Tuesday, January 31, 2006

US Supports Irani Revolution

In light of this recent development, I was overjoyed to hear President Bush's statement to the Irani people in tonight's State of the Union Address: Iranians, we support your revolution!

Excerpt from The State of the Union Address:

The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people. The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon, and that must come to an end.


The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.


BUSH: America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.

And, tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

What does this statement mean?

1) We acknowledge the pride of the Irani people.
2) We understand that this fight is theirs.
3) We know that by attacking Iran we would only rally the people around their corrupt government because Iranis love their country first and regard their government as arbitrary when their country and countrymen are under attack.
4) We are under the gun because of the nuclear situation, and so action must come quickly.
5) That action must be revolution and we will support it.

Irani Humor

Ahmadinejad in Farsi translates to Race of Ahmad. Ahmad being a name. It's like a nod to one's forefathers, saying of the clan of Ahmad.

Ahmaghinejad translates to Race of Stupid. Ahmagh meaning stupid. It's like saying of the clan of stupid.

If you were to hear these words spoken, they would sound very similar.

That's too funny.

Kane Watch: Charlton Heston was a founding father?

So the concealed-carry veto-override failed.

Eugene Kane believes that "people who want to let the NRA dictate our rules will go home mad."

I'd like to take a moment to remind Mr. Kane of something:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the
right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The people going home mad were actually hoping the Constitution would dictate our rules, Gene.

Funny how easily that little piece of paper is ignored when it's convenient, isn't it?

An Article by Alan Peters

Someone calling himself Alan Peters has asked me to post the following...

Can The USA Avoid Attacking Iran?


Can It Attack Successfully?


© Alan Peters


A touch of humor best describes the West's dilemma:

A gorgeous young redhead informs her doctor that her body hurts wherever she touches it.

"Impossible" says the doctor. "Show me".

The redhead takes her finger, touches her left breast, and screams. She then pushes at her elbow and screams even louder in agony. She pushes her knee and screams, likewise her ankle and screams.

The doctor says, "You're not really a redhead are you?

"Well, no" she mumbles, "I'm actually a blonde".

"I thought so" the doctor comments "your finger's broken".


Like somnambulists emerging from a stupor, the West has finally realized they have allowed Iran to place them "between a rock and a hard place" through indecision, inactivity and essentially commercial greed. Fruitless negotiations cannot count as "activity" except as deception by the Europeans. They furthered their own interests, contrary to those of the USA and most of the world, to obtain lucrative contracts from Iran while putting off badly needed action.

Even now, the proposed uranium enrichment in Russia instead of inside Iran gives the latter the excuse to spend months and months "negotiating" about it with the Russians while hurriedly continuing nuclear activity inside Iran.

Russia with $30 billion in construction of nuclear sites and China with $70 billion in natural gas and oil contracts with Iran have helped stall efforts to deal with Iran's neo-Islamic, militarist leadership. France's criticized saber rattling by Jacques Chirac appears to be more window dressing.

Oft repeated warnings by this writer, initially well over a year ago, that Iran's major threat was less from nuclear weapons than their ability to destabilize world economy to where it could crash cataclysmically were ridiculed by experts. The very experts now repeat the same warnings in almost a panic. Far too late for peaceful counter-measures to be an option.

Those experts also scoffed at warnings to think outside the box and stop applying historically used givens to reach their assessments. They felt they had dealt with Iran's Mullahs for 25-years and knew all about them. Knew all about their fortunes stashed in foreign accounts and their inherent, matching greed to that of the West.

Supreme Ruler Ali Khamenei has just transferred his next egg of $1.2 billion to banks in Singapore and Malaysia. Former President Hashemi-Rafsanjani, a seasoned international businessman, has his billions well protected in offshore accounts and holding companies.

Those in charge of President Mahmoud AhmadiNejad's chosen government, mostly Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) colleagues and commanders have lived off their meager salaries and have no incentive to protect wealth. Neither personal nor that of the West.

Even today with the entire facts full screen at their noses, some analysts cling to a misconception of Ahmadi-Nejad not running the country and placing the power in Supreme Ruler Khamenei's control as a counter-point to Ahmadi-Nejad not being permitted to carry out his plans and policies.

Apart from going into hiding for the last few days, reportedly as part of a secret military operation, look for both Rafsanjani and Supreme Leader Khamenei to face arrest on charges of corruption and dereliction of their Islamic duties, if they oppose AhmadiNejad – or his mentor, Hojatieh founder Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who has begun vying to replace Khamenei as the Supreme Ruler.

Previous logical time parameters, abruptly seemingly condensed into a 60-day or so deadline, give insufficient time to achieve positive results except by the use of force. A nuclear weapons test by Iran, their Oil Bourse coming on stream and possibly seeing Khamenei and Rafsanjani arrested by the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) placed in every part of the executive power structure by Ahmadi-Nejad, for corruption and dereliction of Islamic duty, negates the old guard Mullahs ability to rein in Ahmadi-Nejad.

Major world banks now scramble to reject doing business with Iran. All the while, Iran has begun moving some $50 billion (roughly the amount of their last year's oil revenues) in liquid assets from Western banks to Asian ones.

In a semi-related move, the USA has belatedly frozen the assets of the Syrian Chief of Intelligence after Iran's President Mahmoud AhmadiNejad met with the heads of 10 Palestinian terrorist groups in Damascus on his recent visit.

Among them were Khaled Mashaal, whose Hamas is running for election in a few days, Abdullah Ramadan Shalah, head of Islamic Jihad, whose suicide bomber injured 30 Israelis in Tel Aviv a few days ago, Ahmed Jibril, head of the radical PFLP-General Command, and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah.

Interestingly, Syria's Bashar Al-Assad was unable to find these very same people when requested to do so by the West. The defection of his former Vice-President Abdul Khalim Haddam to France and setting up a government in exile to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad, may well have triggered Chirac's sudden declaration to use nuclear weapons against anyone who attacked France with WMDs. Note the WMD precision of this warning.

News leaks indicate another source has stated Saddam Hussein moved his WMDs into Syria just prior to being attacked by the Coalition Forces.

Khalim Haddam, who virtually ran Syria on his own, knows where all the skeletons are buried, including exact details of WMDs hidden in the Beka'a Valley in Lebanon and in sites within Syria. If the French share the information he brings to the table, he can provide exact information about WMDs moved out of Iraq, to Syria and elsewhere and probably exonerate President Bush and the CIA.

Iran has already used the oil weapon, on a small scale, to send Turkey a warning not to allow over-flights or air strike launches by reducing the natural gas sent to them from Iran by almost 60%, pleading a temporary inability due to inclement winter weather conditions. Exactly the reason Turkey requires the gas for heating needs of its populace. And in a "positive" application, offering to help out with Georgia's energy troubles.

Timing and orchestration play a significant role in what will take place if Iran uses the oil weapon against Europe and the Western world. The USA and Europe appear to have no way to replace Iran's more than two million barrels a day, which heads to the West. At the same time, China and India, two of Iran's biggest clients, still do not have sufficient petroleum storage capability to accept the diversion of Iranian fossil fuel production from Europe toward them.

While China hurries to build some thirty refineries and expand storage, March 2006 will be far too early a deadline. And March 2006 appears to be the Ides of March scenario of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Articles about the Oil Bourse and the negative effects on our world economy, which in times of yore, I posited could leave two thirds of Americans without work and on the streets without food, increasingly appear in today's Media. Not because of oil itself but as part of a supply and demand slippery slope market situation about Dollars and an unavoidable drop in Dollar value leading to a domino effect with other currencies.

One of the major uses for the Dollar is to pay for oil, which is still bought and sold in Dollars and all other currencies are converted at the ongoing rate of exchange into dollars to finalize payments of transactions. For instance German Deutschmarks have to "become Dollars" to pay for oil, which gives the Dollar a reason to exist as the primary currency of the world.

For example, suddenly, because of Iran's Oil Bourse (and as previously intended by Iraq and some OPEC countries plus Russia), sale of oil is no longer in Dollars but in "pesos", even tiddlywinks, or anything but dollars, then the dollar has less and less reason to be an important currency. Pesos or tiddlywinks rapidly become the prime "form of payment". The world will need tiddlywinks more than dollars and will start buying and using those and sell off the now less useful or even useless dollar.

The drop of the Dollar as a value pulls down all other currencies - far beyond the ability of any country or group of countries or central banks to intervene and prop it up.

All the "useless" dollars crammed inside the banks plummet in value and one country, bank, business after another will discard them ASAP, putting them up for sale and creating a glut of dollars being sold with the consequent drop in value -- simply to try to salvage anything before the value goes so low as to be almost nothing. Again SUPPLY AND DEMAND considerations - not oil, not Euros.

The start of the slide down the slippery slope is the Iranian oil and natural gas being sold in Euros or via the Oil Bourse as a trading center for regional oil, not just Iranian and also as simple BARTER to China, India, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Palestinians, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations etc., etc., exchanged for goods and services Iran needs and those countries can provide.

Very quickly as the exchange rate of the dollar plummets, there is not enough "other money or currency" in the world to prop it up. At that stage, the sky does virtually drop for the USA. Run on the bank scenarios, 1930 bankruptcies scenarios but "in spades" and worldwide domino consequences.

The US economy barely twitched with Katrina etc., because the safety net in place today to prop up the dollar is still there and the US economy, which would falter and grind to a halt in above circumstances, still spins on and provides a cash flow. Though with borrowing by the USA far exceeding revenue, any glitch in the smoothness and reputation of the Dollar has quick downward consequences into a vicious, unstoppable spiral.

The "weight" of the dollar is so huge that if it dropped on the world, not even a combination of all countries could carry the weight on their collective shoulders and economies, nor prop up its value.

Not all of them would want to. Many would revel in the collapse of the USA in whatever fashion it occurs. Financially, spiritually, emotionally etc. and even possibly cut off their nose to spite their face to ensure the appearance of the worst version possible.

The apocalyptic Hojatieh attitude of Iran, the Islamo-fascists who would globally seize an opportunity to impose Islam on a crushed world if that were to be or could be achieved, would aggravate matters far beyond the normal, "inside the box" considerations and parameters that were in place prior to AhmadiNejad taking power.

This places many savants into knee jerk denial - since they have never had to face or consider this cataclysmic scenario, nor have they experienced anything like it. The closest in real life so far is the deadly, mindless gangs that have been operating on a more and more vicious basis and carelessness for life - theirs or others let loose in huge numbers on society and overwhelming law enforcement.

The effects would also be detrimental to Iranians but as one of them said recently, we are going without already. We have sanitation issues, people lack drinking water and unemployment here is very high. Our employed workers cannot feed their families on what they are paid. Sometimes they wait months to receive their pay. They rummage in garbage dumps to find something to eat.

He remarked that watching international news, it is all about Iran and nuclear threats, while the everyday Iranian does not go around the streets talking about any of this, about nuclear plans nor threat of war. Just thinks and struggles how to survive the daily effort to live with less than three different jobs to make ends meet.

Reports indicate the State Department spending $4 million last year and allocating $10 million for 2006 to encourage internal groups to seek reform in Iran. With our batting average, the funds may well have gone to Mullah loving groups pretending to be anti-regime.

Notable here is the $60 million made available for the Orange movement to achieve a peaceful regime change in Ukraine and the $40 million or more thrown in by George Soros to that movement. Compare $100 million in a peaceful country with normal democratic processes to $10 million "earmarked" in a totally hostile and absolutely weird and unusual country like the neo-Iran. Do we really expect any result from this tiny drop in the ocean? When facing global catastrophe?

Or a nuclear capability by a neo-regime which adheres to the 12th Imamist Hojatieh principles of inviting misery, death and destruction in an apocalyptic manner to invite their Imam to return after 1300 years to redeem mankind. And, opposes any efforts to prevent Armageddon as contrary to their religious philosophy?

You may wish to revisit my Hojatieh article for a refresher:


In the meantime, nobody has been able to confirm the March 19th or so nuclear test date, though CENTCOM HQ appears to be a source for some of this assumption, possibly as a heads up in case we have to move in.

The silver lining of a nuclear weapon test by Iran might be our ability to read the signature of the origin of it, unless they manage to disguise and modify it, which can be done.

Damned if we do and damned if we do not.

In the meantime, horrifying as it may be, within the seemingly available time parameters, an obliterating bombing attack by an armada of aircraft, not just the presently fairly immobilized Israelis, seems the only way to go. We do not have to destroy every single underground facility we attack.

Using an E-Bomb, which puts electronic circuits of all kinds out of action, might prove a useful alternative to paralyze the country but less effective on the IRGC or military installations, which reports say, have been shielded against this kind of attack.

Lost in the turmoil of strategic and tactical planning under sudden pressure is the fact that making those facilities inaccessible by destroying and burying access to them serves almost as well as full destruction. Trying to dig their way back into them – scattered as they are - to use equipment or retrieve materials will take Ahmadi-Nejad quite a long time and puts his nuclear weapon capability, which he plans to test but "never had and still does not have" into limbo.

Iran has buried many sites under civilian cities to protect them. The answer requires a public warning to the Islamic government and directly to the residents of targets that unless they remove themselves, they will be killed and if there were more time, this could be the start a PsyOps campaign, which should have begun years ago to weaken the Mullahs.

While Iran has "two of everything" in a regular military and then IRGC duplicate, the latter being the most powerful and better equipped, a harsh military decision has to be taken to destroy every single military location, barrack, storage etc., in what appears to be a 5,000 target scenario.

Some 345,000 IRGC troops should die. Would you prefer some 10 million dying in the Middle East as some analysts compute if Iran remains untouched?

Would you prefer for the populations of Europe and the USA to have to adapt to hunger and stress and begin living the kind of life of deprivation and scarcity Iranian citizens now face in their own country by allowing Iran to crash currencies and the world economy? At their leisure? As we did with Hitler? Moreover, forget the cost of tens, no scores of millions of lives lost because we hesitated and prevaricated and assuaged and mollified an implacable, slightly weird man?

By comparison, Ahmadi-Nejad puts Pol Pot into the realms of a "sane" leader, who killed a couple of million of his own people, not caused carnage across the globe.

Were time available to us, the best "normal" strategy would have been to select someone, temporary figurehead if need be, form a government in exile around him, have as many Western and other countries as possible recognize it, thus invalidating the legitimacy of the Mullahs or the neo-clerical Iran of Ahmadi-Nejad, unleash an insurrection inside Iran (learn from Iraq), assassinate Mullah leaders and put the rest in fear of their lives (using a page from the Al Qaeda and Palestinians) and then allow the "insurgents" to form a provisional government inside Iran.

The provisional government, likely formed by the MEK or similar virulently anti-Mullah groups, could not be allowed to stand for too long and their having shed Mullah blood can be used to remove them in fairly short order (a year or two) as "murderers". The latest reports state the MEK/MKO (Mojaheddin Group) has renounced "armed conflict" against the Mullahs as a first step to "rehabilitation" in public eyes and eventual removal of the terrorist label former President Clinton slapped on them in a failed effort to obtain concessions from the Mullahs.

Once the Mullahs have been eradicated, individually and collectively by the "insurgents" helped out by Special Ops forces of all Coalition countries (as were the Mojaheddin and Fedayeen by the Soviets) then someone like the young Shah or other figurehead, who cannot afford to be linked to the bloodshed without it coming back to haunt him politically, would return to Iran and form a democratically acceptable Constitution (somewhat along Iraq's lines except it could be a catalytic Monarchy as an umbrella).

A less violent approach might be to ban global sales (as a sanction) of gas (British "petrol") for vehicles since Iran imports two thirds of their national needs. Ahmadi-Nejad originally wanted to raise the cost of gas and ran into such a protest that he backed off. Without cheap, currently subsidized fuel for their vehicles, the average Iranian would stop functioning. They neither have the money to pay more to operate their cars nor would be able to reach work places, since public transportation is rudimentary. The national bus company, Sherkat Vaahed had begun striking in protest to their working conditions and has called for another strike and demonstrations for Saturday January 28th, 2006.

A vast, furious national protest by almost every Iranian, regardless of political philosophy can be triggered with a national gas shortage, including by sabotaging all storage capacity for this type of fuel. Iran has a 45-day reserve of vehicle fuel – for the man in the street. The IRGC and other military have other reserves.

The only downside would be that demonstrators pouring into the streets against the regime would have to walk and not gather easily. ON a lighter note, should any Ayatollah in the Islamic regime be goaded into a repeat of an ignored directive that all women must wear the tent-like "chador" over their other clothing, would also spark a venomous reaction when equally prodded enforcement is carried out. The combination of the gas for their cars and female dress code could potentially be so huge – simplistic though it may seem – as to overthrow by itself Ahmadi-Nejad's ruling Junta, if not the whole current Islamic establishment.

Other than the bombing armada, if that were to be the case, wiping out all opposition, it would additionally be hard for Ahmadi-Nejad to counter the type of violent insurgency being faced in Iraq and stay in power with so little of the population approving of the Mullahs. Lives would be lost on both sides but the USA has to throw more than $10 million at this and set up an Information Warfare capability without anyone tying our hands for internal political reasons.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Iran Headed to UN Security Council

Round One begins. It may be a good idea to gas up your ride.


In the wake of the recent "poll" conducted by Zogby and friends, I felt like pointing out a few things about Mr. Zogby's polling methodology and reputation.

If you'd like to read a legitimate poll that covers similar topics, I'll kindly refer you here or here. I'm a former academic. You'll have to excuse my inclination to use valid research. Some people like Zogby. I find his polling methods suspect. Wanna know why? Keep reading.

According to the American Association of of Public Opinion Research Best Practices: Good professional practice imposes an obligation upon all survey and public opinion researchers to include, in any report of research results, or to make available when that report is released, certain minimal essential information about how the research was conducted to ensure that consumers of survey results have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results reported.

Mr. Zogby, however, is proud of the fact that he will refuse to release the sponsor of a poll, and sometimes even poll results (assuming, of course, that the poll didn't turn out the way the sponsoring entity had hoped).

Furthermore, well, don't take my word for it...

-"The pollsters have a view of Zogby that doesn't seem to be shared by the news organizations," observes Warren Mitofsky, who sits on the polling review board of the NCPP.

-The chief reason that the polling establishment disapproves of Zogby is his practice, in political polls, of weighting for party identification.

-There is also the matter of interview protocol. All pollsters include options such as “not sure” and “don’t know,” but not all interviewers are instructed to read those options to the respondents. (Zogby’s interviewers almost never do.)

-Zogby International has a
long history of preparing polls for political advocacy organizations. Not surprisingly, these polls tend to show results favorable to the client's political interests. Thus Zogby polls for right wing groups show public support for Clinton's impeachment and president Bush's policies, Zogby polls for the libertarian Cato Institute show the popularity of Social Security privatization...

Want me to keep going, because I can...

Check out this page for a description of what it's like to take a Zogby poll.

I think Zogby should stick to picking winners and head to Vegas. As far as learning about public opinion, I'll stick to the other guys.

The Doyle Decision: A Translation

After reading today's JSOnline article about Doyle's decision to cancel the Adelman Travel contract, I've decided to translate its meaning. My comments are in red.

Madison - Gov. Jim Doyle canceled a controversial contract with Adelman Travel this afternoon - six days after a state employee was indicted for allegedly manipulating the bidding process so that firm got the deal. Covering his ass.

“While I personally have not seen any evidence of impropriety, the accusations that have been made against one of our state employees in connection with her duties must be considered seriously,” Doyle told reporters this afternoon in Janesville. Burning her ass.

In addition to the controversy prompted by the federal indictment of state Department of Administration purchasing officer Georgia Thompson, the Adelman Travel contract “was not being used very much,” said Dan Leistikow, communications director for the governor. Covering everyone's ass.

State officials had estimated that the three-year contract would be worth about $750,000 to Adelman Travel - or $250,000 per year. But only about $36,000 was paid the firm in the first six months of the deal - showing that the original estimates were too high, Leistikow said. Adelman travel executives agreed with the decision to cancel the contract, Leistikow added. Covering their ass.

Besides canceling the deal, Doyle announced that Mark Bugher, a former secretary of the Department of Administration for former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson, will conduct a “speedy review” of the agency’s bidding and contracting process. Bugher is respected and will take an “independent look” at the contracting process, Leistikow said. Arbitrary ass covering.

The governor also will issue an executive order prohibiting political appointees, including division heads who serve at the pleasure of the governor, from serving on any bidding panels evaluating proposals from companies that want state contracts. Covering the asses of future generations.

But Doyle’s campaign will not refund $10,000 campaign gifts each from Adelman Travel founder Craig Adelman and Adelman Travel board member Mitch Fromstein - the maximum gifts allowed by law to candidates for governor. Until giving Doyle’s campaign $10,000, Adelman had never given more than $1,000 to a candidate for governor. Being an ass.

Leistikow said the donations were legal, publicly disclosed as required by state law. He said that indictment of Thompson, a $77,341-a-year civil servant, did not question or suggest anything improper with the donations by Adelman and Fromstein to the governor’s campaign. Do I look like an ass?

“I looked at the charges from the U.S. attorney very closely, and there was nothing to suggest Craig Adelman or Mitchell Fromstein did anything wrong,” Doyle said. My ass.

Leistikow said the governor made the decisions Sunday, after he returned from a weeklong trip to visit Wisconsin troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Getting his ass outta town.

That's all I have to say about that.

Totally Trivial

Brad Pitt is a chameleon claims The Superficial.

Check it out. It's kinda weird. Further proof that he's a shape-shifting android forged in an outer-space volcano bent on destroying the world one hottie at a time.

Damn him. DAMN HIM!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Get It Right

You know, I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but I can't wait 'till Xoff gets back. At least reading his junk is a bit more tolerable than what he's got going up there now.

The lead to today's post, "Sykes' 'soft bigotry of low expectations,'" boldly states, "Do voucher supporters want to know if these children are getting a good education?"

Maybe he should have read the whole article he links to there, because I wasn't getting the feel that the issue with this school was the quality of education within, but rather one of bad money management.

To be sure, the article explains, "In ordering L.E.A.D.E.R. out of the program, state officials cited financial insolvency, arguing that the school owes $497,822 for improperly cashed checks, improperly claimed summer school payments, past payroll payments and other debts." (Note: These financial problems seem to have occurred as a result of an unorthodox school schedule that has affected the payment of vouchers)

Yet, our friendly blogger Mr. H. Kane draws this stunning conclusion, "The next time Charlie Sykes talks about "standing in the schoolhouse door" he needs to take a look in the mirror, because it is he who is standing there letting the kids who need a quality education most enter the door of a failed school like L.E.A.D.E.R."

Now that's what I call a compelling line of argument. Is that the best they got? This is just getting boring.

Nowhere have I heard Mr. Sykes or any Republican argue against school standards. And, to say that those in favor of lifting the cap are opposed to school standards is to make a conclusion that is not based in fact. The two are not mutually exclusive, and to claim so is to be uninformed (actually, I think it's just a bad attempt at a straw man).

But, in case you don't believe me, read this. The reason Vukmir and Darling are asking for access to test scores is to ensure that the voucher schools are providing not just an education, but a comprehensive, competitive and quality education. And that is the heart of the Republican push for school choice.

And while Mr. Kane may cite 175 students who go to one school as a reason against lifting the cap, here are the real facts:

There's no question the program has been a boon to the city's underprivileged. A 2004 study of high school graduation rates by Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute found that students using vouchers to attend Milwaukee's private schools had a graduation rate of 64%, versus 36% for their public school counterparts. Harvard's Caroline Hoxby has shown that Milwaukee public schools have raised their standards in the wake of voucher competition.

You can find that entire article at SYKES WRITES, in case you're wondering.

Maybe Kane should try again, tomorrow. Unless Xoff comes back early, that is.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Get A Hobby

Well, the Atheists, Commies and Liberals Union (ACLU) has decided to speak out against the Ohio Department of Public Safety's anti-terrorist campaign.

The campaign, called, "See Something, Say Something," encourages residents to report suspicious behavior.

Jeff Gamso, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio, had this to say, "Many people who vacation in Ohio videotape government buildings while they are sight-seeing. Calling that behavior suspicious and encouraging people to report will do nothing to prevent another terrorist attack and will only lead to innocent people coming under government scrutiny."

Riiiiiiggghhhtt. I don't know about you, but I certainly plan on taking a vacation to Ohio to videotape government buildings. Yeah, just after I get back from Utah videotaping famous bars.

And heaven forbid an innocent person come under government scrutiny. I'd much rather ignore any suspicious behavior so as not to offend anyone. And then, if a bomb does end up going off somewhere, I can sleep soundly at night knowing that I had no right to question the suspicious behavior of a person I had to assume was innocent.

Give me a break.

Milwaukee, Minnesota

When I was at Marquette I worked on the New Student Orientation Program. When taking a group of freshman around the city one day, a girl from Florida looked at Lake Michigan and asked, "Is that the Atlantic ocean?"

Fortunately for her, she was a first-year undergrad. Hopefully she chose to study something other than philosophy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Legal But Improper

I think this should be a new category of Jeopardy. Alex, I'll take things that are "Legal But Improper" for $1000 please!

Possible answers include....

What is: 45 year olds dating 18 year olds

What is: Ernest Borgnine at a nudist colony

What are: St. Louis Cardinals fans

What is: Two drunk people getting it on at the bar

Who are: Inky and Fez

You know, in all seriousness though, this would be more funny if it wasn't just another log on the fire of our corrupt Governor.

Middle East Observation

What's happening in Palestine rings a familiar mideastern bell. It wasn't that long ago in Iran that a corrupt government was overthrown, and one that made big promises to the people was put in its place.

The Shah's government was one with which the US happily conducted business. Conversely, since the inception of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US has dealt only sanctions to Iran.

Likewise, it had seemed that progress was being made in Palestine, and the US had been lending millions by way of aid to the country. With Hamas now in charge of the government Bush is already stating that aid may discontinue and that our government will not deal with terrorists.

Years later, we see in Iran a country that begs to return to the time of its corrupt government. The theocracy and strict laws that have been put on the people seem too much to bear for its citizens.

...Personally, I have less faith in the leadership qualities of Hamas than I do of the Islamic Republic. Only time will tell for the Palestinians what fate they have chosen for themselves.

Spice Boys take a dig at blogs

After reading this post I get the impression that Spivak and Bice are somehow trying to discount the value of bloggers by saying we're slower on the take than, say, the "old media."

What they're truly saying is that they still don't get it.

When Spiceblog first came about it claimed it would trudge through "scores of political blogs." Those of us sitting around in our pajamas doing this when we aren't working at our regular jobs, doing it simply because we wish to have a voice in happenings both big and small and feeling we might have something to add outside the scope of mainstream media, appreciated the recognition both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Cary Spivak and Dan Bice were offering. Unfortunately, it didn't take very long before we realized that what they were really doing was asserting their roles as the gatekeepers of information to a broader audience.

The post cited above exemplifies this to a tee. While the MSM, OM, what have you, may have scooped the story on Scott Gunderson years ago, the blogosphere aspires to keep it topical. It would seem the Spiceboys are more concerned with the scoop than they are with facts past and present pertinent to today's events.

Or maybe they're just trying to say, "Nyah nyah...we said it first."

And saying blogs "breath new life into old issues" is, at best, a backhanded compliment once you read the entire post.

Whatever it may be, let's never forget the second part of the Spiceblog's mission: "...so you don't have to." Be wary of those who wish to monitor the information, facts and opinions anyone and everyone have to offer.

And watch out for bloggers who aren't that keen on blogging.

Kane Watch: Too...easy...head...will...explode...

It seems Oprah - who is the undisputed champion of selling books on her TV show
- has come to realize the truth is too important to misrepresent.

Living in a glass house sure must afford a good view.

Kain Watch: 10 Reasons

It took me a moment, but this is pricelss:
The Democrats have promised to make our wildest dreams come
true. And then this nerdy white kid did some badass dancing.

See all 10 reasons Eujean Kain believes blacks are loyal to the Democratic party here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Note to the NAACP

This is racist...

School choice ads are not.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kane Watch: Apples and Oranges

Note: It was nice to take a few days off from Eugene Kane. I don't want to nitpick him on every little thing he says. And even though I could have, I figured it was time for a little break. But as they say, all good things...

From Eugene Kane's January 24th column:
The furor over choice has sparked a patently unfair radio commercial
equating Doyle's stance on school choice with Southern governors such as Orval
Faubus and George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse door to prevent black
children from receiving an education.

The ad also wrongly suggests that school choice is the paramount issue for
most blacks in the 2006 gubernatorial election. It's not.

Maybe it should be.

In a 2001 article, Kane wrote:
About the only time white readers truly want to discuss race
is when it concerns crime.

School choice predominantly benefits Milwaukee's inner-city blacks. It has nothing to do with crime. It has everything to do with giving black students the same level of education enjoyed by white children in private and suburban schools. It would seem like something Kane would embrace.

To be fair, though, his issue seems to be with comparing Doyle to someone like George Wallace. In truth it's a far more apt analogy than comparing the House of Representatives to a plantation. In the case of school choice a governor's actions may adversely impact the ability of black students to get the education they both want and deserve, which is exactly what George Wallace did. The plantation reference actually tried to equate Democrats with slaves. Even Kane acknowledged how condescending that was.

But he still called it "provoking."

Why, then, is an ad (and yes, it's now an ad) produced, in part, by a prominent black man and voiced by black students any less provoking, but equally as condescending, than a white woman like Hillary Clinton comparing the House of Representatives to a plantation?

Because Eugene Kane says so. By now we should all realize that doesn't make it true.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bush Taking Advice from McBride??

While speaking in Kansas today President Bush defended his position on what he has now appropriately termed "terrorist spying."

Back in December, Milwaukee's own Jessica McBride suggested this very approach.

Hat Tip!

My own kind of legitimacy

I'm wondering, could this be the beginning of my standing as the Cheddarsphere's version of Simon Cowell?

Cuz, y'know, if it does, it's a title I graciously accept.

I can't wait for the next round of auditions.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Irony At Its Finest


Talk about alienating your market.

[h/t Drudge]

Plan Zvi from Outer Space

While one camp claims Jewish slaves built the Egyptian pyramids and another asserts they are of extraterrestrial design, neither wishes to accept the truth that it was, in fact, a combination of the two responsible for creating one of the wonders of our world.

In actuality, a small group of Jewish Martians crash landed in the northern Sahara many thousands of years ago. In spite of their technological advancement their small number made them vulnerable to the whims of the ruling ancient Egyptians who forcibly took advantage of their advanced knowledge and skills to build numerous tombs of unheard of proportions.

Aside from the pyramids, we see remnants of these events in every day life. Jews worldwide still 'worship' the Star of David, which was originally the symbol of their Alien Galactic Council. The yarmulke is a symbol representing the original saucer like craft that brought them to Earth in the first place. The long beard worn by orthodox men is reminiscent of the chest-mounted breathing apparatus they wore during deep space travel.

If you're interested in such fascinating facts, you may also be interested in learning about this earth-shattering news!

The Two Faces of Jim Doyle

It seems Jim Doyle is telling the Journal Sentinel and the public one thing, but behind the scenes is taking a much more confrontational stance regarding lifting the school choice caps.

In a letter sent yesterday to MMAC President Tim Sheehy, Doyle reiterated his stance against lifting the caps without the poison pill proposal to dramatically increase funding to MPS. This proposal basically would double-bill the tax payers for all students in the Milwaukee School Choice Program.

Obviously, this is a completely unacceptable position for out state Republicans who would face attack ads bought by WEAC blasting them for more spending outside their districts. A completely cynical move, but one that WEAC has used in the past on Republicans who have supported school choice.

JS on Doyle: Feeling the Pressure

Major hat tip to Charlie Sykes. His efforts to remove Doyle 'from the school house door' seem to be paying off. After airing a spot which he produced along with Mikel Holt and several students from Messmer High, which received a lot of attention in the blogosphere, it seems the Gov. has taken a shift in his formerly aggressive stance.

The Journal reports today in an article titled, "Doyle seems willing to negotiate on voucher cap," that:

Gov. Jim Doyle said Friday that he hoped an agreement could be reached on the future of the private school voucher program in Milwaukee, and he appeared to send stronger signals that he is willing to negotiate an agreement in which enrollment in the program would be increased in exchange for agreement on accountability.

Although not directly named in today's article, it is obvious that the efforts put forth by Sykes and friends are cited as a large part of the reason for the Gov's change:

Voucher advocates have launched a series of moves aimed at pressuring Doyle to agree to lift the cap. Commercials in which students and others urge Doyle to "lift the cap" have been running on radio and television in Milwaukee and Madison; voucher students were highly visible in the Capitol Tuesday during Doyle's state of the state address; and business and religious leaders from Milwaukee have been speaking out and meeting with politicians.

In one commercial, students say Doyle is "standing in the schoolhouse door" the way segregationist Southern governors did in the 1950s and '60s.

Listen to the spot here.

The most notable change in Doyle's position: Doyle said he did not think it would be hard to agree on specifics of lifting the cap on voucher enrollment.

Good work, Charlie.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Is a picture truly worth 1000 words?

You tell me.

Latest Celebrity Gossip

I laughed so hard watching this that milk came out of my nose. And I haven't had milk in days.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Do The Right Thing

Michael Leeden of The National Review calls on the U.S. government to do the right thing in Iran: Support Regime Change.

This might be the best damn article I've read on Iran yet, as it touches sometimes emotionally, but always logically on many of the points I've argued here in this blog. Mostly, it illustrates just why this is the best option economically, politically, militarily and morally.

His closing reminds me of something I once heard somewhere.

On supporting regime change in Iran he writes: It is the right thing to do, and it would be even if Iran had no nuclear program, and was not the world's leading terrorist supporter. It is part and parcel of our national mission, and it is the ultimate example of doing well by doing good.

Read the rest here. Now.

(h/t Regime Change Iran)

The Bin Laden Tapes

Since CNN didn't do the translating, let's hope this one's accurate.

Bin Laden says:

My message to you is about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
and how to end them. I did not intend to speak to you about this because this issue has already been decided. Only metal breaks metal, and our situation, thank God, is only getting better and better, while your situation is the opposite of that.
But I plan to speak about the repeated errors your President Bush has committed in comments on the results of your polls that show an overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

I wonder whatever would have led him to believe that.

Surely, it wasn't because he read the results from this recent poll, because, wow, these numbers don't seem overwhelmingly clear on either side.


Now I'm not saying I've ever understood what goes through a militant bomber's head, but how in the hell does this make sense??

Nagin and the Chocolate Factory

Thanks to Fred at Real Debate Wisconsin for pointing out this gem.

Resoundingly Crappy Analysis

Xoff is making the ridiculous assertion that Charlie Sykes' Doyle in the Door spot is free corporate issue advertising.

If that sounds illegal, it's because it is. State law does not allow corporations to run issue or political advertising, although in some instances it allows them to contribute to groups that do, like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Sykes says the commercial is simply "an element of my show."

But it's not, and it's not the same as parody commercials Sykes or Mark Belling have run making fun of Tom Ament or other elected officials.

This one is a real, honest-to-goodness issue ad that is
trying to affect legislation and -- not incidentally -- do some damage to Gov.
Jim Doyle, whom Sykes despises and wants out of office. The campaign for
governor is already underway, which is a relevant fact as well.

My question to Christofferson is, do you ever listen to Sykes show? He always takes a stand on something. He always assumes one position over another. So now you're more concerned about a 30 second portion of his show that may sound like an ad than him railing on Doyle for an entire hour?


More on Studs

From ESPN's Page 2:

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times -- when you rely on a kicker
with a diamond stud earring, you rely on a kicker with a diamond stud earring.

You played with fire Colts fans ... and Vanderjagt burned you on his way to
the discotheque

[h/t Chaz]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sounds like a personal problem

Anyone else sick of having gay cowboys shoved down their throat?

Quite easily the best headline all week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Imagine If....

"This city will be chocolate at the end of the day," were the caption to the following photos.

This city will be chocolate at the end of the day! - State Sen. Mike Ellis
(Source: Press Release from the Office of the Gov.)

This city will be chocolate at the end of the day! - Sen. Hillary Clinton
(Thought: I'd like to eat me some of that chocolate right about now.)

This city will be chocolate at the end of the day! - Willy Wonka
(Meaning: Literal)

This city will be chocolate at the end of the day! - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(Re: Israel)
(Translation: Courtesy of CNN)

Okay, that's enough fun for one night.

Rings and Other Things

With all that's going on this week, my mind is swirling. Between Iran, and chocolate, and the State of the State, I just don't know what to write tonight.

I think that's a sign I should just take things down a notch and have some fun with this post.

While listening to Charlie today, I heard an interesting debate about engagement rings. It seemed to light up the phone lines, because the callers were rolling in with their various opinions, some in support, some in protest. Not an earth shattering topic, I know, but I guess I feel like writing about it for the same reason it got so many calls: It's a guy's opinion vs girl's opinion kind of thing, and anyone who knows me also knows I just can't stop myself.

For those of you who may have missed the show, the debate began because one of Charlie's friends told him that he and his girlfriend had gone to look at engagement rings over the weekend. Charlie didn't understand why any couple would see this as a joint venture. In his opinion, the guy should suck it up, buy the ring on his own and then pop question.

While I do have respect for this approach, as a woman I'd like to say that it seems much more appropriate to me to have the opportunity to weigh in on something that will be gracing your hand for the rest of your life.

And what's more, can you imagine a worse nightmare than the person you want to spend your entire life with handing you the most god awful ring in the universe? Men may not understand this, but when it comes to cut, a woman would prefer a much smaller diamond in her favorite cut than a monster diamond in a cut she hates. It's true. Take my word for it. So back off on the whole "materialistic" thing. I know you were going there. It's a preference thing that reflects taste and not necessarily karat.

Furthermore, I've been told that the marquis cut is notorious for getting caught on things, whereas the princess cut is much more functional. I bet Charlie never thought about that, did he? Functionality is also a factor!

And lastly, a girl spends her whole life acquiring jewelry. She refines her taste. She changes from yellow gold to white. From pearls to diamonds. It's something her mom teaches her about when she's young and something she dreams about when she thinks of her future wedding day. Her favorite kind of jewelry becomes not unlike a guy's favorite kind of car, for example. And she develops an opinion on it, a strong one even...kinda like the Ford guy. You know the guy, a Ford guy that absolutely hates Dodge? The guy with the sticker of Calvin pissing on a Ram? That guy.

If his girlfriend promised him for years that she'd buy him a brand new truck the day they got engaged, and on that day he opened his eyes to find a shiny Dodge Ram sitting in the driveway, he'd cringe at it! He would! But would that make him a jerk for not appreciating the gift? Or does that mean that he doesn't appreciate their love? Absolutely not. Can he be blamed for years and years of mental development that predisposed him to react a certain way? Hardly. Neither can the girl who upon seeing an engagement ring that looks to her like the Dodge Ram does to our aforementioned friend.

That being said, I think it's appropriate for a guy who wants to buy an engagement ring for his girlfrield to at least have an idea of what she likes. I'm not saying he should take her to the store, pick out a ring, buy it and propose right there. That would be a good thing gone bad.

Ideal situation: Guy and girl look at rings together. Guy never mentions it again. Guy goes off on his own accord, using the knowledge he acquired from the visit to the ring store to pick out a ring in the style he knows she likes, but that also reflects his personality. Guy buys a ring. Then, guy comes up with an incredibly, impossibly romantic way of giving said ring to said girlfriend, probably resulting in tears of joy and happiness at how such a beautiful moment was made more so by the perfect ring.

Seriously though, that's all I'm gonna say.

Totally '80s Fashion

I was watching Charlie Sykes Sunday morning and couldn't help but notice that Mark Reardon's left earlobe was sparkling. I wanted so desperately to believe that under the hot studio lights a small drop of sweat was merely resting there precariously before dropping off.

It was later revealed to me that it was, in fact, an earring I was seeing.

Now back in the day I had my fair share of piercings. Several were in my ears. One was elsewhere. Never, though, did I think that a diamond stud was appropriate. Even when a girlfriend got me one as a gift I was very up front with her and told her that while I may be a stud, I wouldn't have one in my ear.

Seriously. I said that. I was so cool.

While in no way can I guaranty that Mark Reardon checks out Ask Me Later, I do know that both Charlie and Jessica do. So I will ask them both now...

Please...get the guy a cool hoop or something.

Thank you.

Worst Backtrack Ever

Yesterday New Orleans' mayor Ray Nagin made multiple references to rebuilding the city as "chocolate."

Today he tried to clarify what he meant by saying:
How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about.

Tomorrow Mayor Nagin will explain to us how Tang is made and how it represents sunshine and astronauts and diversity and clean water or something like that. He's still working out the details.

[h/t BOTWT]

Putting a rumour to rest

It's been brought to my attention that there are some out there who believe I am Eujean Kain. I couldn't figure out why until I just re-read this post where I said "Unfortunately, this will be my last entry on the Eujean Kain blog."

Probably a poor choice of words, as what I meant to say was that I would most likely no longer comment on what appeared on the Eujean Kain blog.

My apologies for any confusion.

However, it does bring to light yet another anonymous blogger. Maybe Dennis York is Eujean Kain, which would be really odd since I once theorized Eugene Kane was Dennis York.

The origins of the Great War of 2007 - and how it could have been prevented

Here's an interesting, and a bit frightening, examination of how we may be living in the early days of the next world war from the persepective of someone with the benefit of hindsight.

Hat tip to Instapundit who says:

I think our big error was in not preempting Iran in 1979. Everything since has been an effort to rectify that dreadful mistake.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Hey Casper

Answers Expected Today

The Big 5 are meeting in London today to address the situation in Iran. We should have some more definitive answers on the Russian and Chinese approach by the end of the day.

Notice Anything Funny?

Don't they have spell checker over there?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Iran Crisis - Some Resources

Charlie Sykes posted an excellent article about the situation and the options in Iran.

Dr. Zin at Regime Change in Iran has posted The Economist's Special Report on Iran.

For a quick read to get up-to-speed check out this.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kane Watch: Kane Gets One (Mostly) Right

I'm still in shock from reading Kane's article today, "March against gangster wannabes, not the cops."

In it, Eugue Kane, THE Eugene Kane has this to say:

I don't want to see any marches for Joseph Evans unless members of the black community also march against the gangster wannabe who shot little Shauntae.

Enough is enough

It's a stance some readers will probably criticize; it may be the first time I've advocated non-action in response to a questionable police shooting.

So be it. My only explanation is, sometimes enough is enough. Better late than never.

I do understand why community activists march against police; sometimes police officers are easier targets for protest events.

Better late than never, for sure. My kudos to Mr. Kane for these comments.

Although he did throw in one shot by writing, "In Milwaukee, most inquests run by the district attorney's office end up exonerating the officer, no matter how questionable the circumstances."

However, I'd mostly like to keep the focus of this post on the call to responsibility Kane puts on his readers. It's a gutsy move, only because it's the right one, and I have respect for that.

His closing lines are some of the finest I've read:

But stacked against the toll of misery in some areas of black Milwaukee that continues unabated into 2006, it no longer makes sense to blame Milwaukee police officers for most of the violent death on our streets.

It makes even less sense to start marching against police brutality - again - in a time when the most brutal deaths in our city are seldom caused by cops.

Better we march on behalf of children like Shauntae, and be thankful this time that it won't be a march to the graveyard.

Mr. Kane, I couldn't have said it better myself. Right on.

I would like to point out that these statements seem to be a change of tune for Kane, but I'll leave commentary on the possible reasons behind this for another day...

Bourbon Blogging 01-14-2006

Tonight's bourbon
Old Crow - 80 proof

And old-school Kentucky straight bourbon from Jim Beam brands with a sweet but not too mild taste.

Created by Dr. James Crow, who didn't invent the sour mash process but rather perfected it using scientific methods. At one time it was known as "Dirty Bird" in America's black ghettos.

Casper's Opinion (after all, isn't that what this is all about?)
It's about time science did something good for us! If ever there was something to cover up the vile taste of water, it's Old Crow. While far from being the best bourbon around, it still has a special place in my heart as a liquor cabinet stable. Aside from making bad nights good, good nights better and weekends completely forgotten, I've seen grown men cringe just at the mention of its name.

Let the games begin...

Voces de double standards
Why is it that whenever teenagers are going through driver's education they're told that driving is a privilege, but when it comes to illegal immigrants driving is a right?

Without a doubt, the Westboro Baptist Church is an organization propagating hate. Journal-Sentinel editorialist George Ott points out that what they do crosses the line from free speech to hate speech. Why, then, do we not hear more objection about their recent activities from hate-law advocates? Granted, free speech is the biggest obstacle to stopping Phelps-and-gang's protesting soldiers' funerals, but could it be that they're also protesting the war?

Is it necessary to send thank you cards to people for gifts for which you thanked them in person? I think Miss Manners would say yes. I also think her corset is tied too tightly.

My dog eats poop. Not just his own poop, but any other dog or cat poop he may come across throughout the day. It absolutely amazes me that with such terrible habits dogs have managed to maintain their status as mans' best friend.

Shameless Self Promotion
I'm an obsessive blogger. That means that you may find a whole bunch of posts on any given day. That means that for every good post, there are probably a lot you might just pass up. Cantankerous is really good. I have my moments. So if you ever visit Ask Me Later and the first post you read isn't something you care too much about, scroll down a bit. We just may have something for everyone. If you don't like anything we have to offer send us an e-mail at askmelaterblog@yahoo.com. Seriously. I'm very lonely.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find Belle's mask sexy?

Shameless Self Promotion, pt. 2
Monday is my birthday. Frankly, I'm not very happy about it. For some reason some of my hair seems to have forgotten what color it's supposed to be and I'm starting to complain about the noise kids call music these days. Cripes...I'm only 33! Nevertheless, should all of our seven readers (Mom...you don't count) care to pool together and get me the 2006 Dodge Charger I won't complain.

Elliot got me thinking. Do we really want a company so inept at managing check-out lines managing people's health care? I mean, c'mon, I've seen people with full carts walk out of the place without buying a thing because out of twenty registers only two were staffed. I also once witnessed a cashier ignore that a $100 bill failed the counterfeit-pen test (the bill came from another Wal-Mart employee buying a 50 cent bag of Doritos) and then go on to test the $5 bill I handed her. Who counterfeits $5 bills?

CRG Rally
I really wanted to go to today's CRG rally but I couldn't get anyone to go with me. And I didn't want to go alone because I would have felt like that guy who went to prom stag. Yeah...I know...I have issues. Apparently I missed a good thing.

I'm trying to host the very first Carnival of Kane. I know you people are out there! I've been watching! Send me your best!

Shameless Self Promotion, pt. 3
As Monday is my birthday I've decided to take the day off. I've also decided to sleep in, eat a big lunch and spend the afternoon in a nice saloon with whomever opts to join me. Should you care to be one of those people, I'll be at Eagans on Water Street by 4pm. It might be a nice opportunity to meet some of the other people out there in the Cheddarsphere. I'll be the good looking guy at the bar surrounded by friends and loved ones. And should Eugene Kane show up, I'll buy his first drink.

Thanks to all of you who have visited Ask Me Later over the last two months. Keep visiting and we'll keep talking.

So don't say we haven't warned you.