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  • June 13, 2008

    A visual representation of life in South Central Wisconsin

    [Posted by ]

    Posted by at 11:19 AM | Comments (2)     
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    June 10, 2008

    No sympathy from the jealous

    [Posted by ]

    After torrential rains this weekend, Wisconsin's Lake Delton has disappeared. Resorts in this booming vacation area just north of Wisconsin Dells are devastated, as are several individuals who saw their vacation homes literally float away:

    Don Kubenik, 68, burst into tears Monday after seeing the $500,000, 2,800-square foot home he built in 2003 snapped into pieces. The businessman from suburban Milwaukee said he spent every weekend here.

    "That house had everything you can imagine and now it's all gone," said Kubenik, who was at his home in West Allis when the lake overflowed. "My boat's gone. The pier's gone. Everything is gone."

    How can you not sympathize with someone who goes through that? Well, apparently it's easy if the victims are rich. Just read some of the comments on the article:

    Hard to feel sorry for someone who has lost one of his two homes. Lost his boat and pier. I'm barely holding onto one home with an economy much more severe than any flood

    Or

    3 vacation homes are gone. Nobody injured.

    There are still millions of AIDS orphans in Africa if you want something real to be concerned about.

    Funny how you didn't hear so much about the AIDS orphans in Africa when New Orleans was flooding. Luckily, not every commentator is a jealous asshat. A few people called out these people on their jealousy and lack of compassion:

    Perhaps he had a second home because he worked harder and smarter than you.

    He might even have provided jobs and health care for other families.

    A shame to link your frustration to him.

    If you are hurting financially, find a better job.

    You have that freedom.

    In the meantime, sympathy is more appropriate than envy and bitterness.

    Right on! I firmly believe that the roots of modern Madison liberalism are not based in the Progressive tradition. It's based in jealousy. Madison is filled with BAs and PhDs who falsely believe that the world owes them a high paying job simply due to their college diploma. They're jealous of the success of others and rather than accepting that other people may work harder, or choose better fields to specialize in, or made sacrifices along the way, they simply bitch about the crimes of the wealthy and try to take their money to fund the lifestyle they're not willing to work for on their own.

    Posted by at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)     
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    June 06, 2008

    Why I don't want Big Brown to win the Triple Crown

    [Posted by ]

    For as long as I can remember caring about such things I've wanted to see a Triple Crown winner. So why don't I want Big Brown to win the Belmont tomorrow? I think it's because, for me, the Triple Crown isn't like a landmark to be ticked off a list. The Triple Crown is about greatness. And, right now, Big Brown isn't great. He hasn't run particularly fast and he hasn't beaten much. Now, back in 1977 people were saying the same thing about Seattle Slew. The difference is that Seattle Slew ran the fastest mile ever by a two-year old the year before and that as a four-year old Slew ran one of the greatest races of all time against Exceller and even defeated the mighty Affirmed in the only matchup of Triple Crown winners. Big Brown ran in a maiden race as a two-year old and won't get a chance to run as a four-year old. He probably won't even race again after the Belmont. He'll never get a chance to prove his greatness. It's a loss for the sport and a loss for the horse.

    While Big Brown's human connections are kinda scuzzy, the horse himself is quite appealing. I saw a picture of him last week and realized that he had the famed "look of eagles". But, for me at least, that's not enough. I want what's written about in this poem about Man O' War:

    The days are long at Belmont.
    Speed they never learn.
    And it's many a day since Man o' War
    Has looped the upper turn.

    The guineas stopped their rubbing,
    The rider dropped his tack
    When the word went round that Man o' War
    Was coming on the track.

    The crowd was hoarse with cheering
    At ancient Pimlico
    The day he won the Preakness-
    But that was long ago.

    The dust is deep at Windsor,
    The good old days are gone.
    And many a horse is forgotten,
    But they still remember one.

    For he was a fiery phantom
    To that multitudinous throng-
    Would you wait for another one like him?
    Be patient: years are long.

    For here was a horse among horses,
    Cast in a Titan's mold,
    And the slant October sunlight
    Gilded the living gold.

    He was marked with the god's own giving
    And winged in every part;
    The look of eagles was in his eye
    And Hastings' wrath in his heart.

    Young Equipoise had power
    To rouse the crowded stand,
    And there was magic in the name
    Of Greentree's Twenty Grand.

    And Sarazen has sprinted,
    And Gallant Fox has stayed,
    And Discovery has glittered
    In the wake of Cavalcade.

    We watch the heroes parading,
    We wait, and our eyes are dim,
    But we never discover another
    Like him.

    A foal is born at midnight
    And in the frosty morn
    The horseman eyes him fondly
    And a secret hope is born.

    But breathe it not, nor whisper,
    For fear of a neighbor's scorn:
    He's a chestnut colt, and he's got a star-
    He may be another Man o' War.

    Nay, say it aloud--be shameless.
    Dream and hope and yearn,
    For there's never a man among you
    But waits for his return.


    Call me selfish or silly, but I want the next Triple Crown winner to be that horse, not just a brilliant flash in the pan.

    Posted by at 09:20 AM | Comments (14)     
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    June 05, 2008

    Kelo Day

    [Posted by ]

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - politics either bore or horrify me. Policies, on the other hand, are like ideas and ideas excite me. That's why I'm always excited to get the latest newsletter from the Institute for Justice. IJ is most famous for Kelo, but they do tons of great work to limit government. They're the spear carriers in the fight for the ideas and ideals I truly believe in. In short, I heart them.

    Anyway, IJ is sponsoring Kelo Day on June 23rd. The goal is to get 10,000 pledges to donate to a special IJ fund that will be used to fight eminent domain abuse.

    I've donated to the Institute for Justice before, and I'll do it again. I have a feeling that it's money far better spent than any dollars sent to the GOP or the DNC (if you swing that way).

    Posted by at 11:45 AM | Comments (1)     
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