Friday, January 12, 2007


Doesn’t it strike you as inappropriate that Republican lawmakers and conservative talk show hosts who stridently backed the President and the course he’d staked out in Iraq, and condemned as traitors anyone who questioned his policies, now are questioning his policies, but only after an election in which the public overwhelmingly spoke against the course of action chosen by this President.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

No Room for Hate

This is so wrong and F. James Sensenbrenner is partially to blame. Rather than come up with a legitimate plan to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, Sensenbrenner and his racist cohorts instead fueled the fires of bigotry for votes and now it’s getting out of control. A Texas pizzeria decides to accept pesos because 60% of its clientele is Mexican and suddenly they're hit with death threats.

The problem is national. Just the other day, here in Wisconsin, one local blogger referred to Mexicans as “chattering Chihuahuas” and said he told them off at a local Wal-Mart because they were not speaking English. This same blogger says he is not anti-immigration, but is anti-illegal immigration. Yet, he insulted a group of people without determining whether they were here legally or not (not that insulting anyone is okay).

Fortunately, not all conservatives react this way. James Wigderson, author of the blog Wigderson Library and Pub, rightly sees this as a problem and has no qualms exposing this behavior.

Let’s hope others everywhere have the same cojones.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bring Our Brave Troops Home ... Now

Twice before the Bush administration has tried to quell sectarian violence in Iraq by sending in more troops. Both times these efforts failed miserably and the only result was an increase in the cost in human life to both innocent Iraqis and to our brave, but misused troops.

Now, Bush wants to embed American troops with Iraqi units. This didn't work for the German troops in WWII who were mixed in with their hapless Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian brethren. It sure as hell won't work now.

Bush is acting like a desperate man who sees his place in history going down in flames.

Bring the troops home!

Joke of the Day

I like good jokes. The problem is once the joke as been told to me, I promptly forget it (other than two ... for another time). Anyway, it dawns on me that this blog is a perfect place to store these jokes. So, without further adieu ... here is the first from my friend Linda, who nows lives all the way down south in Atlanta ... no, Alabama (that's an inside joke).

The Godfather

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of ten million bucks.

His bookkeeper is deaf., which is the reason he was hired in the frst place. The Godfather assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not hear anything that he might have to testify about in court.

So anyway, when the Godfather goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing ten million bucks, he brings along his attorney who happens to know sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the ten million bucks he embezzled from me is."

The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is.

The bookkeeper signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."

The attorney tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper's temple and says to the lawyer, "Ask him again!"

The attorney signs to the bookkeeper, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him!"

The bookkeeper signs back, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo's backyard in Queens!"

The Godfather asks the attorney, "Well, what'd he say?"

The attorney replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."

It Could Happen To You

A blogger named Spocko has been shut down by his Internet provider ostensibly because ABC Radio complained. The reason why ABC Radio complained is because Spocko

“… began spotlighting inflammatory rhetoric common to several talk radio hosts on KSFO, an ABC Radio-owned station in San Francisco. Spocko compiled a litany of examples on both his weblog, Spocko's Brain, and in numerous letters to corporations advertising on KSFO. He noted that KSFO hosts had claimed to have put "a bull's-eye" on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), advocated hanging various New York Times editors, called for the murder of millions of Muslims, and so on. This letter-writing campaign apparently got results, as major advertisers such as MasterCard, Bank of America, and Visa reportedly pulled their ads from the station.”

Listen to the YouTube piece below, which has been posted in support of Spocko and his right to call conservative blowhards on their evil machinations.

The reason that Spocko was shut down is because for these big corporations it is truly all about the advertising dollar. Wonder why the JournalSentinel has taken a decided turn to the right? Come on, don’t be so clueless. It’s because profits were dwindling and they decided to jump on the conservative bandwagon. Too bad it’s broken a spoke.

These blowhards and their cousins here in Wisconsin, Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling, Patrick McIlheran, Jessica McBride, etc., don't, fortunately, speak for all those with conservative beliefs. There are quite a few who are decent people. But, there are too many that go along for the ride and get caught up in the rhetoric. One recently referred to a group of Mexicans speaking their own language at a local Wal-Mart as "chattering chihuahuas." He has claimed he is only anti-illegal immigrant. How did he know these people were not here legally?

It's time for hateful conservative rhetoric to end.

More on this at Crooks and Liars.

Lily Munster Passes Away at 84

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bear/Packer Relations Improved in 2006


By Marjorie Rock

Life is going too fast, it’s going out of control!. I don’t know what is wrong. It’s as though inside my head is going millions of miles a minute while on the outside I am standing stock-still. I can’t seem to get into a groove. I barely accomplish any of the things that are whiling through my mind. My arms and legs are like lead. My back is tired of trying to hold up my neck and busy head. When did this happen?

I think I just grew old!

Oh how I long for the days when my body was under my control. I was the Queen. I would command and my body would follow. The Queen would say, “It’s time to dance!” And off my body would go – “time step – shuffle off to Buffalo – do the riff step – and now break into the soft shoe, turn to the left four times – turn to the right four times, one more time step, cross-over, one-two-three and bow! “Now do it again” she would bellow!”

Where did I get the idea that my body would be immune to this ‘aging disease.’ Why I thought it was going to continue forever. What a cruel joke to have a mind that is still young, full of so many ideas. And then to have a body that is practically frozen in place.

When I allow myself to meditate for awhile, I can harness the energy in my mind and watch the pictures fly past my inner eye. I see my childhood, my grandparents - parents. I am going to school - kindergarten, grade school, high school, graduation. Right after graduation I came close to dying. I had planned on going to college to become an art teacher. However, I put it off for a year with the intention of making some money to help pay for my schooling – the truth was: I was scared of life. So in no time at all, while looking for the ‘easier, softer way,’ I managed to get married. We moved seven times in the first eight years and during this time, I had five children. I was full of energy and loved to daydream. I would dance with my children and chase them around the house.

After twenty three years of marriage, we divorced. My children were grown mostly. They were dancing on their own. I started another period of my life – I felt renewed. I had hope again; and in my fertile mind – a picture of a bright, though unknown future. I supported myself as a counselor, and I had married again. I didn’t get to dance as much as I would like – I sat a lot. However, in ten years or so, I was on stage having the time of my life – feeling inspired and fulfilling much of the creativity that would rush into my mind. I was in love and I was in love with life. It was going to last forever! But then cancer came to visit – however it was only a bump in the road. In two and one half weeks after surgery, I was back on stage, in costume and make-up – nothing to worry about. I was alive! Chemotherapy, radiation therapy – I couldn’t’ stop – I had a life to live – I had to make money. “I will heal, I will be all right.”

Then came retirement and dreams of traveling, doing community theatre – acting, directing, choreographing, painting, writing.

Three years of illness brought all these dreams to a grinding halt. It’s interesting how the illnesses lasted just long enough to use up nearly all of the energy I had left for wanting to live. I just ran out of juice. AND so here I am – sitting with my buzzing head – wanting so much to be a vital part of life and my body is slowing down.

Today I had a glimpse of my future. An 88 year old friend is in the hospital with compression fractures in her spine. In the past, I have said to her: “When I grow up I want to be just like you.” However, right now she is suffering with terrible pain. This is the same pain my mother had just before she died. So, reality says to me, “Marge, this is the dance of life.” It’s as though there is a veil that prevents us from seeing and hearing this most of the time. Apparently, we are meant to live in the NOW – in the moment. But now and then I do get a glimpse - a reminder that life here in this body is temporary; a reminder to take care of myself to the best of my ability and to surrender to the Will of God. There is no point in fighting. As my mother would say, “Marjorie, it’s rather like being at the head of a long, long line of humanity. We are all marching along. I am coming closer and closer to the edge of the cliff and those behind me aren’t stopping and they don’t care…. soon I will be the next to go.” And so she did and so it goes.

Just for today this is my story. Tomorrow this story may change. Tomorrow I may focus on another part of my life – my quest, my searching – along with the question, “What indeed am I searching for?” I have to smile as I realize that all we have are our stories – they often don’t have much to do with the “reality” – they just fit the view we hold of our lives and mostly to justify some behavior. History is rewritten again and again to help explain the past from our own point of view. When I have an opportunity to read or hear about the same period of recent history written from another point of view, I wonder, “Where was I?” It’s then I realize again, we all have a story and that’s all it is. There may be some facts that are truth, but the interpretation around these facts is just a story – a story often carefully honed by us until it’s just right and puts us in the light we would like to be seen, often a sympathetic light but sometimes not – depending on our mood.

Wisdom tells me, as I read histories, biographies, traditions from various countries, listen to preachers, teachers, counselors and doctors and politicians, read the results of investigations, newspapers, watch TV – its best I remember to say, “Maybe so and maybe not.” AND wisdom also reminds me that when most of us finish doing our thing – it’s best we add “That’s my story and I am sticking to it.”

The Neocons Did It

Bank robberies increased in Wisconsin in 2006. Using wingnut logic, the rise in robberies must have been the fault of Republican policies because they did hold power in the legislature. Governor Doyle could not have done anything about it, his ability to do so hamstrung by intransigence on the parts of conservatives.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Doing a Pilate

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Doing the Job of the MSM ... Hah!

There is a great article by Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory about the utter lack of credibility possessed by the right-wing blogosphere. He writes:

Packs of right-wing bloggers spent the last several weeks trying to destroy the credibility of Associated Press's war reporting by claiming that one of its sources, an Iraqi policeman named Jamil Hussein, does not exist, that AP simply invented him. As it turns out -- and as AP itself had the great pleasure of reporting (and then rubbing in the face of its irresponsible, taunting accusers) -- the Iraqi Government, which previously denied it, now acknowledges that Jamil Hussein does exist and he is a police officer in Iraq, just as AP reported accurately.


There is more to the story. It’s best just to link over there and follow up yourself. However, the main point I want to cover is that what Greenwald says is true nationally is also true here in our own little corner of the blogosphere. Not only do right-wing blogs insanely leap to erroneous conclusions on a regular basis, they are also, as Greenwald says:

… wrong over and over and over -- and not just in error, but embarrassingly so, because so frequently their claims are transparently, laughably absurd, and they spew the most righteous accusations without any sort of evidence at all. The New Republic has its Stephen Glass and The New York Times has its Jayson Blair. But those are one-off incidents. The right-wing blogosphere is driven by Jayson Blairs. They are exposed as frauds and gossip-mongerers on an almost weekly basis. The only thing that can compete with the consistency of their errors is the viciousness of their accusations and their pompous self-regard as "citizen journalists." (bf mine)

These right-wing bloggers love to piously masquerade around as "media watchdogs," keeping a watchful eye on the "MSM" and compelling them to adhere to facts. And ever since their involvement in the use by Dan Rather of fraudulent documents, and then heightened by Charles Johnson's
oh-so-monumental observation that a Reuters photograph of Lebanon had been photoshopped to give the appearance of more smoke during an Israeli air strike on Beirut, the media has largely recited this storyline.But they are nothing of the sort. Nobody is less interested in media accuracy than they are. Correcting media mistakes is so plainly not their agenda. They are nothing more than hyper-partisan hysterics who jump on any innuendo or rumor or whispered suspicion as long as it promotes their rigid ideological views and political loyalties and hatreds.

Here in SE Wisconsin we have our own righties whose claim they are here to do the job of the MSM is so hilarious. Just recently, during the last election, they were fed a load of crap regarding some documents that mysteriously appeared supposedly indicting the Democrats for plotting dastardly deeds and, like sheep, they nodded their heads and repeated the story until … oh, oh, everyone discovered it was not true. Suddenly, sites like Texas Hold ‘em Blogger and most notoriously, Boots and Sabers, were sent scrambling to cover their butts.

Instead of accepting any blame, they blamed the source of their woes. For someone claiming to do the job of the MSM, there surely was a lack of confirmation that the blarney was true. Pomposity levels (and testosterone levels) dropped a little that day.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. The beauty of blogging is it’s free and one is free to spew stupid things like the trash tossed about by Michele Malkin, InstaPundit and our own Jessica McBride.

Just don’t claim you was had when you’re had and expect sympathy … no one will accept your pleas of innocence.