Monday, July 31, 2006

Drinking Right: Live On Air

The audio isn't up yet, but just a reminder that sometime tomorrow WUWM's story on Drinking Right (oh, yeah, and Drinking Liberally) will be available here.

Or, you could listen to At 10 at both 10am and 10pm tomorrow on WUWM at 89.7 on your FM dial.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Trinkenden Recht

I'm all bilingual and stuff.

A quick reminder that the next Drinking Right is coming up in just over a week.

I've never been to Papa's Social Club but, at the recommendation of someone else, as well as a desire to hold it somewhere other than downtown, I figure we could do worse.

(Actually, I hear Papa's is pretty fun.)

With DR, or, as I like to call Drinking Right, The Good Doctor, soon being featured on WUWM's At 10, all the riff-raff is bound to eventually show up (you know who I'm talking about). So now's your chance to be ahead of the pack as well as on the ground level of a scheme with no itention other than everyone having a good ol' time.

Everyone together now: Drinking's not about being right...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Don't Cross Me!*

Maybe I'm just in a mood.

And I mean no offense to all the others who have made comments on Ask Me Later.

But, in response to this post, Josh Schroeder wins the award for most subtle and witty comment (with #7).

Maybe that's how all the W's came off the keyboards in the Whitehouse right
before Bush was sworn in.

*sorry, I couldn't come up with a better title. But it does set the mood!

Friday, July 28, 2006


All of us using Blogger have had that moment when we're a little ticked that it's down.

I just hope none of you let it get to you the way this kid does.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Much Anticipated

Starting tomorrow at noon, Cantankerous is officially on vacation. Have a nice weekend everyone. I'm off to Potawatomi. And for once, I don't mean the casino.

Sorry, Nick

With all due respect to Nick Schweitzer's best efforts to help people with weight loss, he ain't got nothing on this guy.

Is it just me...

...or does the Wal-Mart commercial where a father talks about giving his daughters a little "sumthin' sumthin'" seem a little weird?

Kevin Barrett Eats Kittens

It was recently revealed to me through an anonymous source that controversial UW-Madison lecturer Kevin Barrett, now infamous for his highly questionable assertions regarding the Bush administration's coordination of 9-11, frequently snacks on kittens.

Live kittens.

Usually the ones with bows tied between their ears.

Apparently his cravings for little felines are so insatiable that when he can't get them either from unsuspecting farmers or online (he was "unofficially" banned from the Humane Society years ago), he'll often satisfy his appetite with his own trademarked recipe for full grown hand-fed orange tabbies.

I have it on good word that this affinity for eating live cats came about when he was forced to entertain himself as a small child as his parents never expressed any love toward him and he instead turned to a local pack of wild dogs for love and companionship.

After being discovered at the age of 10 by a hiking family, who went on to raise him as their own but under a shadow of secrecy for fear of anyone discovering "poodle-boy", Barrett's life took a brief turn for the better. While not excelling in elementary school, he learned to read and write from a local homeless, communist, (supposed) alien-abductee in return for brushing the man's hair.

It's quite obvious that the distorted views we see from Barrett today are influenced by the very troubled early childhood he led.

It's also very clear to me now how easy it is to spread lies.

Man...if I only had a teaching position!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

UN Harbors Terrorists

From Canoe, an article on the bombing of a UN outpost by Israeli forces.

UN observers in Lebanon telephoned the Israeli military 10 times in six hours to
ask it to stop shelling near their position before an Israeli attack destroyed their border outpost, killing four observers and sparking widespread international anger with Israel.
"Sparking widespread international anger..."

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that stories of terrorists blowing up civilians, terrorists testing Israel's resolve by demanding the exchange of hundreds of prisoners for two kidnapped soldiers, nations knowingly harboring terrorists and countries providing terrorists with weaponry (the list goes on and on) speaking of "sparking widespread international anger" are stories in short supply.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep regret" for the deaths and
dismay over UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's accusation that Tuesday's attack
on the observation post in Khiam, near the eastern end of the border with Israel, was "apparently deliberate."

Annan's a real diplomat here. With a reputation of being anti-Israel to begin with, he certainly helps the situation by jumping to the conclusion that the attack was deliberate. Way to throw a little fuel on the fire there, Kofi. Considering the wuss-like approach the UN takes to almost every other conflict there is, Annan seems to be throwing out fighting words.

He [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper] also wants to know why the post was still manned by UN observers even though it was in the middle of a war zone.

"We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war during obvious danger to these individuals."

So, there's a chance the place wasn't supposed to be manned in the first place? Is there any real reason the UN should remain directly in the path of battle as observers? They aren't refs. Nobody's checking for up-close fouls. Observing can be done from a distance. They have something called binoculars now.

Of course, there's always a chance that the Israelis simply chose to drop bombs in an area only because the UN was there. But wait!

"We did repeatedly in recent days say (to Israel) that this was an exposed
position, that Hezbollah militants were 500 metres away shielding themselves
near UN workers and civilians," UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said. "That's
why it is so inexplicable that what happened happened."

The UN knows Hezbollah is using the supposed safety of a UN-marked building? They don't do anything about it? They knowingly shield terrorists?


Officials in the outpost called the Israeli army 10 times during those six
hours, and each time an army official promised to have the bombing stopped,
according to a preliminary UN report on the incident, which was shown to an
Associated Press reporter.

Once it became clear those pleas were being ignored, the force's commander sought the involvement of top officials in New York, a senior UN official in New York said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation of the incident was not yet complete.

Bureaucracy at its finest. You're being shot at in Lebanon and you call New York for direction?
I think someone needs to re-think the process. I also think that an organization which hasn't put enough planning into how to get its people out of a warzone may not be in the best position to determine world policy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Scott Feldstein pisses everyone off

Or so he thinks he will with this very well thought out post on the realities of Muslim violence.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Math doesn't always add up

Bill Christofferson takes a look at two proposals for projects in the Park East development zone in this XOff Files post.

Competing development firms, Ruvin Development, Inc. and Rana Enterprises, each have their own plans for the site. From the Journal Sentinel article Christofferson links to:

Ruvin wants to buy a county-owned parcel, bordered by N. Old World 3rd St.,
N. 4th St., W. Juneau Ave. and W. McKinley Ave., and create a $104 million
mixed-use development. The Ruvin project would feature a 175-room hotel, 70
condos, 55,000 square feet of offices, 31,000 square feet of retail space and a
330-car parking structure.

Rana wants to build a $34 million development on the same parcel. Rana's
plans call for a 202-room hotel, a gas station/convenience store, 14,000 square
feet of offices, 9,000 square feet of additional retail space and a 400-car
parking structure.

XOff takes issue with the fact that members of a County Board committee are leaning toward the Rana plan.

But what it's really all about, it appears, is participation in the project by minority contractors. Plan A includes a goal of 27% minority participation, Plan B 35%. Goal is a key word; there is really no legal way to hold a contractor to that number, except for looking over his shoulder every step of the way and complaining loudly when he isn't meeting the goals. It appears, if
you read the whole story and read between the lines, that committee members doubt Contractor A's commitment.

I have only one comment: People, do the math.

-- 27% of Plan A's $104-million project is $28-million that would go to minority contractors.

-- 35% of Plan B's $34-million project is $11.9 million for minority firms.

If Contractor A somehow got only halfway to its minority participation goal, it would still be $14-million, more than Plan B.

Not to mention the disparity in job creation and taxes generated by the two projects.

I work in this area and live not too far from it. And while doing the math certainly points to the Ruvin plan being the more favorable of the two, I would argue there's a level of practicality the math cannot grasp.

First off, a gas station in the area would fill a void that's been around for far too long. At present, the next nearest station is located at the very inconvenient intersection of Farwell, Ogden and Franklin, and is arguably one of the most expensive gas stations in the city. A little competition wouldn't hurt. If Ruvin were to add one to its proposal, I might give theirs a little more consideration.

But another thing Ruvin would have to do is remove the condos from the proposal. I've long said that residential development in downtown Milwaukee is a great thing. After all, between the lake and river, it always seemed silly that so much unused commercial space was occupying such great real estate. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. Nearly every warehouse and unused piece of land has turned into a condo development in recent years. With starting prices for many of these properties as much as $300,000, infamously high property taxes, the alternative of owning land in rapidly developing neighboring counties and the recent announcement that Milwaukee's population has declined, I'm forced to ask: who's buying these places?

Those 70 condos may seem like they'll provide an enhanced tax base, but that's based on them actually being purchased. The real-estate boom wasn't just fueled by low interest rates, but also buyers borrowing way out of their leagues, using mortgage practices never really intended for residential lending (flipping) and mortgage programs designed not for the first-time homebuyer but rather investors (interest only loans). Resulting from these bad practices are a rise in defaults and lenders reining in some fairly liberal mortgage lending practices. If it won't be as easy to get a mortgage, it'll be just as difficult to get the home.

For the time being, downtown Milwaukee has enough residential development. And while the math may favor Ruvin at this point, sound judgment favors Rana.*

*Please don't take that as saying sound judgment has anything to do with the committee's decision. It may just be luck.

UPDATE: Rick Esenberg agrees with Christofferson. He feels that if the area needed a gas station, the market would have already seen to it being there. I'm as a big a free market guy as anyone, but I think that in this situation the market has failed us. I can't point to what in particular has stopped a gas station from opening, but pretty much anyone working or living in the area will agree that one is needed.

Addiotionally, while Rick's assertion is that he and the Reddes could easily afford a condo in the area, I should note that the target market has been, in some cases, recent college graduates. Properties at $400,000 are not realistic for this group. And even if a bulk of the properties are purchased by suburbanites, you're gonna really love having that extra gas station around.

Trust me.

UPDATE II: Sykes also seems to agree with Bill. He doesn't explain why. It's probably with good reason, but I bet I disagree with it.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

These are the droids you're looking for.

For a long time, bipedal locomotion was the Holy Grail of robotics. I recall seeing documentaries less than ten years ago of lumbering prototypes that didn't dare go too fast or maneuver too much for fear of falling over. But a monumental jump in technological advancement today gives us robots like Honda's running Asimo and Sony's dancing Qrio.

Watching video of a quartet of Qrios dancing is almost surreal. Many of us these days are desensitized to the concept of humanoid robots, but even when looking at them it's always in the back of our minds that there's either a human under all that metal making it move so, well, human-like, or it's some danged good CGI. With the Qrio, I had to keep reminding myself that these were real robots. Though they may be following very specific programming, there are no strings or remote controls.

And they're still more coordinated dancers than I.

With computer memory and processing power growing exponentially every year, it's not too hard to imagine that very life-like robots with, albeit mimicked, personalities, knowledge and, maybe, even emotions, will be commonplace. And how long after that will it be before we have advocates for "robot rights."

It may seem silly, or like something out of science fiction (I, Robot comes to mind), but all it will take is a small group of people becoming attached to their robot companions and concerned over their status in society. When you combine the power of the Asimo or Qrio with the technology of the Mars Rover and the self-sustainability of EcoBot, who's to say how far people will go in anthropomorphicizing robots?

A hat tip to Fark that links to this list of the "top ten most likely candidates to find Sarah Connor."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Must Be Nice

Ah the advantages and lessons young men learn as elite athletes. Take the case of Lamar Owens Jr., for example. Today, he was acquitted of rape charges, but, "...the jury of five Naval officers found that Owens "wrongfully entered the room without permission and wrongfully engaged in consensual sex." Does that seem odd to anyone else? I don't even think I understand that.

Two main facts were presented in the case.

The first, a tape of a phone conversation between Owens and his accuser. The man can be heard apologizing to the woman and while, "...speaking in a soft voice and apparently weeping at times, says he considered killing himself. He tells the woman he "didn't do it for long" and that "you weren't awake."

How thoughtful. And really, not incriminating at all.

The second piece of evidence? Well it wasn't actually presented at the trial, but I'm sure the fellow Navy jury had it fresh in their minds:

A highlight reel from the Navy quarterback's successful season in which he led the team to an 8-4 record with victories over Army and Air Force, and a win over Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl and was voted the team MVP. That's quite a resume there.

All of the above is well and good, but what's really irritating about this entire case is the behavior of the judge, who would not allow an expert witness to testify and severely limited the testimony of another:

The judge said the jurors didn't need an expert to tell them that wounds from sexual trauma can heal quickly. Then he said that "the most fascinating creature developed by the Lord God Almighty is the human woman." Maksym sustained a defense objection to the witness and did not allow the prosecution's expert witness - Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cynthia Ferguson, a nurse, midwife and forensic rape examiner at Bethesda - to testify. "She's not even a physician," he said. He added that Ferguson - who had been brought into court to testify before the judge and lawyers but not yet to the jury - showed prejudice because she assumed all the women she examines in rape cases are victims.

Maksym's insulting behavior didn't end there. Regarding another of the prosecution's witnesses, "...He allowed the testimony of Lopez-Roca, a military psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but limited what prosecutors could ask him. We're not talking about the son of Freud here," Maksym said of Lopez-Roca"

So in summation, we have a guy who admits to having sex with a passed out woman, a judge who won't allow a forensic rape examiner to testify and who openly equates women with "creatures" and a defense that states a woman who is so drunk she can't remember what happened isn't also so drunk that she could not feasibly have consented to sex.

What does all this equate? An acquittal.

Must be nice. Go team.

You're f**king kidding me, right?

So the administration of GWB has had two African-American Secretaries of State.

It could be argued it's the third most powerful position in the world.

And let's not forget the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Justice (both Latino), the Secretary of Labor (Asian) and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (African American).

And his press secreatary has to put up with questions about the lack of diversity in his administration?

Y'know what?

Some people are just full of shit.

For reasons too many to list...

...ain't it the truth?

Thank you Chris.

Anyone see my Tribble?

As I've said, I'm a fanboy.

Have I mentioned that I'm also a fan of Steve Martin?

That's why something like this is so awesome.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


It's true. I really was the Spanish Club treasurer.

Welcome Jessica McBride listeners/readers. If you're stopping by to learn more about me being your independent write in candidate for everything, you can see my campaign videos here, here and here.

And you can check out some of my campaign suggestions here.

If you have absolutely no idea what in the world I'm talking about, just feel free to back away slowly and we'll pretend this awkward incident never happened.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stem Cell Research: The Ethics of Necessity

If you aren't too keen on Embryonic Stem Cell Research but don't beat a bible, or if you feel that Owen's "embryo farm" fantasy won't hold up in arguments with your friends, I think you'll find that there's a much easier way to dispute the raging debate over a very misunderstood subject that currently finds itself in the limelight.

The fact is, there are more unknowns about Embryonic Stem Cell Research than there are knowns. What we do know is these cells are undifferentiated so that with manipulation they may be grown into any type of human cell. In that fact alone lies their strength.

Nevertheless, given all of the misgivings about embryonic research, I think it's better to stick to what we know -- in this case: Adult Stem Cell Research.

Adult stem cells live in every human body. In the past, it was believed that these cells were little in number, difficult to locate and already specialized, which poses a big problem. If the cells are specialized, it basically means that they can only regrow into one type of cell, whereas embryonic stem cells can grow into anything, thus making the latter type of research sound more promising and making it the stronger candidate for funding.

Recent research on adult stem cells has proven nearly all of the above false, or has given reason to believe in a not too distant otherwise. While adult stem cells are little in number, methods of locating them have improved and the likelihood of cloning the lines is high. Furthermore, adult stems cells have proven to be much more variable than previously thought, and new research gives hope that they have the capability of being returned to their original, undifferentiated state.

Additionally, the biggest hurdle with embryonic research is that the very likely possibility of rejection remains. So, even if embryonic stem cells can regrow an arm or cure diabetes, the patient is not guaranteed that his or her body will even accept the treatment.

In order to overcome that obstacle, embryonic stem cells for every kind of genetic makeup will have to be available. As a result, far more embryonic stem cells will be needed in order to conduct all the research, and the testing, and then to find the right kind of makeups for each person. Effectively this means that somewhere down the line more embryos will have to be destroyed.

Not one of these concerns arise when dealing with adult stem cells because only cells from the patient's body are used in the process, and the body has not shown a tendency to reject its own cells.

Lastly adult stem cell therapy has been in practice for the last 30 years. While embryonic stem cell therapy has yet to show a single success, adult stem cell therapy has numerous cases that show the treatment is effective.

In summation, it is my opinion that federal funding should be directed to the side of this business that has shown the most promise with the fewest ethical objections. If adult stem cells can achieve the same results as embryonic stem cells, then the need for the latter is eliminated.

If God can't be in America...

So my mom likes to send me these crazy e-mails. Usually they are completely inappropriate and often times I get them at work. Tonight, she floated this doozey my way. What do you think of it? I found it pretty interesting.


If the US government determines that it is against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money, then, so be it.

And if that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not to be used in or on a government installation, then, so be it.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a law abiding US citizen.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the American public's best interests at heart.

Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannot post His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe the Government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day.

I'd like the "US Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays." After all, it's just another day.

I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas Break." After all it's just another day.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, Good Friday & Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct."
In fact....

I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially set aside for worshipping God...) because, after all, our government says that it should be just another day....
What do you all think????

I think I like it. And, I think all athiests, liberals and commies should adhere to the practices outlined above, as well!

Drinking Right On Air

I just left the WUWM studios where I recorded an interview for an upcoming installment of At 10, featuring both Drinking Right and Drinking Liberally. Fortunately, those DL guys weren't there, cuz, y'know, things could have gotten ugly!

I kid. I kid.

Leave it to me to get publicity for something involving drinking. But when it comes to Drinking Right, publicity certainly can't hurt. Which is why now is as good a time as any to announce that the next DR will be at Papa's Social Club, August 8th, 7pm. This one is on the west side, so maybe we'll see some new faces there who are normally too afraid to head downtown.

The show is scheduled to to air on August 1st, at both 10am and 10pm (get it? AT TEN! That one took me a while.) One thing you may hear me talking about is a desire to take Drinking Right national, similar to Drinking Liberally. If you know someone in another town who might be interested, put them in contact with me. And for all you folks who have been attending DR so far, think of this: someday, when it's a huge, nationwide event, you'll get to say you were there first!


Kane Watch: 10 Points, Gene

As the home of the Kane Watch, we take great care in calling attention to and awarding those columns that Gene gets right. You won't find an argument on this blog that says he's not good at what he does, we just sometimes argue that he's a complete idiot. The case is not so today. Gene has written a stellar piece in response to the murders on Old World Third.

Gene's column, titled, "A few ruin club-going experience for all," is exactly the kind of responsible commentary I feel this city could use a lot more of. Almost a rant, it is a just what the doctor ordered.

It begins:

Here's a message to young, club-hopping, party-going black Milwaukee:

If your intentions are to ruin the nightclub scene downtown - and elsewhere - for just about everybody in your demographic, let me say this:

Mission almost accomplished.

It continues:

Frankly, lots of folks in town are just about fed up with young, club-hopping, party-going black Milwaukee.

You've got nobody to blame but yourself.

It concludes:

I recently received a message from a young African-American who felt discriminated against in a popular downtown nightclub. The complaints were similar to those that have one Milwaukee nightclub facing a U.S. Justice Department investigation.

To tell the truth, it's hard to muster up appropriate outrage about this alleged apartheid policy in light of some black clubs that end up self-destructing because they can't control their own clientele.

Well done, Eugene. I only hope those to whom this rant is addressed will wizen up and heed the advice.

Monday, July 17, 2006

An early look at Irani-Israeli Relations

The Iranian Version:

am Kurash, Cyrus, King of the World, Great King, Legitimate King, King of Babilani, King of Kiengir and Akkade, King of the four rims of the earth, of a family which always exercised kingship....

When I entered Babilani as a friend and when I established the seat of the government in the palace of the ruler under jubilation and rejoicing, Marduk, the great lord, induced the magnanimous inhabitants of Babilani to love me, and I was daily endeavoring to worship him....

As to the region from as far as Assura and Susa, Akkade, Eshnunna, the towns Zamban, Me-turnu, Der as well as the region of the Gutians, I returned to these sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris the sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time, the images which used to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I also gathered all their former inhabitants and returned them to their habitations.

Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk, the great lord, all the gods of Kiengir and Akkade whom Nabonidus had brought into Babilani to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their former temples, the places which make them happy.

The Jewish Version, from the Book of Ezra:

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying:

1 1,2
'Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

1 1,3 Whosoever there is among you of all His people--his God be with him--let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel, He is tht God who is in Jerusalem.

1 1,6 And all they that were round about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

And that is the story of Cyrus, King of Persia, liberator of the Jews. Some of you may be wondering why I point this out. I do so because if you've ever met an Iranian you may know that they have a history of which they are proud and a memory of Irani-Jewish relations that stretches from the time of Reza Shah to Shahs past -- as far back as Cyrus.

Throughout the history of the Jewish people, you will find far more instances of anti-semitism in Anglo-European and Arabic cultures than in any Persian stories, history books or otherwise. In fact, Iran is home to the largest number of Jews in the Middle East, outside of Israel.

The time of anti-semitism in Iran largely came with the revolution. Given the lengthy histories of both cultures I think it's important to keep in mind that this is a relatively new development.
I've been hearing a lot of tough-talk on the radio and reading it in the newspapers, and I find it irritating that the vast history of these two nations is often neglected. I believe this is an important aspect of the current situation in Iran because it is yet another issue that separates the Irani government from the Irani people. And in a bad way, that's a good thing.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Journal-Sentinel on Illegal Immigration

Chasing Dreams, Building America

Immigrants coming to Wisconsin to build new lives aren’t taking just the jobs no one else wants — they’re playing vital roles in the state’s economy

-Headline, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article (emphasis mine)

We do the jobs other people don't want to do.

-Sidebar "quotable," same article.

And then the article goes on to tell all us xenophobes how great immigration is for America, entirely missing the point by saying that these stories of legal immigrants, "...lost in the contentious debate over immigration...," are somehow representative in the debate over illegal immigration.

Emphasis mine.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dear Voter:

I hope you're having a wonderful summer. So far Wisconsin has enjoyed beautiful weather, allowing us and our visitors to get outdoors and experience our state's unparalleled natural resources. But, as we all know, global warming is seasonal, and far too soon these long, hot days will grow shorter and cooler. Before you know it, you'll be celebrating Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

And let's not forget Election Day.

As many of you may or may not be beware, two great Americans recently announced their withdrawal from a critical election this fall. Though I was disappointed to learn voters had lost the chance to choose from two excellent candidates when voting against incumbent Senator Herb Kohl, I respect their decision. And I'm honored to learn that such distinguished gentlemen have offered their unfaltering support for me as an independent write-in candidate for every election in Wisconsin this year.

Countless seats are open in both state-wide and local elections. In some cases, numerous candidates are already on the ballot. This means voters will need to distinguish between a variety of platforms in many races, often making it difficult to confidently choose a candidate who truly represents you.

You may recall I've indicated my platform is not set in stone, and subject to the desires of whichever constituency I may be selected to represent. However, I feel it only fair to share with you some of my beliefs. Please keep in mind these are neither campaign promises nor examples of an established platform. Rather, consider them campaign platform suggestions.

Yes, some believe taxes are too high. Others say the government needs to tax more. To satisfy both sides of the argument, I suggest that taxes are just right. I'll never vote for a new one and never try to get rid of an existing one.

Stem Cell Research
I'm a strong advocate of technological advancement and the field of stem cell research, particularly for the purposes of cloning. Should I be elected to multiple seats, I will require several clones of myself.

Gun Control
Guns can destroy lives. And deer. And those pesky stop signs. What's important to remember about firearms is that they are only as bad as in whose hands they're held. That's why I support a gun control program I call Gun Redistribution. Gun owners will be required to turn in all of their weapons to me and I will re-distribute them to those who will use them safely, legally and for attacking tin cans. Guns will remain on our streets, but this time, in the right hands.

I will not touch this one with a ten-foot pole for anything less than a $100 million campaign contribution.

Gay Marriage
I believe homosexuals need spend more time with heterosexual married couples. Eventually, they'll be happy they can't get married.

Flag Burning
American's have a Constitutional right to express their beliefs by burning the flag. Just don't try it in front of me.

As I've said, these are merely suggestions. I remain committed to hearing how you would like me to represent you.

Please remember, this fall, write in Casper.


Vader Sessions

This is just too funny. You must watch this. You're getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. Press play.

Iraq...if you ain't there.

I let these videos speak for themselves.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ted Stevens and the Internet

This is the genius we put in charge of things? Fantastic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Slap Me...

If I ever say anything remotely resembling this:

I remember the exact moment when I became a text messager. It was a couple of years ago, and I was running around doing a million things at once. In the middle of the chaos, my girlfriend McConnell called my cell phone in a panic. She needed something to wear to a wedding and she needed it tomorrow. She hated shopping but wanted to find something sexy because her ex-boyfriend was going to be at the wedding.

Conspiracy Theory

I think I finally figured it out: The Catholics invented food poisining. That's right. Know why? Because nothing brings you to Jesus faster than some bad Chicken Tiki Masala. You can quote me on that.

Anyway, just an observation.

Acting Like an Ass Does Not Make You Cool

Maybe it's the defiant nature in me to want to put a Part II to Charlie's post tonight about skanky girls. So here it goes, and I'll call mine, "Acting like an ass does not make you cool."

I am inclined to agree with most of what Charlie has written. There's nothing that irritates me more than a skanky girl acting stupid to get attention. Anyone that knows me also knows that I am very likely to point this fact out to said girls. I bartended on the east side for years, so Lord knows I've seen a fair share of them. My line of note was always, "Acting stupid does not make you sexy. It just makes you stupid."

That said, there is just one part of this whole argument that inevitably guys say although they have absolutely no idea about that which they're talking. Per Charlie's argument, it usually goes something like this: "...especially since few girls that young really understand what teenage boys are really like." Do guys really believe this?

The one double-standard that's always bugged the hell out of me is this idea that teenage girls aren't full of hormones, too. It's like someone somewhere wrote on some wall that boys are the only ones affected by sex, ideas about sex and sexy looking things.

I'm here to state for once and for all that it's just plain crap. Teenage girls are just as horny as any teenage guy I ever knew. We just weren't allowed to be so obvious about it. And hey, bottom line is we have more riding on sex than any guy (especially since this government has decided to limit women's access to birth control). What that amounts to is not that teenage girls are less sexual but rather that girls are just plain better at using judgment than are boys. I suppose if boys had pregnancy on the line, they'd be able to slow themselves down a little, too.

Furthermore, the fact that teenage boys are so often let off the hook for their obnoxious behavior because of their "hormones" only assists those girls who learn that acting skanky is an easy way to get a lot of things. Don't think for a second that these girls don't know what they're doing, because they do.

As a young woman, every girl faces a decision about the type of attention she wants. Some of us don't get to decide: we're just not hot and learn that there are other ways of being noticed. Some of us have that forced on us: we're just pretty and learn at a young age that the only thing people care about when you're a girl is how you look and that can be used to your advatage or you can be used by it. Some of us get into sports and learn that doing is better than watching. Whatever way it goes, all girls know exactly how teenage boys are and they chose to ignore, to use it or to be used by it.

Hence the title to this article, what I like to think of as the other side of the story: Acting like an ass does not make you cool. If some girls act like skanks to get attention, then a whole helluva lot of guys act like complete morons for no other reason than to act like complete morons.

What I really want to know is what guy wrote where that being the loudest, most obnoxious asshole in the room is the coolest thing to do when you're a teenage boy? That one always perplexes me. What's even more vexing is that guys continue to believe this theory well into their twenties and even thirties. Think I'm wrong? Did you go to Summerfest at all? That's what I thought.

So, where did that one come from? Oh let me guess: It's just the hormones.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Carnival of the Badger by Ramon!

The Casper, he is a little overhung from the right drinking, so he has asked me, Ramon!!!!, to do this thingy for him. Of course it will be fabulous!

Personally, Ramon does not read many of the other blogs. It is a hard thing to do and sometimes it makes his head hurt and confuses him because people are not talking about the things that he likes to hear, such as Bermuda shorts and Charro, and are talking about the things like politics and people who are not Charro!

Por ejemplo! Kevin Barrett? Why is he so crazy? Why do people care? Why does he have such a shiny office?

And Ramon is not the only one who does not care. The Nick, he does not care about things or the people either, unless they are the people he does care about. So there!

But some people care what Ramon thinks, like Frederick. He wants to know what I think about Hillary Clinton. Ramon will tell you what he thinks. He thinks she needs to spend some time shopping with Ramon!

Senor Schroeder, and his blog, he, or they, say that someone is running for something that there is no reason to run for. Ramon knows what he is saying. There is no reason to run. Especially if you do not have the right shoes to do so!

One person who cannot run is Mr. Elliot. But he has good ideas. Like his idea to make prisoners do the things that the illegals do. Mr. Elliot has many good ideas and Ramon is sure a fine head of hair!

Sometimes the people they say things that make the people unhappy with the things that the people say. Aaron has done this. But Aaron has made good. Good Aaron!

Meanwhile, the Patrick talks about the Donovan who talks about the McGee who may or may not be the Jackson! Ramon does not think this is the same Jackson who once invited him to a sleepover, but Ramon has been wrong before!

Very rarely does Ramon listen to the women unless it is regarding a recommendation on hair color. However, he has found that some women, such as the sassy Phelony, have some things to say that make sense. Unfortunately, he was disappointed to discover that she was not speaking of fishnets, but rather safety nets.

Another woman who has something to say, but it is confusing because it has big words that hurt his mouth when he tries to utter them, is Miss Tracy, who is happy that those big words are said on the TV!

And somebody has something very nice to say about how the gas and the electricity peoples make themselves look so good is Dan from Madison. Ramon once knew a Dan from Madison. I wonder if it is him!

So that is what the people have to say. Did Ramon do this right? Of course he did! All Ramon does is right! And fabulous!

One last thing, Ramon would like to wish a happy monumental birthday to someone who is a nice person but probably needs a haircut. So, happy birthday!

I am Ramon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I hate you.

Okay, I'm sure that got your attention. Seriously. How often is it that you're told you're hated and don't want to read on?

(For me, the answer is 27 times)

We're hosting the Carnival of the Badger this week. I'd link to how you're supposed to submit, but, you see, there's a problem with that.

I just got home from Drinking Right.


Irregardless, if you've got something you'd like on this week's Carnival, y'know, you should let me know or something.

If you don't, I'll hunt your posts down and mock you.

Cuz, quite simply, that's what I do.

So there.



Rocky Eleventy-Seven

One thing you can't see in the picture to the right is Sylvester Stallone's walker, which ended up being cut out during the cropping process. Why, you might ask, would there be a walker in a in a boxing ring? Because Sly, who turned 60 this past July 6th, is bringing the Italian Stallion back to the big screen with a fifth sequel to the Oscar-winning Rocky.

I'm guessing he didn't want to endure too many jokes, because the film is not entitled Rocky VI. Instead, the movie's called Rocky Balboa. That way, I figure, when he does another sequel, it won't be Rocky VII, but rather Rocky Balboa II.

And next summer we'll get to see Rambo IV, where Stallone attempts to recover VA information from a stolen laptop.

You can see the trailer for Rocky Two-Too-Many here.

Ask Me Later Now: Drinking Right

What is Drinking Right all about?

Kinda sorta this. Without the dog. But with the bourbon.

You get the idea.

(P.S. - Somehow YouTube has this way of picking the worst scene from a video to show as the still. I promise, what you see below is not what this is about!)

(P.P.S. - Get your mind out of the gutter! It's not what you think! After several hours of drinking, sometimes a scratch is just a scratch! And camera angles aren't forgiving!)

Free Market Healthcare

Saying the "free market has failed us in the area of health care" is like claiming the free market has failed America in the arena of automobile ownership.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Why Wait?

JSOnline reported today that:

11-time drunken driver charged again

A West Bend man who has been convicted of drunken driving 11 times has again been charged with driving drunk, this time after allegedly leading police on a chase through Germantown, Menomonee Falls and part of Milwaukee. The chase reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

I've got an idea: Why don't we just give this guy a loaded gun and drop him off right smack in the middle of Summerfest on a Friday night? Why not? Isn't that what happens every time he's released from jail, in a sense? I'm not even going to bother going on and on about this. It's time for reform. Why should we have to wait until this ass murders someone before he's put away for life?

UW and Barretinejad

(The caption at left reads: Ahmadinejad again calls the Holocaust "fake.")

What do UW and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common? They both think it's okay to spread lies about history and to mock millions of people who were affected by a great world tragedy.

And so the drama continues. Today, university provost Patrick Farrell gave the go-ahead for Kevin Barrett to teach "Islam: Religion and Culture" this fall at one of Wisconsin's finest educational facilities, UW - Madison.

Somewhat ironic that when Ahmadinejad made his ridiculous claims about the staging of the Holocaust, the rest of the world came out to condemn his actions. Apparently, UW - Madison doesn't see the similarities between Iran's most embarrassing public outburst since the Hostage Crisis and one of their own. I'd like to have Patrick Farrell take a look at the photos above and see if the resemblance doesn't slap him across the face.

As an American citizen and as a citizen of Wisconsin I am outraged that my tax dollars would support such an offensive and grotesque mission.

In an effort to offset the cost I pay to this slop in taxes, I'll be donating to and I hope you will, too.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Reparation$ Movement

The AP reported today on an alleged "reparations movement" sweeping educational, religious and corporate institutions across the nation. In short, some intellectuals have argued that black people in America need white people in America to confess the sins of their forefathers and pay the ultimate penance: Cash money.

That's a pretty ironic penance given that advocates for reparations claim the purpose is to create a sense of closure through truth, understanding and emotional healing. The AP summarizes, "...neither whites nor blacks will heal from slavery until formal hearings expose the full history of slavery and its effects -- an effort similar to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid collapsed."

I suppose the fact that there is not a single slave still living in this country, nor is there a single slave owner, trader or driver around to apologize doesn't seem to give these people cause to pause. In South Africa, when a mother confronts the man who murdered her family, and he has to answer for what he's done, well that seems to make sense. I can't understand how someone apologizing for what their great great great grandfather may have done to someone's great great great uncle is going to do much. But then, we're back where we started: This is about money.

One voice of reason rang clear in the AP's coverage, "The reparations movement is based on a fallacy that cripples the thinking on race -- the fallacy that what ails black America is a cash problem," said McWhorter, who is black. "Giving people money will not solve the problems that we have."

Not only does his statement reflect the true nature of the so-called reparation$ movement, it also summarizes quite nicely the leftwing band-aid for black america. Perhaps focusing on the future instead of money-grabbing at the past would yield more productive results for those hoping to get somewhere with reparations. In Milwaukee, I'd suggest starting with the teen birth crisis. But hey, what do I know?

Be Right. Be Drinking. Be Cool.

Some of you may or may not be aware of the fact that Drinking Right, rapidly becoming one of the hippest events to hit Milwaukee (and eventually the world...mwahahahahahaha), is this Tuesday at 7pm at McGillicuddy's, and every second Tuesday of every month thereafter.

But I'm sure very, very, very few of you are aware that you can publicize such an event by having your very own Drinking Right gear!

That's right! Drinking Right is now not only something you can do, but something you can wear! And you don't just have to wear it! You can drink out of it, put your mouse on it, or even dress your toddler in it!

Now you won't be able to get your Drinking Right accessories before this coming Tuesday, but it's a whole month before the next one, and withdrawal can be a real pain. So why not drape yourself in the finest t-shirts, hoodies and trucker caps around?

You know you want to. I just know it. I do. I really, really do!

So stop on over at the Ask Me Later/cafepress store and pick up your Drinking Right adornements.

It's sure to be the coolest thing since Kangaroo shoes!

A suggestion for Grothman

Sean Hackbrath of The American Mind makes a good point regarding the recent announcement that Glenn Grothman will take on Herb Kohl in this year's senate race.

With little chance of winning Grothman can say and do things that a more
competitive candidate wouldn't for fear of losing. You can get pretty
creative when you have nothing to lose.

My recommendation to Grothman is that he take a page from my book and expose Kohl for what he is: a do-nothing politician who seems to be playing a role in in running this nation as more of a hobby than out of dedication. The only nice thing I can think to say about Kohl is that he isn't Russ Feingold. Mind you, my definition of nice is pretty loose these days.

We deserve better representation than what Kohl has to offer. Grothman may not have a snowball's chance in hell of giving us that, but he does have the opportunity to expose to voters just how bad it is.

C'mon...what is this...Massachusetts?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Meg Jones: Dispatched

No offense to Meg Jones, but there are just some blog post headlines you don't want going with your picture.

The Environment

I'm a candidate (for anything) who cares.

Al Gore's got nothing on me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Kane Watch: Nice Terrorists

So, after reading about the foiled plan to attack the Holland Tunnell, I got to wondering: Will Eugene Kane take it upon himself to defend these terrorists, too? Since, in the past, Kane has put himself out there as a terrorist expert, going so far as to call the last government intervention "sensational," he must be very adept at judging the threat terrorists groups pose to this country and its citizens. I'm curious as to what he will have to say about this most recent incedent...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I can do it too!

Clint has offered up his own form of solidarity by listing what he's giving up as part of his hunger strike.

Beets? Seriously? Beets?

C'mon...that's just half-assed.

In the history of all mankind, the only people actively eating beets were doing it only because it was the best thing a communist regime had to offer.

Me, I'm giving up bacon.

For the next eight minutes.

Starting yesterday.

(And I really think he should start listening to Air America because, frankly, if there's ever going to be a shock to someone's system, that's it!)

30 Seconds

The first ad more conducive to prime time programming.

Also viewable here.

Who wants ice cream!?!?!

I suppose that depends on where you're getting it.

Phel has made her very first contribution to The S**T List.

Welcome Baskin-Robbins!

NOTE: I should also bring your attention to an addition to The N**E List.

Under a week to get it right

Just a reminder that in less than a week is the July edition of Drinking Right.
I promise, nothing like what you see in this picture will happen.

At least while it's light out.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dum Dum Da Dum!

As I said here, today there would be a big announcement on Ask Me Later.

You can view it below.

If you'd like to spread the word, you can embed this directly from here. may now take off your pants.

Update: It would appear I've somehow unwittingly channeled what from this day forth shall be considered the Kreelian approach to governance. I hope he understands this is only an affirmation to his to school of thought.

Happy Birthday

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"I venture to suggest that partiotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."

"I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country’s, my God’s and Truth’s. I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American."

"Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS…"

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."

"When I die, I desire no better winding sheet than the Stars and Stripes, and no softer pillow than the Constitution of my country."

"Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!"

"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else."

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."

"We can't all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots."

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

"And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home."

"In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead"

"Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Happy our all of us.

For more like these and attributions to what you've read, go here.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm a better videographer than McGee

Seriously...the guy needs to get a better light or something. But that's beside the point.

Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. coordinated "Crenshaw Style" (which essentially means parking the cars) cruising on the streets around Miller Park. He also videotaped the event to demonstrate it can be peaceful. You can check out the story at JS Online's Daywatch and see the video here.

Quite honestly, I have no problem with this. The fact is that a lot of these cruisers have some show-caliber cars, and what's the point in having one if you can't show it off? The only real problem I've always had with cruisers is that they congest a road to the point where non-cruisers simply can't pass. They should have every right to congregate somewhere, but like any other event like this, it should be well-coordinated, pre-planned and not just shoved down the throat of some unsuspecting neighborhood.

When I was in Mississippi last summer, I pulled into a rest area where a small car-show, very similar to what I'm seeing in McGee's video, was taking place. I believe the area was rented, or at least the proper permits were attained. Cruisers, who are ultimately trying to show off their sweet rides, should consider doing the same.

Finally, if you watch the video, tell me: At the very end, is that a cop asking for his keys back?

Something for Independence Eve

Those who would call America its enemy...

To those who claim to love America but then proceed to denigrate its every aspect...

To those who know all of this to be true, but simply need a reminder...

I give you What's So Great About America.

The immigrant cannot help noticing that America is a country where the poor
live comparatively well. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s, when CBS
television broadcast an anti-Reagan documentary, “People Like Us,” which was
intended to show the miseries of the poor during an American recession. The
Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with the intention of embarrassing
the Reagan administration. But it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people
across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans had television sets and
cars. They arrived at the same conclusion that I witnessed in a friend of mine
from Bombay who has been trying unsuccessfully to move to the United States for
nearly a decade. I asked him, “Why are you so eager to come to America?” He
replied, “Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are

[h/t Fark]

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Vikki

I am Ramon! This is all that matters!

By the standards of myself, Ramon thinks the best thing the Journal-Sentinel paper on-the-line thingy has to offer in the world of the blogs is The Vikki. From this day forth Ramon declares that Vikki Ortiz shall be referred to as The Vikki. I am Ramon!

She is the only one who knows how to do the talk. And she is the only one who knows how to do the walk. I have not seen her do the walk, but after a few grasshoppers I am quite the imaginative one.

(That is why the Jellies, they are back.)

She knows the town. She knows good. She knows the bad.

She is The Vikki.

She is not like the Spiffy and Rice. She is the thing that makes me find the pancakes. She is also the thing that makes me think some girls, they are not so bad!

(Even if they question my shoes.)

The Vikki!

Ramon has had his say!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Keep Your Pants On

A heads-up to our 17 readers:

On Tuesday, July 4th, a major announcement will take place.

Right here.

At Ask Me Later.

If you care anything about the life you lead, your family, your job, taxes, the environment, the war on terror, Iraq, Iran, the color of money, whether or not your trash gets picked up, capri pants, jelly shoes, or dogs wearing clothes, you should stop in.

Stay tuned.

A Little Blue...

We've all heard about people having guts or balls. But do you really know the difference between them? In an effort to keep you informed, the definition of each is listed below:
"GUTS" is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to say, "are you still cleaning or are you flying somewhere?"
"BALLS" is coming home late after a night out with the guys smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say, "You're next!"

From The International Rules of Manhood, presented on Strange Cosmos.