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  • November 30, 2004

    Poker vs. the Nanny State

    [Posted by ]

    Nanny staters have a new target: poker. With poker getting more popular with teens, schools and anti-gambling advocates are worried about the children.

    While some of us may think card games between family and friends are nothing more than harmless fun, others are convinced that something like a game of Texas Hold 'Em is nothing more than a gateway to a lifetime of dodging bookies named Vinnie.

    "It's fun. It's exciting. It's glamorized on TV and in the media in a way that other addictions are not," says Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "There's the impression that through skill you can beat the odds. But randomness is always going to have a bigger factor in determining the outcome than your skill.

    "And unfortunately, that's not the message these kids get."

    Have you ever noticed that people like Mr. Whyte automatically think of gambling or drinking as "addictions". They are the ones with no sense of moderation. And I'm afraid that that's what they would teach kids.

    And, of course, these people are convinced that teenagers playing poker is a problem and that government should do something about it. Dan Romer, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania thinks that:

    schools should teach about the dangers of gambling, the same way they teach that alcohol and drugs can be addictive. He also says that government officials who oversee public gambling -- casinos and lotteries -- have a special responsibility to closely watch young people, who are allowed to gamble legally in many states as young as age 18.

    I can't even tell you how much this ticks me off. Shouldn't schools be teaching reading, writing and arithmetic? It galls me to think that taxpayer money would be used to fund some kind of "Gambling Resource" position in public schools. Teaching kids about proper ways to gamble or drink or date is up to parents, not the government. It's ironic that the same people that cry about "John Ashcroft's Amerika" are more than ready to give up the freedom to raise their children with their own values.

    Now, perhaps I'm overreacting. But, keep in mind that I do live in the Madison School District. This is a district, that, according to its latest budget, employs over 75 pyschologists and social workers, another 17 in "Alcohol and Drug Programs" and even has a full time "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Resource Teacher". I don't think it's a reach for me to expect the school district to ask for funding for a high paying Gambling Resource Teacher position. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet.

    All of this is just about enough to drive a person to drink (or smoke, or gamble or take drugs ;-)

    Posted by at 01:01 PM | Comments (4)

     

    November 29, 2004

    Oh Find Me A Home, Where Crazy Liberals Don't Roam

    [Posted by ]

    So I was thinking (for about the 1000th time), why do I live in Madison? Rather than bitchy about my liberal neighbors and the nanny state government, maybe I should do something and get the hell out of here. My problem is that I've never been able to figure out where I'd rather be. If Ann Althouse can use her blog to get suggestions on a new car, maybe I can use our Dummocrats readers to help me come up with a target city.

    I think I can find a job in my line of work almost anywhere, so here's my criteria:

    1. The metro area should have a population of at least 100,000.

    2. It needs to be by a body of water (oceans, lakes and rivers, NOT some alleged "creek" like they have in Denver).

    3. Four seasons are desirable, but not necessary.

    4. The more sunny days, the better.

    5. No traditional liberal enclaves please. I'm already in one. The area doesn't need to vote Republican every election, but it should be more evenly split than here (so anything below 90% liberal would be an improvement).

    6. It shouldn't be ridiculously expensive to live there.

    7. Pro sports or major college teams are a bonus. Top class thoroughbred racing is a triple bonus.

    8. Lots of outdoor activities should be easily available.

    9. Nothing too extreme, so no dry counties or anything crazy like that.

    10. Natural beauty is a huge bonus. I'm very much about the aesthetic of my surroundings.

    11. Extra points if you can assure me that the city has a Packer bar somewhere.

    Okay, so that's what I have. How about some suggestions?

    Posted by at 06:34 PM | Comments (24)

     

    Why Do I Live Here?

    [Posted by ]

    I vow to myself to not post about crazy editorials in Madison's Capital Times, but they just make it too hard to pass up. The latest is a column by Adam Benedetto, who's apparently quite active in the local Green Party. Adam is also apparently blessed with a keen arrogance and a complete lack of self-awareness.

    Adam is still lamenting the fact that President Bush won re-election:

    It has been several weeks now since the people who were saying, "Hope is on the way!" started asking themselves, "How could this happen again?"

    Nov. 3, the day after the election, was a dark Wednesday for Madisonians.

    At the tavern where I work people huddled in small corners whispering, or cried openly at the bar.

    I was reminded of the final stanza of the Don McLean song where he says, "In the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried and the poets dreamed / but not a word was spoken / the church bells all were broken." It was the same kind of mood.Some music had died somewhere, and here in Madison the cold wind blowing through our winding streets was playing a tragic cover of a Bruce Springsteen song.

    But, as bad as he feels, Adam can console himself with another quality he possesses, an extraordinary superiority complex:

    While we Madisonians live in a separate America, take heart that it is superior to the rest of the country and that Madison is the city where the best intentions of our forefathers will make their final stand against the hatred and fear that has spread across much of North America.

    People like Adam make me seriously question why I choose to live here. Even though winter isn't Madison's finest season, I think I'll have to take and post some good pictures of the city and its people to counteract all the bad things I say and show.

    Posted by at 12:29 PM | Comments (9)

     

    Caption Contest Winner

    [Posted by ]

    Since I didn't specifically exclude him this time and his entry was the best, James is the winner of our latest . I'll make a $10 donation in his name to Operation Iraqi Children. You can see James' winning entry below. I also want to give honorable mention to Drew from the Longhorn Mafia. I thought his entry ("Just between us, your mom is a raging bitch.") was great because it worked both ways.



    Hillary Clinton for president?

    "Even though the sound of it

    Is something quite atrocious.

    If you say it loud enough

    You’ll always sound precocious

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"


    Stay tuned for more s soon. Also, feel free to pass on or suggest pictures you think would make a great . Most of the ones we've stocked up are pictures of John Kerry looking stupid. Obviously, we need something fresher. You can email us at kris -at- dummocrats.com or james -at- dummocrats.com.

    Posted by at 08:51 AM | Comments (1)

     

    November 28, 2004

    50 Favorite Songs

    [Posted by ]

    John Hawkins at Right Wing News has a knack for making good lists. One of his latest is his "Top 50 Songs of All Time", a take off on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs. Hawkins notes that his list has nothing in common with the Rolling Stone list, so it's only fair to note that my list has nothing in common with his list.

    Two quick notes:

    1. I don't think these are the greatest songs ever, they're just my favorites right now. I could make this list tomorrow and it'd be different.

    2. For my assorted siblings that read and comment here, a special note. There is no Bloodrock, no Ambrosia and no Pink Floyd on the list. If someone wants to bitch about that, they can make their own list ;-)

    So, without further ado, here it is:

    50. What About Now, by Robbie Robertson
    49. In My Life, by The Beatles
    48. Wait, by Huffamoose
    47. Always On My Mind, by Willie Nelson
    46. A New England, by Kirsty McColl
    45. Now They'll Sleep, by Belly
    44. Here Comes Your Man, by The Pixies
    43. Cherub Rock, by Smashing Pumpkins
    42. Head On, by The Jesus And Mary Chain
    41. Born of Frustration, by James
    40. Biko, by Peter Gabriel
    39. Sodajerk, by Buffalo Tom
    38. Madison, by Jude Cole
    37. James, by Huffamoose
    36. Jesus, Etc., by Wilco
    35. Southern Cross, by Crosby, Stills & Nash
    34. Black, by Pearl Jam
    33. Smoke, by Ben Folds Five
    32. Wrong 'Em Boyo, by The Clash
    31. Last Goodbye, by Jeff Buckley
    30. Adelaide, by Old 97s
    29. Everlong, by Foo Fighters
    28. Gloria, by U2
    27. Somebody Saved Me, by Pete Townshend
    26. Can't Hardly Wait, by The Replacements
    25. Firedoor, by Ani DiFranco
    24. I Saw The Light, by Todd Rundgren
    23. Within Your Reach, by The Replacements
    22. Helpless, by Sugar
    21. Waiting For Somebody, by Paul Westerberg
    20. California, by Semisonic
    19. And Through The Wire, by Peter Gabriel
    18. King Of All Of The World, by Old 97s
    17. Town Called Malice, by The Jam
    16. Tempted, by Squeeze
    15. Baba O'Riley, by The Who
    14. So Far Away, by Carole King
    13. Blue Sky, by The Allman Brothers
    12. The Body Of An American, by The Pogues
    11. Valerie Loves Me, by Material Issue
    10. Diamond Mine, by Blue Rodeo
    9. Come Around, by Rhett Miller
    8. Six Months In A Leaky Boat, by Split Enz
    7. Alex Chilton, by The Replacements
    6. Is This Love, by Bob Marley
    5. Peace, Love & Understanding, by Elvis Costello
    4. Iowa, by Dar Williams
    3. I've Been Waiting, by Matthew Sweet
    2. Changes, Sugar

    And my number one song is (drumroll please)....

    1. See A Little Light, by Bob Mould

    Posted by at 06:38 PM | Comments (9)

     

    November 23, 2004

    Nothing Like A Tragedy to Further Your Views

    [Posted by ]

    I'm sure most of you have heard about the shooting Sunday in Northern Wisconsin in a dispute over a treestand. Chai Vang, a Hmong immigrant, was in a treestand on private property. When the owner and a party of hunters confronted him, he shot them.

    Now, Vang says that the men made racial slurs towards him and one of them fired on him first. Based on that testimony, I can already see how this story is going to be played up by the media. It'll be about how some racists, redneck Wisconsin hunters had it coming to them.

    You don't believe me? Check out the latest AP article.

    Some Hmong leaders questioned whether racial differences may have figured in the shootings.

    There have been previous clashes between Southeast Asian and white hunters in the region. Locals in the Birchwood area, about 120 miles northeast of the Twin Cities, have complained that the Hmong do not understand the concept of private property and hunt wherever they see fit.

    If you read the whole article, however, you find something very interesting that the author, Robert Imrie, buried at the end:

    Minneapolis police said they arrested Chai Vang on Christmas Eve 2001 after he waved a gun and threatened to kill his wife. No charge was filed because she didn't cooperate with authorities, spokesman Ron Reier said. St. Paul police said there had been two domestic violence calls to his home in the past year, but both were resolved without incident.

    So really, this guy is a hothead and, based on these past incidents, it's not surprising he did this. It's not because he's Hmong, it's because he's a wacko. Unfortunately, wackos come in all races and creeds. Even if someone called him a name or fired a shot (keep in mind that there was 1 gun among the 8 hunters who confronted Vang), this man was, according to the local Deputy "chasing after them and killing them, he hunted them down." That's not how a normal person acts.

    The fact that Vang's prior behavior is buried at the end means that many papers who pick up this story, like, for example, Madison's Capital Times, won't include that very important information. It's almost as if the media wants to portray this as some racially motivated incident (probably perpetrated by Bush voters) rather than as a horrible crime committed by a deeply disturbed individual. In fact, that same Capital Times already has a story about Hmongs worried about a backlash against them. I'm so shocked (okay, not so much).

    And it doesn't stop there. Gun control advocates are also hopping all over this story. What's wrong with people these days? 5 men and 1 woman died Sunday. Their families will have a spot missing at the dinner table tomorrow. But, in the meantime, some people are implying that they're racists while others want to use their deaths to pass laws they'd probably abhor.

    The whole truth will come out about this incident sooner or later. Why can't we wait until then to write the script about what it all means?

    Posted by at 04:35 PM | Comments (4)

     

    New Caption Contest

    [Posted by ]

    Get ready for the long Thanksgiving weekend, by goofing off at work and entering our latest ! We will make a $10 donation in the name of the winner to Operation Iraqi Children. $10 should cover the cost of school supplies for one Iraqi child. It's an easy way to make a difference, isn't it?



    "I can't believe I'm this close to a *real* President!"


    Submit entries to the comment section by the end of the day on Sunday. We'll pick a winner and will announce him or her here. If the winner has provided contact info, we'll contact the winner via email, get their name and make the donation to Operation Iraqi Children. So, make sure you provide your email in the comments or send it directly to james or me (it's "james at dummocrats.com" or "kris at dummocrats.com").

    Posted by at 07:20 AM | Comments (9)

     

    November 22, 2004

    Do 'Desperate Housewives' & Voting for Bush Mix?

    [Posted by ]

    Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse links to a front page NYT article that wonders how in the world Bush voters who were concerned with moral values can possibly watch racy shows like "Desperate Housewives". Not surprisingly, the Times concludes that either these voters are stupid and don't understand what exactly they're concerned about, or, they're hypocrites.

    While Professor Althouse hasn't watched the Housewives, I have (although lately I've abandoned it for Fox's sublime My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss). And, I voted for Bush. I have no problems reconciling the two and I can't believe that the nation's newspaper of record could turn this into a front page story.

    You don't entertain people by showing them their own everyday lives. You have to show the unusual, the interesting, the sexy. The Greeks knew it. Read some mythology and you'll find every vice represented (even some vices you never knew existed). In fact, I think the Old Testament is full of racy stories too. I well remember the story of David & Bathsheba from my illustrated children's bible. It had power, murder and forbidden love. In other words, it would have been a great plot for Melrose Place (just picture Michael as David, Jane as David's wife, Billy as Bathsheba's husband and, of course, Amanda as that temptress herself).

    I wonder if the author of this hit piece, Bill Carter, has ever read Shakespeare. Or Tolstoy. Or any number of great works of entertainment. Of course he has. But the point of the article wasn't to honestly ask why people want to see things they'd never dream of doing themselves. Nope, the article was, as Professor Althouse puts it, "just one more example of the way the New York Times has decided to process its disappointment in the election results into a tale inferior red staters and their bogus moral values."

    Posted by at 06:58 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Don't Want To Be A Canadian Idiot

    [Posted by ]

    As someone who actually knows all the words to Oh Canada (and, I used to even know them in French) it pains me to ask, "What the hell is wrong with Canada?"

    They want to "save" liberal Americans by marrying them, MPs stomping on Bush dolls, and even have some loonies calling for Bush to be arrested as a war criminal when he travels to Ottawa later this year.

    Along those lines, lgf and SondraK both linked to a hilarious Canadian website for the "Toronto Coalition to Stop the War". I thought our neighbors to the north were supposed to be calmer and more British-like than Americans, but these guys are just as looney as their American equivalents. It's like all these lefties follow the same checklist.

    1. Imply 9/11 was somehow a government plot. Check

    2. Deny that President Bush actually won the election:

    This will be Bush's first international visit since his 're-election' as president two weeks ago (only 28% of voting-age Americans voted for Bush while 98 million Americans didn't vote at all).

    Check

    3. Photoshop a picture of Bush so he looks stupid. Check.

    You get the idea. Anyway, the big news with this group is that they're organizing bus trips to Ottawa so that when Bush comes they can put out an "un-welcome mat" for him (yes, I'm rolling my eyes too). But, the bus trip does provide my absolute favorite thing on the entire site:

    Return bus tickets cost between $40.00 and $60.00 on a sliding scale (pay whatever you can within this range). Higher end tickets will subsidise lower end tickets for those who can't afford to pay more.

    Oh, those wacky socialists. Will they ever learn? What percent of bus riders do you think pay $60? Zero? 10? You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that Hillary "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" Clinton would be a perfect leader...for Canada.

    Posted by at 01:16 PM | Comments (4)

     

    Artest

    [Posted by james]

    Though I'm not what you'd call a rabid NBA fan, I do watch a game every now and again - when nothing else is on, when there is a good "story line," or when the playoffs roll around. I also try to hit a few Bullets Wizards games per year, not because I love the team but because I like to get out and support my local sports teams every now and again (even thought I HATE the "Wizards" for their ill-conceived and despicable name change.)

    Also, I would get out and support the Wizards more often if the tickets weren't so ridiculously priced - this is a team that hasn't come close to selling out for YEARS, yet they still maintain championship-level ticket prices. It baffles me, really - the cheapest Wizards ticket is $40 at the gate. What in the hell is that? You can't even fill 1/4 of the arena, yet you keep ticket prices at this level? Are you completely retarded? (The only time I ever go to a game is when I get a "deal" on eBay. I wouldn't pay $40 for nosebleed seats to see this crappy team.)

    But I'm not presently writing to complain about NBA prices.

    I'm writing to say that I think that Ron Artest, the always self-serving, always short-tempered, alwyas violent punk got way too light of a "punishment" for his actions on Friday night.

    In case you've been living in a cave, or if you live in a "no sports zone" (same thing), Ron Artest, an NBA Basketball player, hopped into the stands and started beating the hell out of a couple of spectators after he was "provoked" by some unruly fan throwing a cup of ice at him. A few minutes later, the cameras caught Artest cold-clocking a second fan (who, fairly, had no business being on the court) who walked up to him and said a few words.

    The well documented display that night was disgusting. I was equally disgusted with ESPN's coverage of the event, as both ESPN and ESPNEWS repeatedly showed the clip, and had announcer after announcer defending Artest and blaming the fans (or the NBA) for the altercation.

    Yes, the fans were unruly. No one should throw anything onto the court. But Artest's actions after being hit in the chest with a (plastic) cup if ice are flat out inexcusable - this hot-headed jackass jumped into the stands and starting beating the hell out of a fan. And his teammate followed him, and started throwing punches at another fan. Later, a fan walked on to the court and Artest flat out cold clocked him, no questions asked.

    That night, the ESPN announcers all defended Artest by blaming the fans, saying "you have to know that when a man is as charged up as Artest was, you can't mess with him," and "this is an emotional game, you can't expect an emotional player to not react in an emotional way." It was one anti-fan pro-Artest opinion after another, after another, after another. And it was all

    Bullshit.

    Artest deserves to be banned from the NBA for the rest of his life. And, really, I'm partly surprised that Commissioner David Stern didn't hand down that exact punishment.

    Artest has a history of outrageous behavior. In the past, he has gotten into a fight with an opposing coach, he has purposely smashed a television camera, and he has, in his rage, thrown a television monitor across an NBA floor. This guy can't control his temper. This guy is a liability - a liability to himself, the NBA, and to the fans - to everyone around him, really - and the NBA knows it.


    The fact that they continue to let him "play" is just plain ridiculous. They benefit from his playing, and they benefit from his "bad boy" image. In short, they are responsible, adn thus liable, for his actions. I hope that these fans get lawyers bright enough to realize that they should sue the NBA in this regard.

    The ESPN talking heads are currently hailing this year long suspension as "the harshest ever handed down," and are starting to weigh in on how appropriate they think it is, even if "a little on the harsh side."

    "Harsh?" Are you kidding me? Artest not only "crossed the line," but he was so far over it, I think there is no coming back. Yes, he got hit with a cup of ice, and the fan was wrong for throwing it. But so what? Artest could have ignored it. He could have walked away. He could have motioned for security to escort the ice-thrower out of the arena. It's not like he had no options here. He chose to jump up and run into the stands. On his way, he knocked over tables, he knocked over chairs, he knocked over PEOPLE, children even - all to grab and flat out deck a fan that he "guessed" threw the cup. That's right, there is no way that Artest could have known who threw the cup. Watch the tape - he was laying flat on his back, looking straight up when he was hit.

    Ron Artest should never set foot on an NBA floor again. This "harsh" suspension that was handed down is nothing short of ridiculous. The man has proven time and time again that he is incapable of controlling himself when he gets "worked up." He is a liability to his team, to the fans, and to the league.

    The NBA needed to send two messages with its ruling. To players, they needed to say "Jumping into the stands will not be tolerated, the fans are not a part of the game." To fans, they needed to say "You will be safe here at NBA games, please keep paying the big $ for the best seats."

    Unfortunately, they failed at both.

    Posted by jkhat at 01:49 AM | Comments (5)

     

    November 20, 2004

    2004 Weblog Awards

    [Posted by ]

    Nominations for the 2004 Weblog Awards are now open on Wizbang.

    Go nominate your favorites (or yourself). The neat thing about these awards is that there are awards based on traffic, so even new or smaller blogs have a chance. Feel free to nominate us in the 501-1000 ranked blog category. It'll be a nice consolation for us, considering our Badgers are currently getting spanked (again) and are headed for the Outback Bowl rather than the Rose Bowl.

    Posted by at 06:24 PM | Comments (2)

     

    Guilty Pleasures

    [Posted by ]

    We all have our guilty pleasures. Mine will probably come as a shock to many of you. I love Snoop Dogg. Really. It all started when I worked as a hotel maid one summer in college. Dr. Dre's The Chronic was out and as I'd move from room to room the TVs would stay on MTV and I'd clean to the rhythm of hardcore rap.

    I was never a big rap fan, although there's a few artists (Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Eminem) that I've always liked. Snopp Dogg caught my attention because, in a genre dominated by sampling, his style is completely original.

    Now, I am aware that Snoop has that pesky legal history (acquitted of murder charges) and pimp image (he says P-I-M-P stands for "paper in my pocket"), and as a conservative I should hate him. And, it gets worse, he even did some anti-Bush "get out the vote" ads.

    But then I hear things about how he took a San Diego Pop Warner football team to meet the USC Trojans with the "purpose of inspiring them to continue onto college". I found out this morning, that Snoop is the offensive coordinator on his son's football team too.

    I can understand how some people might be shocked or horrified that Snoop is coaching kids, but when you read what this guy says he really sounds like a conservative. He'd probably be shocked to read that, but here's an example of what I mean:

    EB: And you have a child now, right?

    SDD: Yeah, I have a son. He's two.

    EB: Do you let him listen to "gangsta" rap?

    SDD: I do. Whatever I play at my house, he listens to, Whether I show it to him or not, it's going to be out there in front of his eyes every day. The streets don't have no love for him. They're not going to teach him. I'm going to love him and show him the right way of going about it. I didn't have no father in the home to stop me from gangbangin', but he does.

    EB: Do you think that rap has an influence over kids and their decisions on the streets?

    SDD: No, I don't. It's an expression. And it's a legal way out for those who don't have opportunities. A lot of times, people don't see all the positivity inside of this gangsta-rap thing. We all come from violent backgrounds, but yet and still we find time to do the right thing for Mother's Day. We look out for the homeless. we look out for people who don't have anything. Rappers Against Violence is a group that I'm a part of - we work to unite with real gang members who are trying to stop the violence. I made it from a community that doesn't expect people to make it. My job is to make sure I'm doing the right thing, and that's the best example in the world.

    That's a conservative message. He's saying that parents matter and that you don't blame rap music for kid's misbehaving, you blame the kids and their parents. And, what's the way to solve problems? You do something about it, you don't wait for the government to throw money at it.

    Sometimes I think the media has so demonized Republicans that people who should, from the whole of their beliefs, vote Republican, don't even consider it. They're reflex Liberals. It's awful hard to break that, but hopefully the conservatives can make some headway.

    Now, there's a long way to go before Snoop is some kind of South Park Republican icon, but don't be surprised if it happens some day.

    Posted by at 10:32 AM | Comments (4)

     

    More Liberal Signage

    [Posted by ]

    Madison liberals still aren't finished putting up "clever" signs to protest Bush's electoral victory. It's not as if I actually look for these signs. As I've said 1,000 times, I live in the looniest of lefty neighborhoods. This latest sign literally went up next door yesterday.

    On one hand, good for them for accepting the fact that Bush actually won the election. But, on the other hand, "win the peace"? What exactly does that mean? Did my neighbors completely miss the elections in Afghanistan? No, that must not be it. They must think that the terrorists are "winning" in Iraq. While I'm sure the thousands of terrorists burning in hell right now would find that a little funny, I do have to say that if the terrorists are "winning" at all, it's because their actions scare the pants off ninnies like my next door neighbors and convince them that the only path to peace is through appeasement. Neville Chamberlain would be proud.

    Posted by at 09:23 AM | Comments (6)

     

    November 19, 2004

    College Football Picks-The Penultimate Version

    [Posted by ]

    The Big Ten season closes out tomorrow and after the Badgers pathetic excuse for a game against Michigan State, they're no longer among the undefeated. They'll even need some help to make the Rose Bowl.

    These will be the last weekly picks until the Bowls start, and maybe James and I can cook something up and make a grid with our predictions.

    Anyway, here goes nothing.

    #2 Oklahoma at Baylor: I shouldn't count this one because, come on, it's Baylor. But, maybe I'll need an easy win, so, the pick is: Oklahoma

    #7 Michigan at Ohio State: If Michigan loses the Badgers have a chance at the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, I don't think Michigan is going to lose because Ohio State is pretty bad. So Pasadena, prepare yourselves for the smug Wolverine fans this year. Wouldn't you really rather have Badgers there? Anyway, the pick is: Michigan

    Louisiana Tech at #13 Boise State: Can I just say that Boise St. stinks? They give up a ton of points nearly every week and almost lose to some pretty bad teams. I don't like them one bit. That sad, I don't even think they'll almost lose this week at home. They'll remain unbeaten. The pick: Boise State

    #2 Auburn at Alabama: I think this is one of the those games where you almost have to throw out the rankings. That said, I think Auburn is the best team in the nation. Of course, even the best team can have an off week. Hopefully not this week though, since I'm picking Auburn

    Stanford at #4 California: I think this game will be the opposite of the infamous "trombone" game. Cal will be riding high and dreaming of the Rose Bowl, but then some flukey play will end their dreams and give Stanford the win.

    BYU at #5 Utah: Apparently Utah fans hate BYU fans. The Ute fans are partiers while the BYU boosters are far more Mormon. I think the Utes backers feel like their reputation is too good simply because they're in Utah. Have they considered rioting? Seriously, if Utah goes undefeated maybe they should have a big, drunken riot. That'll change some perceptions. I've picked against Utah so many times this year and been burned. Not again. The pick: Utah

    #9 Wisconsin at #17 Iowa:

    I don't give a damn about the whole state of Iowa
    The whole state of Iowa
    The whole state of Iowa
    I don't give a damn about the whole state of Iowa
    Who in the hell eats CORN?

    Ah, I just had to get that off my chest. With a Michigan loss, this game is for the Rose Bowl. With a Michigan win, the winner of this game gets the Capital One Bowl and the loser goes to the Outback Bowl. In some ways, it was probably a good thing the Badgers got spanked last week rather than suffering a close, heartbreaking loss. Now they know they need to work and execute in order to win. I think they'll do it all and triumph in Iowa, breaking Iowa's home winning streak. The pick: Wisconsin

    So that's it folks. Go Buckeyes! Go Badgers!

    Posted by at 07:04 AM | Comments (2)

     

    November 18, 2004

    TV's Favorite New Marketing Partner - It's the FCC

    [Posted by ]

    Dallas Mavericks owner and multi-millionaire about town Mark Cuban has a good point. No, really, he does. On his Blog Maverick he points out that with the FCC's "persnickety" enforcement of decency standards, they've become a marketers best friend.

    We want as much media coverage of our programming as we can possibly get. You need things to cover. So here is the deal. From our end, we are going to create “Apologevents”.

    An Apologevent is where we plan an event that we know we will have to apologize for. The Apologevent will be designed to entice all the “Im shocked by anything” viewers to call their local stations, their newspapers and of course Inside Edition, The Insider, etc to remind them of how inappropriate the Apologevent was and how shocked they are.

    In exchange for the story we ask that TV outlets stick to the follow guidelines and schedules .

    First, you are going to tease the Apologevent in promotions for your show. Then you will report that you got calls and emails about the Apologevent. If you have extra time to kill, you will have a poll about the Apologevent on your website and you will report the results. Then you will show the Apologevent.

    Then you will ask some people on camera what they thought of it. Then you will show the Apologevent again. Of course, we will gladly make the participants available to comment on the Apologevent. Then you will end the coverage of the Apologevent by saying that our network has officially apologized for the Apologevent. We dont know how it happened, but we are looking into it. Then you will add that we are working hard to insure it doesnt happen again.

    Then you will be required to do a followup story the next day. The story behind the Apologevent. We will provide you with whatever video and access that you need.

    Then 5 days later, or the following Monday, whichever comes first, you will do the aftermath story. This one is completely up to you. If we can help with any of our other celebrities to comment on how it turned out to be no big deal, we are glad to.

    On one hand, I completely agree with Cuban (hence the "good point" heading). But on the other hand, I don't agree that since media standards are high, we shouldn't actually have to live up to those standards.

    We create media standards that probably 1 pct of the population can actually live up to. I dont know anyone who has melted or exploded from saying or hearing a curse word. In my group of friends I know fewer who have never cursed or honestly think they will never curse again. Heck, I mean hell, even curse words from when I was a kid arent curse words on TV anymore. You can say Hell all you want. When i was a kid, it was H-E-Double Hockey Sticks or out comes the soap. Damn was very, very naughty and disrespectful. Not any more.

    Whats even crazier and more hypocritical is that we can use a derivative of any curse word and not have a problem at all. Frickin’... Go for it. F’in. No F’in way.. No problem. You are full of Shinola. Let er rip. FUBAR…Make em figure out what it means. My fave is MOFO…Acronyms are a blast !

    I swear. You swear. We all swear. But just because swearing is common doesn't make it a preferable form of communication. Swearing is now pretty much socially acceptable, but why should our standards of decency be equal to the lowest common denominator of behavior? We don't swear in Church. We don't swear at our bosses. We don't swear in front of our grandparents or the first time we meet our significant other's parents. Why should we drop our standards for broadcast television? Why is it so bad for the FCC to require a higher standard of decency? We can't be a society of 12-year old boys forever.

    If savvy marketers want to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the breaking of FCC rules, that's fine. That's a great short term strategy. Of course, if all you have to promote is swearing or teasing nudity, that doesn't say much about your product. The odd thing about Americans is that while some of us watch trash like "Inside Edition" or buy the "National Enquirer", at the end of the day what rises to the top over the long haul are programs and performers that truly entertain, rather than just titilate.

    Posted by at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

     

    November 17, 2004

    CNN bends over backwards to laud Hillary

    [Posted by james]

    CNN is currently running a story hailing Hillary Clinton as " woman of many firsts."

    (CNN) -- Hillary Clinton is a woman of many firsts.

    In 1978, she became first lady of Arkansas when her husband, Bill Clinton, was elected governor. She became the nation's first lady in 1993, when Clinton became the 41st president of the United States.

    Then, on November 7, 2000, she became the first sitting first lady to win elected office when she defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio for the open U.S. Senate seat from New York.

    So let's get this straight - the fact the Hillary was First Lady of her home state, then First Lady of the United States (just like Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, etc.) makes her a "groundbreaker" or a "revolutionary" of sorts? What is CNN smoking? Certainly her election as NY Senator is a "first," but by my count, that is one first, not "many firsts."

    They go on to suggest that Hillary's political career is somehow due to her excellent education:

    Clinton's legal background paved the way for her political career.

    "Paved the way?" Are you kidding me? While her background is undoubtedly useful to her in her current position, it hardly "paved the way" for her. Instead, her marriage to Bill Clinton "paved the way" to her political career. Why doesn't CNN call a spade a spade?

    The fact is, CNN is already starting to manufacture a great and glorious history for this woman in anticipation of a 2008 presidential run. Hillary Clinton is not a woman of "many firsts," and she didn't get to where she by using her own acumen and hard work. When will the media and the left realize that they're doing it backwards? To win, you need to pick the candidate with the best resume, not pick the candidate you think is best then manufacture a resume.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:26 AM | Comments (3)

     

    November 16, 2004

    Good Deeds

    [Posted by ]

    I've read a few things where some liberals are bragging about how they are refusing to "enable" charitable organizations. Blogs for Bush posted this note from a person who will no longer donate to the March of Dimes:

    A post on DemocraticUnderground.com, by someone called "mgdecombe" offers one explanation: Got a call from the March of Dimes today. I listened to the woman's prepared text, and said, "I'm sorry, we will no longer be donating, please take us off your list." She asked why, and I said, "Due to the election results, we have decided not to enable the Bush Administration by supporting charitable organizations who are filling the vaccuum [sic] caused by his mishandling of the country. It's all up to President Bush now."

    Fortunately, I don't think this crybaby attitude is that widespread. Just last night, Niagra Falls was lit up in order to help promote Prematurity Awareness Day for the March of Dimes. Isn't this just breathtakingly beautiful?

    Contrary to popular belief, Conservatives don't hate the poor, we just know that a) government can't solve every problem and b) all problems cannot be solved by simply throwing money at them.

    Posted by at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

     

    November 15, 2004

    He's a Mighty, Mighty Good Man

    [Posted by ]

    When Vice President Dick Cheney visted Milwaukee in September, he unwittingly became the subject of a rather revealing photo in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    When Cheney ordered a decaf coffee and sat on a concrete ledge outside, Kopp’s manager Scott Borkin graciously brought him a sample of frozen custard. “The guy came all the way from the White House,” Borkin says. “He’s got to try our custard.”

    The normally serious Cheney flashed a winning smile for Borkin, and Guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the front page of the paper’s September 11 Metro section.

    Guldan got a call from a reader the next day. “Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?” the reader asked.

    Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president’s smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. Is that what we think it is?

    “You’re not imagining it,” Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.

    Let’s just say the snugness of Cheney’s pants left little to the imagination, and we’re not talking about his waistline.

    Yes, dear gentle readers, it turns out that our Vice President is indeed a colossus of the government. His substantial position in the administration is truly justified by his immeasurable gifts.

    Okay, enough beating around the, um, bush. Every since this story came out, people have been looking for this picture online. The Journal Sentinel wasn't very magnanimous. But today, I found it over on Wizbang. Now, relax and get ready to behold our Vice President in all his considerable glory.

    To this, all I can say is:

    USA! USA!

    Posted by at 10:03 PM | Comments (4)

     

    November 14, 2004

    Give It Up for the South

    [Posted by ]

    In the midst of all the blue state, red state nonsense going around, Iowahawk has come up with a truly inspiring piece: Blue State Blues as Coastal Parents Battle Invasion of Dollywood Values. Its description of coastal youths being lured into "cracker" culture is one of the funniest things I've ever read. Here's my favorite part (but quick, go read the rest):

    Some say the craze threatens even the nation's most exclusive prep schools. At Exeter, Andover and St. Albans, rumors abound of secret societies where initiates are steeped in the black arts of restrictor plate cheating and satellite descramblers. Washington's elite Sidwell Friends School was nearly forced to close after scandalized parents learned that several students were openly touting Sams Club cards.

    Like most satire, there's more than just a kernel of truth in this story. I think the election has exposed a Coastal/Northern disdain for the South, not just because of differing political views, but also because of the overall culture. Right before the election, Saturday Night Live rebroadcasted some fake presidential debates. This bit from 1992 stood out:

    Governor Clinton, let's be frank. You're running for president, yet your only experience has been as the governor of a small, backward state with a population of drunken hillbillies riding around in pickup trucks. The main streets of your capital city, Little Rock, are something out of L'il Abner, with buxom underage girls in their cutoff denims prancing around in front of Jethro and Billy Bob, while corncob-pipe-smoking, shotgun-toting grannies fire indiscriminantly at runaway hogs.

    Maybe it's not that some liberals don't respect the culture of the South, but rather that they are ignorant of it. Bubba, a Texan now living in NYC, puts it nicely:

    Our experience with native New Yorkers is they have no clue what living anywhere else is like. This is interesting because living in New York City is different than living anywhere else in this country.

    In that spirit, maybe it's time that liberals got out of New York, Boston, DC and Los Angeles and visited the rest of this great country. That goes for our Euopean "friends" too. But don't worry, they'll have a great time. I was over at Lonely Planet and I looked at the Theme Guides, which feature interesting destinations all over the world. It was funny that in so many categories the only American listing was somewhere in the South:

    • Fatal Attractions: Voodoo in New Orleans
    • Food: BBQ "anywhere" in the South
    • Music: Mississippi Delta Blues
    • Safaris: Florida Everglades

    The South, much like George W. Bush, is greatly "misunderestimated". Yes, it's different than New York or even liberal college towns like Boulder, but it's hardly a vast cultural wasteland. As Neal Pollack said:

    The south gave us Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Michael Jordan, Hank Williams, Tennessee Williams, fried chicken, Gone With The Wind, Truman Capote, pecan pie, barbecue, Mark Twain, and manned flight. The list goes on and on. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both from Virginia, both founding fathers and both gun-toting slave owners.

    The culture the Left so disdains is, to use language they'll understand, part of the "authentic culture" of America. They're all for "celebrating diversity" except that, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I don't think it means what they think it means.

    Posted by at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Now I Know How the Dems Felt

    [Posted by ]

    You know you're wearing your Badger red heart on your sleeve when even other bloggers comment on your pain.

    Yesterday, our Badgers got stomped. I was never dreaming of a national championship, I just wanted them to go undefeated and win the Rose Bowl again. But, even so, I feel the sense of loss that our liberal brothers and sisters did on November 3rd. While they make themselves feel better by putting down the folks who voted for Bush, I'll try to make our Badger readers feel better with some good news for Wisconsin sports fans:

    • The Badgers can still go to the Rose Bowl. If Ohio State beats Michigan, then the winner of the Wisconsin-Iowa game goes to the Rose Bowl. Isn't there a sense that all's right with the world if folks from Wisconsin and Iowa can join hands together and become one in the common cause of rooting against Michigan?
    • The Badger hockey team just completed a sweep of our archrival North Dakota. And, the Friday night game even featured some rare college hockey fighting. Sweet!
    • The Packers are on a roll and get to face the hated Vikings today without the hated Randy Moss. If they win, they'll have the division lead. And that's after having suffered through a four game losing streak.
    • College basketball season is just starting and the Badgers will start the season in the top 25, even without Devin Harris.
    • For sportsmen and women of a different sort, deer gun season starts Nov. 20.
    • And, upon further review, the Bears still suck

    • Posted by at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

       

    November 13, 2004

    Grim Speculation

    [Posted by ]

    Dick Cheney is at the hospital again this afternoon. Let's hope everything is okay and that Cheney's shortness of breath is related to a bad cold and has nothing to do with his heart.

    But, given Cheney's history, it's really hard to not speculate on what would happen if he passed away or if he decided remaining as VP put his health in too much jeopardy. In that situation, President Bush would get to pick a new Vice President, who would have to be confirmed by Congress. Who would the President choose? Here's some amateur speculation:

    • Condoleezza Rice: She won't be National Security Advisor in her second term. So it's either up or out for her. Putting her in the VP slot accomplishes so many things: it's historic, it maintains the VP's current important role in foreign policy, it means Rumsfield can stay at Defense until he's ready to go and it sets up Rice as a viable 2008 Presidential candidate.
    • Tommy Thompson: Don't laugh. Thompson also wants out of HHS. He has a reputation as a centrist and his selection would be an indication that the White House wants to give domestic issues more of a priority in the second term. Thompson has a reputation as an innovater and he could play an important role in reforming such things as social security and the tax code. On the down side, I don't think anyone thinks he's a viable 2008 candidate.
    • John McCain: I'm really just putting him here because if I don't someone will protest in the comments. I don't think there's a chance in hell that Bush wants McCain standing next to him. McCain is the kind of guy he'd pick if he believed any of the "no mandate" talk. On the positive side, a VP McCain wouldn't be able to obstruct things in the Senate.
    • Bill Frist: the Senate Majority Leader would be a natural choice for the GOP. As with almost any pick, he'd give the GOP an immediate 2008 front runner.
    • Rudy Guiliani: Rudy doesn't seem to want a role in the administrative, but you can bet he wouldn't turn down VP. Sure, he's not that conservative, but there's a strong tradition of the Vice President representing a different position within the party. Having someone like Rudy as VP would also be a good way for the GOP to keep the "big tent" intact and protect against voters deserting the party if the Dems wake up and run more centrist candidates.
    • John Danforth: He's my dark horse. It's another pick that would keep with Cheney's foreign policy oriented role. I'm sure he'd love to get out of the UN (who wouldn't).
    • Zell Miller: Yeah, there's probably no chance of this one, but wouldn't it be fun? On a more serious note, Bush could signal that he's serious about be a uniter by choosing a conservative Democrat as VP. But who? I can't think of anyone off hand

    Hopefully this is an irrelevant discussion, but if it's not, I'd bet on Rice. What do you all think?

    Update: Luckily, it looks like Dick Cheney is okay. Of course, given that Cheney was a doctoral candidate at Wisconsin, perhaps the 'ole ticker isn't out of the woods yet. I know my heart is broken after this game.

    Posted by at 02:08 PM | Comments (6)

     

    November 12, 2004

    Maps & Legends

    [Posted by ]

    The Commissar has an "Empire of the Blogs" map. Sadly, we're not on it yet. Where do we belong? I think, given our Polish ancestry, we'd fit right in somewhere between Ejectsia and Proteinsia. What do you think? Dummocratsia has a nice ring.

    Update: Check it out! Dummocratsia does exist! And, fittingly enough, we are sharing what used to be Poland with some other fine blogs. Sweet!

    Posted by at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

     

    College Football Bonanza

    [Posted by ]

    Badger football Saturdays are over for the season. The beer gardens are put away and giant cans of beer are off the menu until next August. It's a sad time people. I love Badger hockey, but with no beer garden in the Kohl Center, it's just not the same. Oh well, at least we're still undefeated.

    Speaking of which, there are six remaining undefeated teams. Here's how I think they'll do this week:

    Arizona at #1 USC: Unless the Southern California skies open up and the game is played in monsoon conditions, Arizona doesn't stand a chance. USC is looking more and more like a National Championship game lock. The pick: USC

    Nebraska at Oklahoma: You know, Oklahoma has quickly become my least favorite team. They have a gaudy ranking and yet, week after week, they barely escape defeat and give up loads of points (Texas excluded). They should lose, but they won't. They eke by until they get blow away in the title game and pundits everywhere will bemoan the fact that another team didn't play in their place. The pick: Oklahoma

    #5 Georgia at #3 Auburn: I think Auburn is probably the best team in the country, but this will be a tough game. I'm tempted to pick Georgia on the theory that some of these undefeated teams have to lose, but it's at Auburn and I think that makes the difference. The pick: Auburn

    #4 Wisconsin at Michigan State: In order to further denigrate the Badgers, you'll hear a lot about how "lucky" they are to play Michigan State when their quarterback, Drew Stanton, is either on the bench or not 100%. What the football talking heads won't say, however, is how lucky Michigan State (and Purdue and Northerwestern and Minnesota before them) is to catch the Badgers with their best player, Erasmus James, nowhere close to 100%. Even with half of James, the Badger defense is still awesome. I think the Badgers win easily unless the turnover bug hits them (that's what I'm scared to death of). As an aside, Coach Alvarez has a vote in the Coaches' Poll. The Coaches' Poll is anonymous. Coach Alvarez's team is 9-0. Why in the world won't Barry be a homer and give the Badgers a first place vote. I don't get it. Anyway, the pick: Wisconsin

    #8 Utah at Wyoming: This is the game that'll make the Big Ten haters cry. Their precious Utah is going down. Ha Ha! I have no brilliant reasoning behind this pick except that Wyoming has creeped into the bottom of the rankings, so they're not that bad and the game is in Wyoming. I think Utah is probably already looking past everyone and thinking Fiesta Bowl. The pick: Wyoming

    #13 Boise State at San Jose State: Like Utah, I suspect Boise State is busy reading their own press clippings. And, like Utah, they're on the road against an opponent that isn't completely horrible. So, like with Utah, I'll predict a shocking upset. The pick: San Jose State

    There you have it. So far, I've only been right when I haven't picked upsets. But, you've gotta try, right?

    Posted by at 07:22 AM | Comments (6)

     

    November 11, 2004

    What A Legacy

    [Posted by ]

    With the death of Yasser Arafat (this time we mean it!), world leaders are trying their damnest to pretend the man wasn't a murderous terrorist:

    French President Jacques Chirac, confirming Yasser Arafat’s death, has hailed the Palestinian leader as a man of courage and conviction who embodied the Palestinian struggle for a state.

    “It is with emotion that I have just learnt of the death of President Yasser Arafat, the first elected president of the Palestinian Authority,” Chirac said in a written statement on Thursday. “I offer my very sincere condolences to his family and to people close to him.”

    Oddly enough, you have to look to the Palestinians for a truthful picture of who their leader was.

    Palestinian refugees took to the streets of the Arab world Thursday to mourn Yasser Arafat, firing shots into the air, burning American and Israeli flags, and shedding tears for the man who was the symbol of their struggle for statehood. In a Jordanian camp, barefoot boys brandished toy machine guns.

    Arafat dies and the reaction of his followers is to fire guns, burn flags and give their children toy machine guns. Isn't that precious? Doesn't that more clearly show what kind of leader Arafat was? When Ronald Reagan died, Americans remembered his words and deeds and perhaps lit candles in his honor. We didn't "mourn" him by sending a few missiles to Moscow or roughing up Teddy Kennedy. His words and deeds inspired hope and strength, not violence.

    Arafat was nothing more than a murderous thug. His words and deeds inspire thousands more to murder and thuggery. So, it's only appropriate he's mourned the way he lived.

    At Ein el-Hilweh, near the southern city of Sidon, demonstrators burned tires and fired shots in the air to express frustration and sadness. Later, crowds swelled the narrow streets, waving Arafat's pictures and chanting: "Our soul and blood, we sacrifice for you."

    Great leaders inspire others to great deeds. Arafat inspires others to suicide bombings. All I can say is good riddance.


    Posted by at 12:49 PM | Comments (4)

     

    November 10, 2004

    No Iraqi Left Behind

    [Posted by ]

    With the holidays fast approaching, it's time to think about what can you do for those less fortunate. James heard Gary Sinise talking about Operation Iraqi Children's School Kits program last night on the radio, and, after looking into it a little more, we think it's a worthy cause, particularly for those of us who believe in our involvement in Iraq.

    Democracy fails because of a lack of education. People fight in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, etc, because they have nothing better to do. Give them the tools to succeed. Help Iraqis get an education and get on to the path of a better future. Let's make sure no Iraqi is left behind.

    What can you do? Of course you can donate directly to the program, and if you think you'll never get around to putting together school supply kits, that's probably the best thing to do. But, you can also send school supply kits directly to the Kansas City distribution center.

    While it is tempting to send boxes of random supplies, the most efficient and effective way to help Iraqi children is to create sets of our School Supply Kits, which will be distributed to each student. Each Kit contains basic, badly-needed items that can make a world of difference to a child heading to school. Assembling standardized Kits ensures that each child receives the same number of the most needed items, facilitates customs clearance, and relieves our volunteers and soldiers of the time-consuming and labor intensive process of sorting and allocating random donated items. Kits are wildly popular among Iraqis, who often request them.

    Assemble each Kit according to the following list of items. Please enclose NO additional items, and be sure that all items are new and unused. Each Kit should contain:

    * One pair of blunt-end scissors
    * One 12-inch ruler with metric markings
    * 12 new pencils with erasers
    * One small pencil sharpener
    * One large eraser
    * One box of colored pencils (Crayons melt in the Iraqi summer heat!)
    * One package of notebook paper
    * One composition book
    * Three folders with inside pockets
    * One zippered pencil bag
    * One 2-gallon size zipper seal plastic bag

    Place all items in the zipper seal bag and seal it.

    It's that easy. Packing instructions are included on the website. Send kits on your own, get a school, work or church group organized and send a whole bunch. Whatever you choose to do, it's going to a great cause and you're doing a wonderful thing for Iraqi kids like the ones below.

    Posted by at 10:23 PM | Comments (3)

     

    November 09, 2004

    Arafat's Trail Of Blood

    [Posted by james]

    By now you've undoubtedly heard countless media talking heads using somber tones while reporting on Terrorist Yasser Arafat's "condition." I even heard one radio newscaster lead-in with "more bad news from France, as Yasser Arafat is rumored to be brain-dead." Bad news? Why does no one remember who this man truly is?

    From Michael Savage:

    The world media portrays Yasser Arafat as a kindly George Washington of the Palestinian people. The real Arafat is a blood-thirsty Ghoul. He Pioneered airline high- jackings, and he was the god father of terror. Whole villages of Christians were massacred under his command in Lebanon. His P.L.O. conducted many cowardly campaigns of murder. Perhaps the best known, in 1972, when 5 Arab terrorists entered the Olympic Village in Munich Germany, and Slaughtered 11 unarmed Israeli athletes in cold blood.

    ...

    During the 12 year Civil War in Lebanon, caused by Yasser Arafat's assuming power through terror, his terrorists committed mass murder. Whole Villages of Christians like Damour were massacred, chopped into pieces with machetes. Out of the 30,000 Christians, 10,000 were slaughtered by Arafat's PLO. The town was then occupied and kept as Arafat's stronghold. David Shipler of the New York Times wrote the story of Damour June 21, 1982. There were individual murders. One horrific, but typical, example is when the Muktar (leader) of a village refused to be cooperative with Arafat and his terrorists. The Muktar's teenage daughter was abducted and raped. Her breasts were cut off and she was delivered to the doorstep of her father in a sack.

    At 4:30 A.M. on September 5, 1972, five Arab terrorists wearing track suits climbed the six and ½ foot fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany. Once inside, they were met by three others who had gained entrance with credentials. Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five terrorists and a German policeman were dead. The Munich operation was ordered by Yasser Arafat and carried out by Fatah, Arafat's faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

    The fact is, Yasser Arafat is a terrorist with gallons upon gallons of blood on his hands. He stole from the Palestinian people and plundered their national treasury, all while squandering the trust bestowed in him as he purposely worked against peace. Arafat encouraged suicide bombers by paying off the families that they left behind and hailing the bombers as martyrs. He encouraged parents to teach their childrent to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers by paying off the parents of children killed by Israeli soldiers (more if they got the killings on tape) so that he could show the tapes to the world and try to garner "sympathy" for their plight. "Look," he would say to the world, "they fire on our unarmed children, what monsters," and then turned around and paid the parents 2 years salary, saying "keep your kids throwing rocks. they are heroes. they are martyrs. They are soldiers of Allah, helping us to destroy Israel!"

    You wouldn't expect the the media say, in somber tones, "bad news from Afghanistan, as Osama bin Laden is rumored to be in poor health."

    Or would you? I don't even know anymore.

    Posted by jkhat at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

     

    November 08, 2004

    Cries from the Looney Bin

    [Posted by ]

    First, a heartfelt "Thank you" from James and me to everyone who's visited Dummocrats. With your help, we went over 50,000 visitors today! It's just amazing considering that we only started blogging in late April. So, thank you again and hopefully we can continue to inform and entertain you.

    And, I hope that my continuing efforts to expose looney Madison leftists are actually entertaining. I can't help it. I have to expose their lies (and make fun of them). They make it so easy.

    In that vein, Madison's Capital Times is once again printing the lefty creed. Today it's all about how the election was stolen by Rove & Co:

    American democracy: a shining city on a hill or gutter politics that steals votes and suppresses voter intent?

    To about 60 people who gathered Saturday at the UW Humanities Building, it's more like the latter.

    Okay, 60 people. 60 people?? Why in the world is a newspaper wasting print talking about a lunatic fringe that can only attract a measly 60 people in the very epicenter of the lunatic fringe? I think the answer is that author of this column is, as the rest of the article shows, a member.

    A young couple's matching "Skull and Bones" shirts showed they didn't rule out that maybe the Yale secret society has some very dark secrets.

    Is this guy trying to imply that Yale's secret society somehow engineered a Bush victory? The same Yale secret society that both Bush and Kerry were a member of? Wouldn't a responsible journalist maybe mention that? Of well, there's clearly no room for facts or analysis in this piece:

    Moderator Ben Manski, a law student and Green Party activist, said the biggest concern is "black box" voting. How is it, he asked, that Ohio precincts with 70 percent Democratic registration went 60 percent for George Bush? (Ohio voters' party affiliation is determined by how they vote in primary elections.)

    Now, I'm not a law student, but I think the answer is a combination of the following:

    • The Democratic Presidential primary was contested, but the Republican one wasn't. So, if citizens of Ohio wanted to vote in the contested primary, they had to register as Dems
    • Just because someone is a registered voter doesn't mean they actually vote. Perhaps Karl Rove's evil machine was more successful in getting their registered voters to the polls.
    • Pre-election polls consistently showed that Ohio was close, but leaning to Bush. Post-election results showed the exact same thing. Coincidence?

    Ah, but once again, these looneys don't need no stinkin' facts or proof:

    A related concern, Manski said, is the effort to suppress votes before and on Nov. 2. District 8 Ald. Austin King said misleading voting information posted at UW-Madison and other campuses "was clearly a coordinated national effort by Republicans to suppress the college vote."

    "I'd very much like to see someone put in jail for this, and I'm not a tough-on-crime guy," King said.

    Nationwide, there's a loose coalition of groups protesting the election, and news reports surface every day detailing problems with things like electronic voting, people waiting hours to vote and supposedly nonpartisan election officials making decisions that helped Republicans.

    Let's tackle this bit by bit.

    • What "misleading voting information"? Give me some proof. Ditto to the allegation that Republicans were "clearly" trying to supress the college vote. It's not acceptable to throw out these charges, you need to back it up with something. A responsible news organization would never print this crap.
    • Some people had to wait hours to vote. Big deal. I fail to see how that means that Bush stole the election. You had to wait awhile to vote? Suck it up. Some people go through a hell of a lot more.
    • Finally, "supposedly nonpartisan election officials making decisions that helped Republicans". Where? Offer me some proof. The only instances I've seen of supposedly nonpartisan officials making decisions that helped either party were decisions made in Madison to help Dems get early votes after a Kerry rally.

    So, besides overturning the election, what do these 60 loonies want?

    Whether the election is overturned or not, said Phyllis Hasbrouck, it's key in the future to require paper ballots and to ban touch-screen voting. "If we don't do this, we'll never have a real election again," she said.

    Okay, let's get this straight. Back in 2000, the problem with the election was that the paper ballots in Florida were too old fashioned and susceptible to fraud. Now the problem is that the touch-screen voting is too sophisticated and susceptible to fraud. Hmm, maybe the real problem is that Democrats have ideas that have been discounted by the majority of American voters in election after election.

    Oh, wait, I'm not being fair. One guy has another idea (and excuse me, because I'm furiously giggling as I type this):

    John Peck, a recent UW graduate who said he's now overqualified for a job in his field and is driving a cab, wants to put up "democracy walls" like the Chinese did in the 1970s and 1980s.

    "We should have a democracy wall in every town so people who don't have the Internet can read them. It's time to reclaim our public space."

    Peck added a thought about electronic voting. "The Luddites had an answer to machines."

    BWAH!! Yes, to better our democracy we should follow the practices of a repressive communist regime. That's the answer! Oh yeah, and we should destroy all the machines! Hmm, did this guy just get lost on the way to the rally in San Francisco?

    With an intellect like that, I find it hard to believe that Mr. Peck is overqualified for anything this side of a straight jacket. But, with activists like these, it's not hard to believe that the American people refuse to give the Dems the reins of Government.

    Posted by at 03:31 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Proof (and a confession)

    [Posted by ]

    Dear Readers,

    James and I have a confession to make. We are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Now, I know this probably doesn't come as that much of a shock to most of you, but we felt it was time to come clean. We couldn't hide it much longer. In fact, the proof was out there already. Just look at our site log:

    So, it's true. We do get our marching orders straight from Karl Rove and the fine folks at Halliburton. May God have mercy on our souls.

    Posted by at 01:43 PM | Comments (2)

     

    Northern Lights over Madison

    [Posted by ]

    As I'm obviously fond of pointing out, Madison is full of liberals. However, it's also full of incredible natural beauty. A friend just emailed me this shot of the Northern Lights taken last night.

    Although, if you look close, you might be able to make out a "Re-Defeat Bush" sign in there somewhere ;-)

    Posted by at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

     

    November 07, 2004

    This is What it Looks Like When Doves Cry

    [Posted by ]

    All around my neighborhood, both the leaves and the ever-present Kerry/Edwards signs are falling. The liberals are as downcast as a typical November day in Wisconsin. And I'm so happy. I love that all the "Regime Change Begins at Home" and "War Is Not The Answer" sign people lost. I love that all the clever rhetoric in the world can't change the fact that their ideas were discounted by the majority of the American people.

    But, I don't expect Madison's liberals to just throw in the towel. Oh no, I expect them to come up with new, even more clever signs! In fact, some of them already have.

    I'm not sure what this sign is supposed to mean. Bush doesn't have a mandate in their house? In their yard? I don't think even the staunchest Republicans are claiming that. Although, if he did, I'm sure he'd insist they do some raking. Also note the oh-so-clever use of a dollar sign in Bush. Oh those intellectuals...


    It's nice to see that even local businesses are interested in alienating any customers that don't share their political beliefs. I'll remember this next time I'm looking for bike equipment. Note the use of "Allah". That shows that they are tolerant, you know.


    And look, some folks are already getting a head start on the 2008 campaign. They gotta make sure we stop Jeb and the evil Bush empire.


    This last one is my favorite. It's like they followed some lefty checklist: let's see, use of peace symbol-check, defacing the flag-check, use of irony in flying flag at half staff-check.

    So there you have it, mourning in Madison. Isn't it beautiful?

    Posted by at 01:03 PM | Comments (43)

     

    The Wolves in Europe's Henhouse

    [Posted by ]

    Everyone in a swing state saw President Bush's "wolves" ad numerous times. The funny thing is the wolves aren't just a threat in Europe, they're already wrecking havoc. This week Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered in Amsterdam because he made a film critical of Muslim's treatment of women.

    Van Gogh was shot eight times and had his throat slit. A five page note was pinned to his body by his Islamofascist murderer. As I Please has a piece of the note:

    I know for sure that you, Oh America will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh Europe, will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh Holland, will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh Hirsi Ali, will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh unbelieving fundamentalist, will go under.

    Brian Murphy, an AP religious writer, wrote an amazing article yesterday. And, I'm not sure I mean amazing in a good way. After referencing the note pinned to van Gogh, Murphy writes:

    Other messages — later left at the sidewalk shrine where the 47-year-old filmmaker's throat was slashed — dripped with equal venom against radical Islam. "Enemies live among us," read one missive in a bed of flowers, votive candles and crosses.

    Time and time again in this article, Murphy trieds to equate Dutch reaction to the murder to the actions of the Islamofascists. The storyline he's trying to write is one of "two cultures on a collision course". But the story just isn't true. Is writing "enemies live among us" equal to cold blooded murder? Murphy writes that "The filmmaker's fans were as passionate as his detractors." Is he kidding? The filmmakers fans enjoyed his movies, the filmmakers detractors murdered him. Words are not the same as actions. Dutch men and women denouncing radical Islam is not the same as radical Islamofascists murdering men, women and children in New York, in Beslan, in Spain, in Iraq and in The Netherlands. The situation isn't a collision course as much as it is a hit and run.

    Europeans are right if they have a "gnawing feeling that militant factions in Islamic immigrant communities are gaining ground and chipping away at values such as free speech and secular politics." And they're right to be afraid. As Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of Osama bin Laden's closest associates said:

    the history of mankind is the story of 'perpetual war between belief and unbelief.' Over the millennia, both have appeared in different guises. As far as belief is concerned, the absolutely final version is represented by Islam, which 'annuls all other religions and creeds.' Thus, Muslims can have only one goal: converting all humanity to Islam and 'effacing the final traces of all other religions, creeds and ideologies.'

    Some Europeans still don't get it. Jan Rath, co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam, says "My impression is the European voices that say, `Everyone is equal, but we are more equal than Muslims,' are growing."

    Rath seems to think that radical Islamofascists are striving for equality. That's clearly not the case. Islamofascists don't want equality with the good people of Europe, they want to convert those people to Islam, and, failing that, eliminate them. For all of their alleged intellectual superiority, Europeans (and even their American liberal counterparts) fail to comprehend the meaning of these words even when it's right in front of their eyes. Their alleged intellectual inferior, President Bush, immediately saw the Islamofascists for who they were:

    They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

    As awful as it is, hopefully this latest murder will help wake up Europeans to the wolves in their midst.

    The memorials that piled up on the dark brick sidewalk often crossed the line from sympathy to seething recriminations. "This is the true face of Islam," said a handwritten message. A framed poem called "Imam" ends with a stanza: "If you want to improve the world, start with yourself and your faith."

    A banner waved from a fence: "Theo rests his case."

    Posted by at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)

     

    November 06, 2004

    I've Been Duped

    [Posted by ]

    Those readers that know me in the "real world" know all too well that I can be a little gullible, a little blonde sometimes. It happened again this week. I read all the talk about "moral values" deciding the election and fell for it hook, line and sinker. How can I have been so stupid? I know the media is biased, but for some reason I trusted them to report this election honestly. Will I never learn?

    David Brooks says exactly what I want to say in the New York Times today.

    Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

    In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.

    This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong.

    Brooks points out that according to the Pew Research Center, there was no surge in evangelical voters. And, that much of the press and their liberal friend's analysis comes from an exit poll question that vaguely asks if "moral values" played a part in the voter's decision. Obviously, this leaves the question of what exactly "moral values" are up to the analysts.

    The analysts have decided that it's all about gay marriage and that Bush voters are homophobes. Unfortunately for them, if you don't just take their word for it, you quickly find out it's a bunch of BS:

    Majorities oppose gay marriage, but in the exit polls Tuesday, 25 percent of the voters supported gay marriage and 35 percent of voters supported civil unions. There is a big middle on gay rights issues, as there is on most social issues.

    Let's see, 25 plus 35 is 60. So, in reality, 60% of voters believe that gay relationships should somehow be recognized by society. But, we haven't decided exactly how they should be recognized and we don't want individual judges making that decision for us. Fair enough.

    But, liberals are making gay marriage into the decisive issue of the campaign for two reasons. One, to demonize the opposition as a bunch of redneck homophobes and two, because it allows them to believe that they are still right on all issues and that there is no valid, intellectual opposition to their foreign policy and economic positions. In other words, I didn't vote for Bush because I believe in the Bush Doctrine and supply side economics. I voted for him because I'm either homophobic or too stupid to understand the genious of the liberal positions. And they say Bush can't both sides of an issue?

    Brooks sums it up just perfectly (and really, I'm shocked to be quoting something in the Times this much):

    But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?
    Posted by at 02:21 PM | Comments (7)

     

    November 05, 2004

    Europeans Just Don't Understand

    [Posted by ]

    More so than almost anyone this side of Michael Moore, our European "allies" are dismayed by the re-election of President Bush. As The Mirror infamously asked "How can 59,054,087" people be so dumb?"

    The BBC tried to figure it out. They invited Americans to go online and post about why they voted for the President. The comments are moderated and, oddly enough, there are quite a few comments from angry Americans telling why they didn't vote for the President. Um, wasn't the point of this to try to get Europeans to better understand the American pysche, not spew the same liberal nonsense they already hear everyday? I guess not.

    Apparently, European government officials are even coming to American to better understand us. Madison's Capital Times has a column today about 5 such officials. They went to (get ready to laugh) Washington, DC, San Francisco and Madison and they just can't figure out how so many people could vote for Bush.

    They can't understand America's fascination with George W. Bush and what one of them described as the country's "cowboy" attitude toward the rest of the world. Surely, he wouldn't be re-elected today, a couple of them remarked.

    Madison was included so they could "visit a Midwestern city in an effort to learn what makes America tick." This is one of the most hilarious things I've ever read. Europeans are visiting Madison as some kind of representative midwestern city? Madison? Really? It's not called "twenty five square miles surrounded by reality" for nothing. Madison has about as much in common with "middle America" as Burlington, Vermont or Portland, Oregon does. If this is how the Europeans are going about trying to understand us, they aren't trying very hard.

    I guess it's just easier to call us "dumb" and shake their heads and be smug in their own sense of superiority.

    Posted by at 04:08 PM | Comments (7)

     

    I Know How to Unite this Divided Land

    [Posted by ]

    So, with the re-election of President Bush, the liberal pundits insist that we must heal and unite this divided land. Although I have no idea why it's suddenly so bad that we disagree on some issues (I thought dissent was noble and patriotic-I guess that's only so if it working toward ousting Bush), but I'll play along.

    I know one thing that will unite our divided nation: our shared disdain for the BCS. So, for at least the next couple of days, let's turn our attention away from politics and on to college football. It's just in time too, since only six unbeaten teams remain. Will anyone lose tomorrow (well, Auburn & Boise State won't, since they have a bye)?

    #1 USC at Oregon State: I've changed my mind and I think USC won't lose this year. They'll win and remain #1 until their inevitable rematch with Cal in the national title game. The pick: USC

    #2 Oklahoma at Texas A&M: My token upset pick of the week. Adrian Peterson is very, very good, but I couldn't help but notice two things last week: one, they gave up a ton of points to Oklahoma State last week and two, Oklahoma State can't tackle. If Texas A&M can actually tackle, they might very well win. The pick: Texas A&M

    Minnesota at #5 Wisconsin: I might be too sick to my stomach to actually watch this game, but if I do watch I expect to see Wisconsin's dominant defensive front line smother the Gophers. Everyone thinks that all Wisconsin can do is run, but those people clearly haven't watched the Badgers. John Stocco will make some more clutch 3rd down throws and the Badgers will win. The pick: Wisconsin

    Colorado State at #8 Utah: I'm sure Utah is a fine, fine team. And, I'm sure that if Texas A&M beats Oklahoma we won't ever stop hearing about how great Utah is now because they beat the Aggies earlier this season. And, if Utah wins tomorrow and Oklahoma loses, I'm sure Utah will join the growing legion of teams that leap the Badgers in the rankings. Ugh.The pick: Utah

    Posted by at 08:39 AM | Comments (5)

     

    November 04, 2004

    Gallery of Left Wing Lunacy

    [Posted by james]

    I stumbled upon a gallery of photos taken at an anti-Bush rally in San Francisco on November 3, 2004. A few choice photos are below; see the link for the rest.


    This young man has the courage to say loud and clear what democratic party really thinks of the "flyover" states.


    The Left will rise! And it will be Anarchy! But wait, the left is a political ideology, pretty much the antithesis of Anarchy.... But the left will rise, in Anarchy! umm.... Anarchy will bring the left into power! no, wait, Left, Rise to Anarachy! no, ummm, my head hurts.


    If they're against Democracy, then why did they immigrate here? I mean, really, they are immigrants. If you're gonna immigrate anyway, and you hate democracy and freedom, then why not pick a state that is more in step with your leanings, like Cuba or Syria? I hear that Iraq is nice this time of ... errr, wait, guess we messed that one up for them!


    On a similar note, I am ashamed that this guy is an American.


    Just a few of the young "protestors" at this rally. They look like a bright, intelligent, educated, stand-up group, don't they? We should take their opinions seriously!


    What a way to top off the night - - by burning "an upside down American flag" and a doll of President Bush in effigy.

    So there you have it, folks, there's a candid look at the new left. They don't love America, and they don't love democracy. They couldn't care less about what's best for the country - instead, they care only about advancing their own position, which, from these signs, I can only surmise is anarchy. And if you disagree with them? If you're with them, great, they love you! But if you dare to disagree, well, in the immortal word of protestor #1, "fuck you."

    Posted by jkhat at 06:53 PM | Comments (16)

     

    UK Papers, out to shock

    [Posted by james]

    Ya gotta give UK papers credit, at least they wear their bias on their sleeves, and don't try to hide it in non-existent "objectivity" or "balanced" reporting.

    Being on the other side of the pond, you'd have to think that the average UK resident knows much, much less about American politics than most US residents. They know, at most, that Bush is "for the rich" while Kerry is (was) "for the poor," or that President Bush "likes oil" while John Kerry just "acts royal."

    Yet they all seem to have an opinion on who should be President.

    Posted by jkhat at 09:39 AM | Comments (1)

     

    Election Results Give College Students a Real Education

    [Posted by ]

    Madison.com has some hilarious articles about the liberal response to Bush's victory. One writer chronicled the sad, sad faces on Madison's near east side, where:

    Nine out of 10 people who walked into polling places at Olbrich Gardens, Lapham Elementary, O'Keeffe Elementary and the Wil-Mar Center voted for Kerry.

    I vote at O'Keeffe Elementary, so I need you to read that again. 9 out of 10 people voted for Kerry. See, I so wasn't kidding when I said over and over again that I lived in looney liberaland.

    My neighbors were all upset. But, as aging hippies do, they'll take nothing from Kerry's defeat except for the notion that they really are smarter than everyone else. There is hope, however, for Madison's other big liberal population: the college kids at the University of Wisconsin. They can still learn something from this election. Karen Rivedal, of the Wisconsin State Journal says that students said:

    they felt crushed.

    And terrified.

    And embarrassed for their country in the eyes of the world.

    And exposed - revealed as being somehow out of step enough with their fellow citizens to think Democrat John Kerry might beat Republican George Bush.

    Living in Madison, it's easy to understand how some of these students just can't believe that everyone doesn't feel the way they do. But this is a fantastic way to help them figure it out. "It's very odd to feel in the minority all of a sudden, and to know so many other people feel very passionately the other way on these issues," said Claire Boyce, a junior who voted for Kerry.

    When students go off to college, it's nice to think that they have their minds opened to new ideas. But, unfortunately, at UW Madison that's not really the case. The only acceptable ideas seem to be liberal ideas. Says one pro-Bush student:

    "I'm really happy because I'm a Bush supporter," said Amanda Infield, a freshman who voted for the first time Tuesday.

    "Before, I felt like I couldn't talk," she said. "(Democratic students) would demonize what we would say. It's like they feel you're not as smart or you don't understand the issues. This reminds people that there's a whole nation out there."

    This reminds students that there's another side to the issues too. There's a whole slew of ideas that aren't talked about by their liberal Professors or campus activists. While some students may be depressed now, this kind of eye opening will be one of the best things that ever happen to them.

    Posted by at 09:09 AM | Comments (3)

     

    November 03, 2004

    Election Questions

    [Posted by ]

    Our long national nightmare is over. The airwaves can once again ring with the sound of dish detergent and car advertising. When the phone rings, you can rest assured that it won't be Bill Clinton or Rudy Guiliani asking you to vote for their candidate, it may even be a real, live friend instead.

    But, even though the election is behind us, some questions remain.

    1. Democrats are perplexed at losing even when voter turnout was apparently at all-time highs. How can this be, they ask? I think there are a couple of possible answers:

    • The Dems have some assumptions which have now been proven wrong. First, they assumed that the country was just teeming with non-voters who agreed with them. Second, they assumed that a) new voters were young voters and b) those younger voters were, by the mere fact that they were young, liberal.
    • Even Republicans hear the rhetoric about getting out the vote and this being "the most important election of your lifetime". Every "get out the vote" drive is going to have the unintended effect of also getting out the vote for the other side. Dems seem to forget this.

    2. So, what did happen with younger voters? I've heard several pundits say that younger Americans didn't make a difference. But, is that because they didn't actually turn out, or is it because younger Americans are more conservative now? I've felt for a long time that America's youth are not liberal by default. I think that Generation Next or the Millenial Generation or whatever you want to call them, is more conservative than Gen Xers or Boomers were at that age. I'll be curious to see if voting patterns prove me right. Can anyone point me in the direction of voting stats like that?

    3. I heard that over 60% of Ohio voters were against gay marriage. I'm not surprised by that. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans are against gay marriage. What does surprise me is the number of times I've heard that Americans voted for Bush because of social issues. It wasn't just national security. For a long time, I thought that most Americans wanted a strong defense and less government involvment in both the economy and in our personal lives. These results make me think I'm completely wrong. America is far more conservative socially than I thought (and than I am). What does this mean for 2008? I think it probably means that a socially moderate Republican cannot win the nomination. And, it means that if the Dems have a brain they need to find themselves a fiscally conservative hawk or else they're doomed for another 4 years.

    What are you curious about or what did you learn from this election?

    Posted by at 04:28 PM | Comments (3)

     

    Get the Fame out of Politics

    [Posted by ]

    My friend Steve (and, it occurs to me that I talk about several Steves, so let's just dub this one "Conservative Steve") emails me with an interesting question:

    Why is it that there's such a huge outcry to "get the money out of politics", which obviously originates from the left (and sadly, John McCain), while little or nothing is said about getting the "fame out of politics." Let me explain. It's such an accepted fact in the media that wealthy donors and big business try to use their money to influence politics and that this is a bad thing (except when it comes from George Soros but I digress). Well then, shouldn't it be a bad thing when Bruce Springsteen, Leo Dicaprio, Sheryl Crow, et al try to use their fame to influence elections? In both cases people are using the resources available to them (whether it be fame or cash) to influence people's vote. If you are going to ban or severely limit the use of cash, shouldn't you also limit the use of fame? Ridiculous right? But how do these two resources differ? Maybe I'm just tired of living in a swing state and having to listen to high school dropouts who got famous talk about what a villain Bush is.

    Conservative Steve has a good point. Can you imagine the outcry if, for example, there was a "Specter/Kennedy Bill" that restricted the amount of volunteer hours that people could put into a political campaign? The free speech hawks would be up in arms, and rightly so.

    Like Conservative Steve, I just don't see the sense in limiting the use of some personal resources, but not others. It's another perfect example of the way some liberals know nothing except that rich people are "bad".

    Posted by at 11:11 AM | Comments (2)

     

    Four More Years!

    [Posted by ]

    Via Blogs for Bush.

    The AP is reporting that Kerry called Bush to concede and Drudge says he'll make his official concession speech at 1 pm ET.

    Thank you America, for a great birthday present!

    Posted by at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

     

    Say It!

    [Posted by ]

    From The Crease. This is just such an awesome, perfect graphic. Plus, it makes me think of Back to School which was, of course, filmed right here in Madison. ;-)

    Posted by at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

     

    That's the Way the Cookie Crumbled

    [Posted by ]

    Sometimes in life you do things you don't want to do for the benefit of others. Do you think all those young Americans who are represented on the WWII Memorial with a gold star wanted to die before they could live a full life? Of course not, but they did their duty and paid the ultimate price so that you and I could live in a free world.

    Even 30 years ago, both John Kerry and George W. Bush probably didn't want to serve their country in the military (they both sought to avoid it), but they did what they had to and served because their country asked.

    This morning, I don't think John Kerry wants to concede, but he lost fair and square. That's the way the cookie crumbles. And, now, for the good of his country he needs to give in. No one benefits from dragging this out except for his team of lawyers and his own ego.

    Sometimes in life you do things you don't want to do for the greater good. This is one of those times for John Kerry. I've found little admirable about this man during the campaign, but a graceful acceptance of his own defeat this morning would go a long, long way towards restoring his reputation. It'd also go a long, long way towards restoring America's faith in her government rather than in her lawyers.

    Update: Good for Kerry for conceding today. I'm sure there were people on his staff urging him to keep this alive, but he did the right thing. History will look kindly upon his actions today. In that spirit, I have something nice to say about his family: Vanessa Kerry looked lovely and the son of Teresa's that was at the speech was very handsome as well. There.

    Posted by at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

     

    And so it begins

    [Posted by james]

    Via Drudge, Nov 3 2004, 1:38 AM EST :

    Statement from Kerry Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill on Ohio ///

    Boston, MA - Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill released the following statement:

    "The vote count in Ohio has not been completed. There are more than 250,000 remaining votes to be counted. We believe when they are, John Kerry will win Ohio."

    Posted by jkhat at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

     

    November 02, 2004

    Win It For...

    [Posted by ]

    Bill Simmons, the "Sports Guy" on ESPN.com is a huge Boston Red Sox fan. Before the final World Series game, he linked to a great thread simply called "Win it For". In the 54 pages of messages that followed, fans talked about who they personally wanted the Red Sox to win it for.

    So, who do you want Bush to win it for? Leave your answer in the comments.

    I want him to win it for my Dad who was a loyal Republican to the end. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer the day after the Republican victories of 2002. I like to think that at least that day was happy. He's the one who taught me that America truly was the land of the free and the home of the brave. He would have been proud of the kind of President that Bush has become.

    Posted by at 10:38 AM | Comments (13)

     

    Voting Irregularities

    [Posted by james]

    We'll try to update this thread throughout the day with reports of voting irregularities. If you see any that aren't posted here, please email BOTH james@dummocrats.com and kris@dummocrats.com with the updates. Thanks.

    From Drudge:

    VOTES FOUND ON MACHINES IN PHILLY, BEFORE POLLS OPEN

    Before voting even began in Philladelphia -- poll watchers found nearly 2000 votes already planted on machines scattered throughout the city... One incident occurred at the SALVATION ARMY, 2601 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, Pa: Ward 37, division 8... pollwatchers uncovered 4 machines with planted votes; one with over 200 and one with nearly 500... A second location, 1901 W. Girard Ave., Berean Institute, Philadelphia, Pa, had 300+ votes already on 2 machines at start of day... INCIDENT: 292 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 7/7: ADDRESS: 122 W. Erie Ave., Roberto Clemente School, Philadelphia, Pa.; INCIDENT: 456 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 12/3; ADDRESS: 5657 Chew Ave., storefront, Philadelphia, Pa... Developing... A gun was purposely made visible to scare poll watchers at Ward 30, division 11, at 905 S. 20th St., Grand Court. Police were called and surrounded the location... Developing...

    UPDATE: Philly vote commissioner Ed Schulgan claims this story is false.

    From AP:

    One polling location in Mauldin, S.C., was forced to switch to paper ballots because of equipment troubles.

    From AP:

    In Volusia County, Fla., a memory card in an optical-scan voting machine failed Monday at an early voting site and didn't count 13,000 ballots. Officials planned to feed and count those ballots Tuesday.


    In Milwaukee:

    GOP Vehicles Vandalized In Milwaukee
    Vans To Be Used To Get Poll Watchers, Voters To Polls

    MILWAUKEE -- Election Day got off to an ugly start at a parking lot on Milwaukee's northwest side.

    Someone slashed the tires on 30 vehicles that were designated for the local Bush/Cheney campaign.


    Reader Joe alerts us that blogger Blackfive was disenfranchised as he tried to vote in Chicago today, along with several other registered Republicans:

    They turned everyone (that was not in the books) away.

    As I left on my way to the County Election Commission to file a complaint, I asked ten different people who were also denied a vote because they weren't in the book, "Are you Republicans?"

    All ten replied, "Yes."

    Voters Given Two Ballots In Brevard


    "The ballot I was given did not have that issue on it but I turned it in," voter John Jacobs said. "Then, my wife, who voted before me said it was on hers."

    Jacobs and others complained to the precinct supervisor who reportedly gave them another ballot.

    "I'm very upset," Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Fred Galey said. "She (precinct supervisor) was still brain dead and gave them the ballot with the annexation question on it."

    Posted by jkhat at 08:56 AM | Comments (3)

     

    Behind those Furrowed Brows

    [Posted by james]


    Cox and Forkum hits the nail on the head, as usual.

    Posted by jkhat at 08:25 AM | Comments (1)

     


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