, and Heather Poe plan to have a second child in November.


hiho

Monday, October 05, 2009

Capitalism and financial crashes: The mysteries of rationality--slowly being comprehended.

From: The New Yorker: Capitalism and financial crashes

The Liberal Media is another conservative (sic) lie

Have a look at David Gregory's sources on Meet the Press this Sunday as he questioned Obama aide Susan Rice. You'd think the Liberal Media would ask Liberal Questions. Alas. Another slat in the neo-con frame game.

From Glenn Greenwald

Without the liberal bogeyman, however, the right has nothing to lean on. Without the threat there's no need for their cure.

hiho

Friday, October 02, 2009

Librarians responding to calls for censorship: Uncle Bobby's Wedding

A nice response in another library to those who believe literature with gay themes is immoral or poses a threat to youngsters:

myliblog: Uncle Bobby's Wedding


hiho
Mp