Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Al Gore Continues His Struggle to be Important

I don't like to beat up on the guy personally. Al Gore lost the presidency in 2000 when the majority of Americans voted for him to be the president. He has a right to be somewhat bitter, but he said something for the "I invented (edit for my anon reader: "created") the internet" scrap book on the Today show this morning...

"Calling the Iraq war 'the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of
the United States'"

I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Best Rant Ever

I didn't see it live, but from what I've seen from the youtube clips Steve Colbert was in rare form on election night.

Here's the opening clip that's pretty funny...

And here's the rant at the end of the show (it starts at the 2 minute mark but the rest is pretty funny too)...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Security Now!

My lastest article in the University Standard...

Fans of the television comedy Seinfeld remember the episode “The Serenity Now” from the show’s final season. Dialogue from the first scene of that episode reads, “Frank: Doctor gave me a relaxation cassette. When my blood pressure gets too high, the man on the tape tells me to say, 'Serenity now!' George: Are you supposed to yell it? Frank: The man on the tape wasn't specific.” That humorous exchange is built on throughout the episode as George Costanza’s father Frank continues to yell “Serenity Now” to decrease his stress and blood pressure, but the yelling instead just fuels Frank’s anxiety and makes the situation worse. On October 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. The President characterized the new law as “one of the most important pieces of legislation in the War on Terror”, but in reality the MCA is the equivalent of the US government yelling “Security Now!” The Military Commissions Act allows the federal government to take away an American’s basic constitutional rights while claiming to do so for the safety of the country.

The MCA has drawn a lot of attention from the national media as well as international media. Early on, the media focused on the clarifying of the Geneva Conventions’ definition of torture as it applied to the US government’s coercion of “unlawful enemy combatants.” Talk of water-boarding and stress positions was all over cable news, newspapers and Internet blogs. The MCA states, “As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.” In layman’s terms, the President decides what is torture and what is not torture. The current coercion techniques are here to stay until at least 2009. Despite the outcry from the Left, this issue is not as cut and dry as it may seem. These coercion techniques (which some have classified as torture) may bring out information needed to stop terrorist plots and save American lives. On the other side of the coin, how can the United States continue to claim to be morally superior to terrorists and rogue nations when we are using the same type of methods they use? How can we now be outraged and demand justice be done if in the future captured American soldiers are tortured for information?

The new interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Article III by the United States is not nearly as troubling as the potential loss of habeas corpus for American citizens. The MCA clearly eliminates the writ of habeas corpus for aliens of the United States. The laws states, “No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.” This is another gray area. Even though aliens in the past have been given the full protection of the Constitution when being held for a crime, the Constitution makes no mention of the protection of non-citizens.

The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus for non-citizens should not be the main concern however. Sec. 948a. (1) of the MCA states, “UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT – a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.” The President or the Secretary of Defense can declare anyone they wish to be an enemy combatant and hold them indefinitely—including US citizens.

Also, the first half of the unlawful enemy combatant definition is vague: “A person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces).” If a Muslim American citizen gave money to a mosque in Saudi Arabia and the executive branch later decided that mosque helped fund al Qaeda, that American citizen could very well be considered an unlawful enemy combatant and stripped of his constitutional rights.

The Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional. Article 1 Section 9 of the United States Constitution plainly reads, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” There is no rebellion. There is no invasion. Of the 303 Republican members of Congress, only seven voted against the bill (no GOP Senator voted against the MCA). What happened to the Republican Party philosophy of strict interpretation of the Constitution? The MCA is yet another example of the GOP disregarding their conservative principles to maintain power. One of the main reasons the MCA was voted on in late September and signed in mid-October was the GOP wanted to paint Democrats who voted against the MCA as weak on national security only a month before the midterms. Power and the desire to hold onto power continue to corrupt the Republican leadership in Washington.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 puts at risk American’s constitutional rights in the name of security. When President Bush addressed Congress just ten days after the 9/11 attacks he said, “Freedom and fear are at war.” Five years later, it seems fear is winning the war. Trading freedom for security is unacceptable. Legal challenges to the MCA are already being prepared and hopefully the courts will act quickly against this unconstitutional law. If this law is upheld through the judicial process it will be a dark day for Americans and I will have to start yelling “Hoochie mama!”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Breach of Contract

Another article i've written for the University Standard...

With the midterm elections about a month away, I am reminded of the 1994 House and Senate elections. At the time of the ‘94 midterms, the Republican Party had gone 40 years without holding a majority in the House or Senate. The 103rd Congress, which served from 1993 to 1994, had a Democratic Party majority of 258-176 in the House of Representatives and a 57-43 majority in the Senate.

During the fall of 1994, the GOP introduced the “Contract with America”. The contract, which borrowed heavily from the text of President Regan’s 1985 State of the Union address, was written mostly by Texas Representative Dick Armey and publicized and promoted by Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich. Armey and Gingrich’s contract promised floor votes on several pieces of legislation if the GOP were voted into the majority.

The promised legislation in the contract focused on economic issues and congressional reform. In November of 1994, the American electorate voted out of office 34 Democratic incumbents and when the dust had cleared the GOP held a 230-204 majority in the House and a 52-48 majority in the Senate.

This amazing power shift in Washington was fueled by a document that promised Americans responsibility in government and fiscal policy. Despite the success of the Contract with America, the Republican Party over the past 12 years has shifted their focus from responsible spending and a more honest and open legislative branch to religious right pandering and big government.

As stated before, the contract made little mention of moral or values issues. Of the ten different bills promised in the contract, only two have a connection to values—The Personal Responsibility Act and The Family Reinforcement Act.

The PRA was described in the contract as, “Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased AFDC for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs, and enact a tough two-years-and-out provision with work requirements to promote individual responsibility.” This bill was basically welfare reform with a nod toward the problem of teenage pregnancy.

The contract describes the TFRA as, “Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in American society.” The TFRA was the only completely values-focused bill in the contract. The GOP made no mention of abortion, gay marriage, media censorship or gun ownership anywhere in the contract.

Yet, morality and family values are now the focus of the Republican Party that controls both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. The current Congress (109th) has introduced or passed the following bills: Theresa Marie Schiavo's law, Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, We The People Act (states religious freedom, sexual orientation and gay marriage are not in the federal court’s jurisdiction), Constitution Restoration Act (limits the federal judiciary’s jurisdiction in cases involving religious liberty) and Workplace Religious Freedom Act. These issues certainly should be discussed and possibly addressed by making new laws, but are there not more pressing issues in the US?

The Republican controlled Congress has done a complete 180 in terms of fiscal policy and the size of government since the 104th Congress. No two issues were hit more repeatedly in the Contract with America than a responsible fiscal policy and a smaller federal government.

The contract states, “This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money.”

Initially, the GOP made good on its promise. Spending was brought under control and the federal budget actually had a surplus after 2000. Then, President George W. Bush was elected president and federal spending increased dramatically.

Several reasons exist for this sudden increase in spending. President Bush, despite being a Republican in name, is in favor of a larger government while his predecessor President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over” in his 1996 State of the Union address.

Another reason for the increase in federal spending is the GOP-controlled Congress no longer had to worry about an opposition President getting credit for federal programs and policies which they passed. An example of this would be President Clinton’s failed attempts to pass campaign finance reform and health care reform. Both of which were passed (in some capacity) during the Bush Administration.

However, these two reasons are not conclusive. Though spending did not skyrocket until George W. Bush became President, there was a significant rise in spending during President Clinton’s second term in comparison to his first.

September 11th is often cited as a reason for the increased federal spending, but it is often used as a convenient excuse for apologists of the current Republican leadership. The post-9/11 increase in spending has not been only on the national defense or military. Non-defense spending has increased to levels not seen since late 70s and early 80s. The percentage growth of non-defense spending during the Bush Administration has reached levels not seen since the Ford Administration.

Finally, the main reason spending has increased so dramatically since 1995 is the same reason spending was high during the pre-President Regan years: the Republicans have grown comfortable in their seat of power. The only difference is Democrats are supposed to be pro-big government and the GOP is, as the Contact With America continually stated, pro-small government.

Tax cuts are one area in which the Republicans and their current leader President Bush remain close to their conservative roots. The Bush tax cuts have contributed to the current thriving economy, but combined with the increase in spending the tax cuts have also contributed to a ballooning national debt.

Daniel J. Mitchell, PhD of the Heritage Foundation writes, “Regrettably, the benefits of better tax policy have been undermined, especially in the long run, by excessive government spending.” Economics is an inexact science in which many intelligent people disagree, but anyone can understand that the combination of lowering taxes and increasing spending results in debt. A debt which citizens of college age and younger will most likely have the responsibility of paying off through a much higher tax burden than the American workforce has today.

The GOP now focuses on energizing the religious right to win elections rather than responsible spending and honest government. A party that used to proclaim sensibility in fiscal policy has now sacrificed the long-term future of the US economy for the immediate satisfaction of the current robust economy.

Rather then working to reduce federal spending and the national debt, Congress continues to pander to the religious base of the GOP. In this year’s midterms, polls are indicating the Republicans will at the very least lose a significant portion of their majority and possibly become the minority in both the House and Senate.

Moderates and small government conservatives have been alienated at a time when the GOP desperately needs their votes. The time is now for the Republican Party to remember how they became the majority in the first place.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Disappointing Present With a Promising Future

I recently wrote an article for the new metro-milwaukee/uwm University Standard. Check out their website if you have time. Here's my article on the Milwaukee Brewers...

A Disappointing Present With a Promising Future

Think back to September 30, 2005. The Milwaukee Brewers came into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 80 wins and three games to go in the season. The game that night started poorly for the Brewers. They were down 5-0 after five innings and it seemed the quest for a .500 record would have to wait another day. During the next two innings, the Brewers scored six runs capped off by Wisconsin native Damian Miller’s two-run homer which gave the Brew Crew a 6-5 lead. In the bottom of the ninth before a PNC Park crowd of 20,922, closer Derrick Turnbow struck out two of the three men he faced to record his 39th save of the year. Win 81 was in the books. For the first time since 1992, the Milwaukee Brewers would not lose more games then they won. Right fielder and Brewer elder Geoff Jenkins said that night, “It's an awesome, awesome feeling. It's not the playoffs or anything like that, but for us this is kind of our playoffs. It's a great feeling and something to build on for next year."

Fast forward to September 19, 2006. The Brewers lost their 83rd game of the season. Damian Miller, who has battled nagging injuries all year, did not play. Derrick Turnbow pitched one-third of an inning and gave up 1 hit, 3 walks and 5 runs (2 earned). After being down only one run at 3-2 through five innings, the Brewers did not score another run and gave up nine more for a final score of 12-2. Not exactly what Geoff Jenkins or anyone else in Milwaukee were hoping to build to in 2006.What are the reasons for this unexpected turn for the worse in the 2006 season after the promising building block that was the 2005 season?

3. Geoff Jenkins: Jenkins had a solid 2005 season, but it did not translate to a good 2006 season. His batting average in 2006 is .268 – down from 2005’s average of .292. His slugging percentage is .426 – down from .513. His on base percentage is .347 – down from .375. His homeruns and RBI totals currently stand at 15 and 67. In 2005, he finished the year with 25 homeruns and 86 RBIs. Geoff’s statistical drop off hurt the Brewers’ offensive production significantly and rumors circle around Miller Park that this will be Jenks’ last year in Milwaukee. 2006 may be an unfortunate end to his career as a Brewer.

2. Derrick Turnbow: 2006 has become complete and total meltdown for Derrick. The season started well for the Brewers’ ex-closer, but just before the all-star break in July it all unraveled. The statistical free fall for Turnbow has been well documented, but the key has been his lack of control. He still has the hard fastball, but his sometimes inconsistent control has morphed into just downright dreadful control. Over 67 and 1/3 innings last year, Turnbow gave up 24 walks. In 2006, he has given up 36 walks in 53 and 1/3 innings. Somewhere along the way Derrick lost something whether it be mental, mechanical or both. Hopefully, in 2007 he will regain that 2005 magic.

1. Injuries: The biggest reason for the Milwaukee Brewers not building on last year’s success is the injury bug. JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks, Corey Koskie, Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka were all being counted on as key contributors coming into this year and they all have missed two months or more in 2006. Few major league baseball clubs can sustain long term injuries to their starting shortstop, second baseman, third baseman and two starting pitching and still have a winning season.

As the 2006 regular season comes to a close, Milwaukee baseball fans are turning their attention toward next year. Yes, this year was a big disappointment, but reasons for optimism still exist.

3. The Young Guns: Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Billy Hall, and Tony Gywnn Jr. are 26 years old or younger. These are players on the upside of their careers rather than aging veterans (i.e. Geoff Jenkins) who are more likely to see a slide than an increase in their production. They all gained valuable experience this year (some more than others) and Fielder and Hall have already proven that they are legitimate middle of the order run producers.

2. Sheets and Capuano: Ben Sheets seems to be completely recovered from his recent back muscle injury troubles. A full year of both Ben Sheets and Chris Capuano would give the Brewers a legitimate one-two punch in their starting rotation.

1. Doug Melvin: Do not be fooled by 2006’s results. Doug Melvin is one of baseball’s better general managers. Unlike the losing teams of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the 2006 sub-par performance was due more to bad luck and unexpected production drop off from certain players instead of management putting together a bad team. Rest assured, Doug Melvin will turn the Brewers back in the right direction sooner rather than later. The 2006 season is not an indication of the overall direction of the Milwaukee Brewers. They possess the talent and the management to play competitive and entertaining baseball in 2007.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


The national media has made light of the death toll of American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq recently surpassing the number of deaths that occurred in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. My question is why? Why is that a story? Why does that matter? Is the media trying to tell us that somehow this means these military actions are more of a failure or all these young men and women dying more of a tragedy?

Whether they are or not is not the issue. The issue is that this is exactly what it looks like the media is doing. Motives mean little in this area. Whether it is shortsighted and irresponsibly journalism or an elaborate plot does not matter. The media should be going out of its way to avoid even the appearance of spinning military death tolls for political gain. I can understand addressing the milestones (for lack of a better word) of one thousand dead or two thousand dead, but 2,974 is not a story.

Before you accuse me of defending the second gulf war or the Bush Administration, I want to make it clear I'm not a big fan of either. Anyone who knows me would tell you that. 2,973 terrorist attack deaths in one day is a tragedy and 2,974 military conflict deaths over five years is a tragedy, but these numbers miss the greater point. I find it disrespectful to simply reduce the men and women who died on 9/11 and the American soldiers who died giving what Abraham Lincoln said was the "last full measure of devotion" to parts of a simple math problem--2,974>2,973.

Too often we forget the dead soldiers, the victims of 9/11, and their families. However, the greater wrong is that when we are reminded of them and their sacrifice it is often for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Kneel Before Your God Babylon!"

The Comedy Central franchise of Stewart and Colbert made the presentation for the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program emmy last sunday. That presentation was without a doubt the best three minutes of the whole award show.

Here's a little background for those of you who didn't watch the show. The "I lost to Barry Manilow!" line stems from Stephen Colbert losing out to Barry Manilow in the "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program" category. The Wolverine reference after the Manilow line is citing Hugh Jackman also being nominated in that category for his performance as host of the 59th Tony Awards.

On a side note, the voters were on acid this year--at least when it came to voting for the drama categories. 24 winning best drama series and best lead actor in a drama series (Kiefer Sutherland's acting on that show consists of yelling and talking into a cell phone) is a sad day for small screen drama. I watched the entire season of 24 and the show has some of the worst plots, writing (just keeping track of the 100 different uses of the word protocol and you'll begin to understand what I'm talking about), and acting of any show on television. I watched 24 for the unintentional humor that results from how bad the show is. Hopefully Studio 60 will pick up the slack this fall.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dumb and Dumber

Very few people do more harm to the public image of conservatives then Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. I hate being lumped in with these ego maniacs.

A few youtubes for your consumption.

First Ann Coulter on The Big Idea...

What seriously? William Jefferson Clinton is gay? Wow, just wow.

She talks about it further on Hardball...

Notice how the questions from the audience are about 1000x more intelligent then anything then anything that comes out of Ann's mouth.

As far as liberals being "godless", I think its impossible to label a whole group as having no belief in god. Also, if Ann Coulter is a healthy example of what a christian should be, I want to be an atheist.

Apparently the buzz from the "9/11 widows enjoyed their husbands deaths" story had warn off so she decided to go with Bill Clinton is gay to get some attention. What a media whore.

Finally Letterman sums it all up with a little humor...

Now Bill O'Reilly. Countdown has some fun with something he said on his radio show...

Bill O'Reilly has your phone number! This after the liberal countdown host Keith Olbermann schooled him on the "Malmedy Massacre" gaff in late May. Bill is far too moronic to have some many outlets in which to say something stupid on.

Can conservatives who are all over the media stop saying stupid things at least till the midterms are over? Make sure to thank Bill and Ann when Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Last week the US House of Representatives passed HR 4411 otherwise known as the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. This is part of the "Family Values Agenda" being pushed by the GOP to firm up their base for the midterm elections. I have three problems with the bill...

1. I can play poker at my local casino but not on the internet. If the House is going to try to save me from myself, brick and mortar casinos should be closed too. Or how about this? Instead of going after gambling go after big tobacco. I can see how the House in its infinite wisdom looks to save my bank account before my health though.

2. The bill is hypocritical. Horse racing and lotteries are except in this bill. Playing the ponies good? Playing cards bad?

3. Prohibition of gambling doesn't work. Just like prohibition of alcohol didn't work. US government needs to stop playing babysitter and let adults make adult choices.

The following videos feature Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and finally Jon Stewart for a little humor mixed with truth.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Great Game With a Weird Moment

Yesterday the Italians capped off their fourth World Cup title and probably the greatest string of defensive performances the tournament has ever seen. Sure they are divers and injury fakers, but Italy played extremely solid defense game after game and always seemed to find that timely execution for goals.

I guess soccer fans will remember the Germany Italy semi-final as the better game, but the final definitely had the oddest moment. Zinedine Zidane, the Golden Ball winner (MVP) of the 2006 World Cup, completely lost his mind in the second over time. I think this picture really says it all.

So the greatest sporting event in the world ends and the four-year wait begins. This really was a great world cup with tons of memories. The only problems I had were the refs taking over games with fouls and cards and many players treating the soccer pitch like a swimming pool. Just because a player falls doesn't make it a foul. Hopefully FIFA refs will let only the players decide who wins in South Africa (yes S. Africa. And you thought Japan/South Korea was a stupid host choice).

Congratulations to the Italian team and their fans.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Have you ever read the first two paragraphs of the declaration of independence? I would hope most Americans have. I would hope most have read the whole thing really, but the first two paragraphs are gold. If you have never read the document or haven't in awhile, you should give it a look.

Sometimes I wonder, because I'm a bit of a history nerd, what Jefferson thought as he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Could he imagine the spark that these words and that document as a whole struck would set off the explosion of not only revolution and independence for those 13 small colonies but also the start of revolutions across all of Europe? Could he imagine that those self-governing 13 colonies would become a nation that would one day save the British and rest of Europe from fascism and make the very country it once sought to be separated from safe for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

In a time of ballooning national debt, a long and costly war, a shrinking middle class, and an immigration crisis which still is left without permanent solutions, I find a nice escape in thinking of 18th century America. I also can not help but compare today's leaders with the ones during this nation's infancy. Where are the Jeffersons, Washingtons, Madisons, Hamiltons, and Marshalls?

We are a nation that faces real problems without leaders with real answers. 2,500 brave men and women and thousands more innocent civilians have died in a war with no clear objective or end. Our national debt continues to grow and no one in Washington seems concerned. Thousands of illegal immigrants continue to flood across our border and Congress continues to move at a snails pace on the issue. Who is rising up to meet these challenges?

More then ever we need leaders who are forward thinking and it is our responsibility as "the governed" to hold our leaders accountable for their acceptance of the status quo. On this day of celebration of the United States' past, be mindful of the future. Think toward the fall elections and begin to examine the candidates. In this time as much as any in recent history we need leaders with vision.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Poker, poker, its all skill...

start with the worst hand and go up hill.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 2998422

If you like playing poker and have a blog give it a try. Can't hurt, its free.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Say What?

Finally sign language that I can understand.

Special thanks to Eric McCabe for bringing this video to my attention

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Night That TV Died

In the legendary song American Pie, the phrase "the day that music died" is used several times. The song and that phrase referred to the tragic death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash. Don McLean equated Holly's accident to the death of music. As I watched the final credits of The West Wing, I made a similar connection between this series finale and TV's demise.

The West Wing began its seven-year run in 1999. Tonight that run ended. I personally did not start watching the show regularly until near the end of the first season, but after I did I was instantly hooked. The show was funny, intelligent, and thought provoking and along with the superior writing and acting, it became a hit.

Aaron's Sorkin's brainchild had a combination of realism and idealism. The nuts and bolts of politics and law making were accurate, but The West Wing also possessed a idealism about Washington. Bipartisanship and people in government who actually wanted to do what was best (in their minds) for America were the centerpieces of the show. I found this refreshing when compared to the doom and gloom of scandal and partisanship that is often seen in Washington. The West Wing, in many ways, was a look at what our government should be.

Of course many complain about the liberal bias in the show. I would argue it is impossible and unrealistic to make a show that would portray a completely moderate white house. Also, anyone who has watched the West Wing consistently knows that conservative viewpoints have been presented in a positive light as well. Besides, people who base their political viewpoints on what Martin Sheen said as the fictional President don't have the brainpower to remember what he said an hour later.

So why is this the day (or in this case night) that TV died? Consider what shows the NBC broadcast of the series finale was up against. CBS: Survivor (Reality), Fox: The Simpsons (Cartoon), ABC: Extreme Makeover-Home Edition (Reality), USA: Monk (Cop Show), UPN: America's Next Top Model (Reality). Most likely, The West Wing will finish in the bottom half of those shows in terms of ratings. Why? Because Americans watch dirty people fight for a million dollars, humorous cartoons, a guy yelling into a megaphone, a funny cop solving crimes, and beautiful skinny people over intelligent writing and great acting. 95% of network TV is a reality show, a cartoon, a cop show, or courtroom show. The other 5% needs sex and violence to get ratings.

The West Wing was unique in that it fit in none of those categories and did not use sex and violence to draw viewers. With The West Wing gone, TV has become nothing but brain numbing entertainment and that is why tonight was the night TV died.

Stupid entertainment eventually won over intelligent entertainment, but The West Wing fought the good fight for seven years and for those seven years I am thankful.

I leave you with some of my favorite West Wing quotes.

"So, five White House staffers in the room. I would like to say to the 1.6 of you who are stoned right now that it's time to share."

"The Democrats aren't going to nominate another liberal, academic, former Governor from New England. I mean, we're dumb, but we're not that dumb." "Nah, I think we're exactly that dumb."

"I'm going to make a suggestion, which might help you out. But I don't want this gesture to be mistaken for an indication that I like you."

"Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That's how they get in the door in the first place."

"I wasn't calling you a fool, sir, the brand new state of Georgia was."

"The President has asked Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn to run these meetings, so it's entirely possibly that by week's end we'll have alienated Christians, China, and our own government."

"You know what word should be Yiddish but isn't? Spatula. Also, farfetched."

"Could I have a couple of aspirin, or a weapon of some kind to kill people with?"

"Yet it feels strange to score political points by doing the right thing… I'm victim to my own purity of character."

Prices & Poverty

While browsing YouTube, I came across this nugget. A report on Lou Dobbs about the facts regarding the need (or lack thereof) for low paid illegals to do labor on farms. Good stuff.

On a side note, I found it funny when Lou Dobbs gave us a short history of his farming days. Picturing Dobbs picking veggies makes me laugh.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


The Colbert Report is one of the funniest shows on tv. Some of the finest satire out there today. Steve Colbert, host of the Report and former reporter on the Daily show, shows the stupidity of the cable news talking heads (ie O'Reilly) by simply acting like them to the extreme.

This clip is from one of his formidable oppenent segments.


YouTube is offically my favorite site. Funny video on immigration...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Get Down!

World's Worst Dancer. Also notice he's sitting alone. There's a reason for that.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I'm confused. Why is it a Mexican's right to work in the United States? Why should the United States show mercy and favoritism to a group of people who don't respect American law?

This seems simple to me. These illegals (yes that's what they are illegal immigrants i.e. law breakers i.e. criminals) are no doubt hard working people who just want a better life for themselves and their families. However, they are breaking the law to do so. A purse snatcher in central park New York City may be desperate for money to feed his family, but if he is caught he is punished.

Why on this issue is breaking the law not only supposed to ignored, but looked at as noble? We're not talking about breaking Jim Crow laws or some like that. Speaking of the civil rights movement, in the pictures above you notice a hispanic young man holding a sign that says, "I have a dream." How completely disrespectful of him. To compare this to the Black struggle for equality is unreal. African Americans are here because their ancestors were forced into our country. They didn't sneak across the border. They took the middle passage and then were forced to do labor without pay. How are these situations even comparable? Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr. etc... fought being born into a country that treated them as second class citizens. The only thing these noble illegals are fighting are the border patrol and US immigration.

Also notice in the pictures all the Mexican flags. Yes I know there are American flags at these demonstrations too, but clearly these people consider themselves Mexicans first.

I'm confused. I almost feel like I'm wrong like I'm missing something. The facts are so simple in my mind, I don't know why there is even a debate.

So far in the battle between pro-security/law vs. hispanic pandering is being won by team pander. Why? Why does a group that can't vote control the immigration agenda in Washington? Are Democrats and Republicans so desperate to get the hispanic vote that they will do anything to get it?

I have a whole lot of questions, but not many answers.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


It is hard to believe that a Republican leadership that is constantly talking about values and about faith would put forth such a mean-spirited piece of legislation. It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures, because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself. We need to sound the alarm about what is being done in the Congress.

Is that crazy Pat Robertson at again? Nope, its former first lady, current senator, and well know Bible scholar Hillary Clinton. What has American become when even the Good Samaritan is a criminal?! On a side note, the Good Samaritan is a fictional character in a parable. Hillary might as well have said this bill would criminalize Superman because he isn't really an American citizen. Also when it comes to Jesus, I'm pretty sure Dubya would work out a visa for him for no other reason then to pacify the religious right.

What bill is Mrs. Clinton referring to? H.R.418--REAL ID Act of 2005 was authored by James Sensenbrenner, a republican representative from my state of Wisconsin. The title of the bill states...

To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.

Obviously the text of the bill contains more, but that is a summary of the basics. The major point of contention seems to be "to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal." Democrats are arguing that hard working illegals that pose no threat to security will be punished as felons.

Minority leader Harry Reid-D NV is ready to fight this one to the bitter end...

If Leader Frist brings a bill to the floor that does not have the approval of the Judiciary Committee, it will not get out of the Senate

He also said he would, "use every procedural means at my disposal." Basically if the republicans bring it to the floor of the senate the democrats will filibuster. Before I called President Bush a hypocrite over the now failed (yes!) port deal. Now I have to do the same for senators Clinton and Reid. If the security of our ports is important, certainly the security of the southern border is just as important.

On the not surprising at all news front, Mexico opposes the bill...

We oppose those measures and that our migrants be denied drivers' licenses. We're against building any wall between our two countries because they are walls that increase our differences.

-Interior Secretary Santiago Creel.

Don't you love it when a government that can't keep its citizens from fleeing the country and whose economy is largely made up of the drug trade tells another country how to do things? I'm all for increasing our differences. The main one: our government isn't a complete joke and yours is.

Ted Kennedy and John McCain have co-authored a similar bill which eliminates the HR 418 penalties to current illegals. My guess is that is the bill that will eventually become law. Either way dealing with the Mexican border is long overdue. I prefer the Sensenbrenner bill despite the claim its too harsh. These people might be nice and hard working, but they broke the law and they knew they were.

Let the pro-security vs. hispanic pandering battle begin!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Free Agent

I've done posts on national security, presidential elections, inspirational stories....blah blah blah. Time for an entry on something that matters---Green Bay Packer football. As most males (and probably a majority of females) in Wisconsin, I was raised a Packers fan. You don't miss a game and you're passionate about the results. Yelling at the TV is optional, but encouraged. The Bears and Vikings do indeed suck.

I was fortunate to be born when I was in terms of the Packers. From age 8 to 20, I knew nothing but winning football. Well there was the one year Ray Rhodes was coach, but I'm pretty close to completely erasing that from my brain. I watched a Super Bowl victory. I've seen a first ballot hall of fame quarterback start 250+ straight games. I watched the greatest defensive end in NFL history play from my favorite team. I've seen many division titles and 3 MVP seasons.

Unfortunately last season I saw something I haven't seen since I was 7---a losing season. The Packers went 4-12. As in four wins and twelve loses. 12 out of 16 weeks of the NFL season I had to go through 3 hours of torture and the anger and depression that comes afterward. Yeah I know I care too much, but there's nothing that many Packer fans or I can do it about it. It may just be a game and I don't play or actually lose or win anything based on the result, but it just matters.

I don't want to go through the 70's and 80's like my father and grandfather did. I've heard the horror stories. The Packers being a doormat for the Bears and Vikings again would not be good for my emotional state. One thing that kept me going during the season was the upcoming offseason. All the teams are 0-0 again and in the NFL quick turnarounds aren't unheard of. Also the Packers came into free agency with more cap room then any other NFL team and they have a top five pick in the draft. Things were looking promising.

Free agency is about a week and a half old and the Packer signed two free agents of atleast some note from other teams---Ryan Pickett and Marquand Manuel. Not exactly Lavar Arrington and Terrell Owens. So day by day free agents are being signed while the Packers and relatively new GM Ted Thompson sit on their pile of cash.

Yes, there is still plenty of time for the Packers to pick up some players and the draft is still coming up, but I'm worried that this rebuilding process is going to be a long one. Bottom line, this team can not just sit on it's hands and do nothing. Time for Ted Thompson to sign some players who are going to help this team.

Failure is not an option.

Oh yes, and the Bears Still Suck.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Ok enough with the political stuff for one post--time for a story that will make you feel good. First a little plug for a cool site I check out every time I am online and that brought this story to my attention. Deadspin is a major sports themed blog that is updated daily by talented and funny writers. The site's writers not only publish and commentate on the major sports stories, but also find obscure stories that you will not find on or cbssportsline. Check it out if you have the time.

Jason McElwain is a high school senior from New York. Like many high schoolers, he enjoys basketball. He would have loved to play for his high school team Greece Athena, but Jason is autistic. Instead Jason helped out as team manager. Finally in the last home game of his senior year his coach Jim Johnson decided to reward Jason for his dedication and allow him to suit up for the game, but Greece Athena was in a meaningful game and there was no guarantee Jason would see action. With four minutes left and Jason's team up big, coach Johnson called his number.

What happens next is truly remarkable and hard to do justice with words. These videos show the story much better then I could tell it. On the right hand side click the most popular tab and have a look.

The first link no longer works. Here's one that should work for

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bush's Perplexing Port Stance Continues

Beep Beep Beep.....This off the wires......Bush administration refuses to admit mistake or listen to any kind of reasonable alternative view. This Deja vu?

What is going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? As this situation gets more and more bizarre, I become more and more worried about what Bush and his advisors are thinking at this point. This is either stupidity in it's simplest form or there is something to this story that has yet to come to light.

First this little revelation...

WASHINGTON President Bush wasn't aware that shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports were being sold to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until after his administration had approved the deal, the White House said Wednesday.

Susan Page, USA TODAY

Ah WHAT?!?

We believe once Congress has a better understanding of the facts and the safeguards that are in place that they will be more comfortable with the transaction moving forward.

Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary

Hopefully a "better understanding" then Bush had once it was approved. I feel dizzy.

It shouldn't have happened, it never should have happened... The quicker the Bush administration can get out of the deal, the better... There's no question that two of the 9/11 hijackers came from there and money was laundered through there... From our point of view, we don't want foreigners controlling our ports. From their point of view, this is a legitimate company that had a legitimate bid and won, and here are all these congressmen saying all these things about not wanting this company. It looks to them like it's anti-Arab.

Thomas Kean, former R-Gov. New Jersey; Chairman of the 9/11 Commission

Someone hold me.

Kean makes an interesting point. Not only is it potentially harmful in the future in terms of security, but is definitely harmful now in public relations with the Middle East. Bush is making the valid concerns of Congress look like simple racism. Great, now this is harmful on more then one level.

Not really shocking that the UAE gave 100 million for Katrina Relieft which may have greased the wheels on this deal a little bit, but I think there is more to this story. I'll keep my one reader (maybe) updated.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


It has been awhile since I have posted on this thing. Even though no one reads it, I figured it would be a good way to fill time with not being in school this semester.

President Bush is in the sixth year of his presidency and has yet to veto any kind of bill. With republican control of both houses for almost all those years, on the surface that is not really surprising. Also consider the recent history of the veto. Democrat Bill Clinton served as President during a Republican majority in congress for most of his 8 years in office and only used the veto 37 times.

So I guess Dubya is getting antsy because he is threatening to dust off the old executive veto power if a certain issue does not go his way. Increased unnecessary spending? Yeah I know, that was a funny one. No it is not a pork bill. Actually the bill has to do with national security. Makes sense, this was a big reason the American people reelected Bush II. So what is that irresponsible congress up to? Cut of national/homeland security? Nope. Congress too lenient on immigration? Try again. Border control? Warmer.

Recently the Bush administration approved the sale of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company to Dubai Ports World. Ok, so what is the big deal? Well the sale of this London company means that Dubai Ports World, a company run by the state of the United Arab Emirates, will be running the operations of major ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. One red flag is raised.

The United Arab Emirates is not Iran, but there should be some concern. Even though we are not talking about Iran or North Korea here, the UAE is not exactly Canada.

Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

Two red flags raised.

Ok on the surface this looks bad, but Joe Citizen does not know what the President or members of congress know. The opposition is just probably the Dems and a few Republicans that have a grudge with the White House trying to make the administration look bad...

"We must not allow the possibility of compromising our national security due to lack of review or oversight by the federal government."--House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois

"overly secretive process at the federal level."--Gov. Robert Ehrlich, R-Maryland

"The administration should freeze the contract ... until a full and thorough investigation is carried out,"--Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y (Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee)

"It's unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history, four years after 9/11, to entertain the idea of turning port security over to a company based in the UAE who avows to destroy Israel," --Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina

Of course the usual suspects of Hillary, Schumer, and the rest of the left are jumping on this, but when in this era of bitterness between parties it is shocking the left and right can agree on anything. Three red flags raised.

Well the President Bush has threatened a veto if congress acts to stop this sale, but why? Here are some quotes on his reasoning behind it.

"It sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world,"
--The good track record of hating Israel and being a hub of smuggling in the Middle East?

"I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction, but they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully."
--Ah the trust us we have looked into it argument.

"They ought to listen to what I have to say about this. They'll look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do. But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it with a veto."

So the question is why does Bush make his stand here? It is curious. This certainly conflicts with his wire tapping arguments. Better safe then sorry when it comes warrentless wire taps, but hey the ports will be fine. Bush has looked into this, that should be good enough for the American people and their representatives in congress. I swear Dubya is asleep at the wheel. Bush continues to disappoint most real conservatives over and over again.

Bravo Congress, make the President use his first veto on this or better yet override it.