(And since he probably will immediately get 10 times the readers I do, he is now obligated to link to me on a weekly basis.)
I often ridicule progressive author John Nichols’ various columns, but I can’t say I disagree with a single word of this one.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has apparently prioritized turtle safety as a big issue this summer – they are asking motorists to stop their cars and pull turtles off the road if they see them:
Turtle nesting is underway in Wisconsin
MADISON â€“ Anyone traveling Wisconsin roadways has likely seen the broken shells and other soft pieces of a once living turtle. Some are of the small painted turtles, while others are large snapping turtles. Their misfortune is the result of them trying to cross the road to find food, mates, or especially at this time of year, suitable nesting sites.
Turtles grow slowly in northern climates, according to Bob Hay, an amphibian and reptile biologist with the Department of Natural Resources…
â€œIf you see a turtle on the road — and only if itâ€™s safe to do so — carefully pull over and help the turtle to the side of the road it is facing,â€ he says, but cautions that people should never put themselves or other drivers at risk when stopping.
When helping an aggressive turtle — such as a snapping turtle — off the road, the safest way to avoid being bitten is to gently drag it across the road by it tail, leaving the front feet on the pavement. It may help to use a stick that the turtle can bite, allowing one to grab the tail more safely.
So let’s just back up, here.Â First of all, the only way I’m helping a turtle is if the turtle agrees to drag me to the hospital when I get hit by another car.
Secondly, as mentioned in the release, turtles are mean.Â There isn’t a turtle that would hesitate to peel your wig back if it had fingers.Â And free will.Â So when a turtle bites your finger off, are you supposed to lay on the road and wait for a bunny rabbit to come by and sew it back on?Â Is that the natural order of roadside assistance?
Plus, everyone knows that the best way to protect turtles is to allow them to carry concealed firearms.
The best part of the release is the final line:
People should also be aware that the turtle season is closed until July 15 each year, so picking turtles up off the road as pets or for food is illegal. Anyone who observes this being done should contact the DNR hotline at 1-800-TIPWDNR (1-800-847-9367).
Now wait – I’m expected to pull over and save a turtle, but what do I get in return?Â I can’t either eat him or put a little army helmet on him and have him play with my G.I. Joes?
Man, the DNR sure is bossy.
Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel features an article about how the Brewers are trying to make inroads with their female fan base by… offering more Brewer-related women’s clothing. (A male friend of mine suggested they could make more inroads with men by featuring Caitlin Suess more prominently – something I wouldn’t have noticed, of course, since I am married.)
Some professor of “women buying sports clothes” or something is quoted:
“They know women are just as much a fan as men are . . . ,” Reamy said. “Women are demanding this type of look, and they want it to be a more feminine look.”
First of all, let’s dispel this myth that women as a whole are equal in intensity to male fans. There, of course, are some women that are crazy Brewer and Packer fans. But for the most part, women go to Brewer games to drink and socialize. In fact, women are a large reason teams are building new stadiums – they are trying to attract people who aren’t all that interested in watching the game by offering more off-field options in the stadium. Actual baseball fans were fine with sitting in County Stadium and watching the game.
Furthermore, this idea of women as equal sports fans to men is contradicted higher up in the same article:
“But perhaps the best reason to pitch to women is having an exciting team that’s drawing national attention – especially a young team populated with attractive single men.”
So wait – I thought women were these big Brewer fans: but they go to games to ogle J.J. Hardy’s butt? I consider myself a die-hard Brewer fan, but I honestly haven’t ever gone to a game in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Bill Hall’s undulating cheeks.
My research on the “hotness” of the Brewers led me to the Channel 6 “Hottie of the Week” contest, which once featured J.J. Hardy. It seems I may be underestimating the physical allure of the Brewers’ soon-to-be-All Star shortstop. (If I were unscrupulous, I would make a joke about how a lot of ladies wouldn’t mind seeing Hardy go “deep into the hole,” but my impeccable morals won’t allow me to peddle such filth.)
Of course, now that I think about it, I might actually prefer watching the Brewers play the rest of the season naked than watching Derrick Turnbow pitch a single more inning.
Senator Mike Ellis and Representative Dean Kaufert have teamed up on an important new bill, which will allow the police to view library surveillance video without a court order. The need for the bill stems from this episode, which they describe in the co-sponsorship memo:
An incident at the Neenah Public Library highlighted the need to change the statute. The Neenah Public Library had video recordings of a man self satisfying himself between book aisles, but were unable to turn that video over to police to investigate without a proper court order.
When I first read that, I said, “self-satisfying? Was he eating a delicious Italian sub sandwich?” Because I would find that very satisfying. Then it hit me what it really meant, and I said “Ohhhhhhh…..”
(I often talk out loud to myself at work.)
Anyway, rather than passing a whole new bill, we just need to call in Carl Monday. (A classic)
In April, Former Democratic Attorney General and noted big oil apologist Peg Lautenschlager issued an opinion that reflectsÂ much of the WPRI report’s findingsÂ on Governor Doyle’s proposed oil company tax.Â In the memo, Lautenschlager argues theÂ proposed tax on oil companies, and the accompanying pass-through provision, is likely unconstitutional.Â Â She says:
The burden on interstate commerce is clear: the tax is difficult to administer; it will impact the terms of long-term contracts with refiners; it will cause fuel to flow to less costly, less cumbersome markets, and will exacerbate the problems, and expense, of having to supply needs through spot market purchases.
Naturally, these are all things that people generally know.Â But what’s interesting is Lautenschlager’s newfound desire to say them.Â It’s unknown how this memo got to the hands of the newspaper, but one might suspect Lautenschlager enjoys being a thorn in the side of the Doyle Administration (since Doyle supported a primary candidate, Kathleen Falk, against her).
This also signals an interesting trend with the former Attorney General.Â One of her final acts as AG was to issue an opinion that said the much-debated constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Wisconsin actually won’t do much at all.Â After saying all along as a candidate that the amendment would be a disaster for gays in Wisconsin, Lautenschlager counseled the City of Madison that it really won’t do anything to affect domestic partner benefits.
Now, with this big oil tax memo, she takes on a centerpiece of the Doyle budget.Â As pre-election Attorney General, she likely often disagreed with Doyle on policy, but couldn’t say so.Â Now, it seems, those constraints are off.
These new memos hint atÂ a woman that may have been conflicted between her private beliefs and public duties.Â In fact, I demand she get her own Lifetime Network movie: “Silent Conflict: The Peg Lautenschlager Story.”Â Â As soon as she could no longer run for re-election, and therefore didn’t have to court the liberal wing of her party, Lautenschlager has begun to sound very much like a moderate.Â Whether that moderation would have helped her before the election will never be known.
Another interesting portion of the Cap Times article is the reaction of the union leader quoted in response to the memo.Â He doesn’t dispute anything in the memo, he merely says he didn’t want the public to see it.Â
The Capital Times today has a shocking exclusive:
Oh really? Amazing that Tim Metcalfe wouldn’t say “actually, it was complete disgrace this year, one of our worst years ever.” In reality, they only sold 157,000 brats, over 30,000 less than their high of 2004. A lot of that has to do with the hassle of now having to drive all the way to the Dane County Expo Center, and a lot probably has to do with the cost of the brats being increased $1.50.
Amazing that people will complain bitterly about oil companies when the price of gas goes up a nickel, but Johnsonville jacks the cost of their brats up 50%, and everyone’s okay with it? I’m being gouged by so much “big sausage,” I feel like Paris Hilton.
(Thank you, thank you… that was really the whole reason to do this post.)
Also, there’s this:
To pump up sales next year, Metcalfe said he’s seriously considering selling a double brat on a hard roll, a traditional style of eating for die-hard brat lovers.
First of all, this is cheating, trying to artificially pump up the numbers of brats sold. They already include sales of the execrable boca soy brats in the total, which is an abomination. Secondly, sales of a “double brat” will kill 20 Madisonians. And I am not kidding.
Today, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign issued a “report,” which will no doubt be reported as incontrovertible fact in newspapers across the state.
The “analysis” purports to show that business interests have given $12 to state candidates for every $1 labor organizations have given over the same time.Â It says:
WDC found business interests made $67.4 million in large individual and political action committee contributions compared to laborâ€™s $5.8 million between 1995 and 2006 to candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and the legislature and legislative leadership committees.
That must be the explanation for our Democratic Governor and State Senate.
Of course, WDC never says what they consider to be a “business” interest, since they don’t list their methodology.Â Â A candidate once complained to me that his mother gave him $100 and was listed as a “business” since she owned a tree pruning farm and had to list that on the report.Â For all we know, “business” could be anyone with a job.Â At the very least, who they describe as “business” is extraordinarily subjective.Â Are university professors “labor?”Â How do we know?
There also may be practical reasons why union contributions are underreported.Â For instance, one has to report their employer if they give a contribution of over $100.Â Could it be possible that union members tend to give in amounts less than $100, so their employer isn’t listed?Â One contribution of $125 would show up as being from a “business interest,” while twenty contributions of $50 (from different donors) would not.
Also, there may be substantial differences in the way unions and businesses collect funds for contributions.Â Union members often don’t have to bother with making contributions, since the union collects a portion of their check every month.Â That money often goes to pay for independent expenditures (which the WDC report conveniently ignores), and isn’t reported anywhere.Â Business interestsÂ tend to collect money from employees (“bundling”) and contribute via conduit, which are reported as individual contributions.
WDC’s firstÂ chart supposedly shows that union contributions dropped in the 2006 gubernatorial election cycle.Â Are we seriously supposed to believe that unions spent lessÂ in elections last year than they did in 2002?Â Or is the bulk of that money going to front groups like One Wisconsin Now and the Greater Wisconsin Committee, who don’t report their donors?
What’s particularly galling is that this analysis punishes individuals who follow elections law and report their contributions.Â The reporting system is intended to show who is giving and how much they’re giving, in order to gauge how much influence they have.Â If WDC wants to make accusations on that basis, that’s fine.Â But to ignore spending by labor (and business, for that matter) via unreported channels and call this an “analysis” is absurd.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the AFL-CIO wrote a check out to the WDC, but we’ll never know because they don’t disclose their donors.
Seeing as how calling up Ryan Braun couldn’t keep their losing skid from hitting six games, the Brewers today announced they were calling up an even more talented prospect:
He’s only 18 months, but we have a birth certificate that says he’s 21. And yes, I am aware that 40% of my posts are now either pictures or videos of my children. Here’s your money back.
Just by chance, I spent most of the weekend watching Brtitish-related TV. On Friday night, I watched “The Blair Decade” on PBS, which illustrated what an astounding politician Tony Blair has been during his tenure. Tony Blair as Prime Minister is akin to having Robert Deniro as our President – it’s like having the best actor in the country run the show.
Case in point: I also watched the movie “The Queen,” which features Blair prominently. The movie re-enacts Blair’s famous “People’s Princess” speech after Princess Diana had died. Yet Blair’s original speech was five times more convincing than the trained actor they hired to portray him.
See for yourself – check out Blair’s speech here. It’s an Academy Award winning performance by a politician if there ever was one.
The PBS documentary also painted an unflattering picture of Gordon Brown, Blair’s presumed successor as Prime Minister. He is portrayed as stubborn, power-hungry and volatile. Even Blair came around to proposing competition between British hospitals in order to improve services – a move Brown steadfastly opposed. And, of course, it is unlikely that Brown will share in Blair’s enthusiam for working with the U.S. in the War on Terror.
I also share Pugnacious J’s enthusiasm for “Prime Minister’s Questions” on C-Span. Again – another testament to how great Blair was. Does anyone believe George W. Bush could stand up in front of Congress while they fire questions at him? Blair was a master at jumping out of his seat with his giant book and just obliterating the fools asking unfair questions of him. Just a sight to behold.
In fact, I propose we actually do that here in the U.S. In some ways, it would almost be like Campaign Finance Reform. Instead of anonymous third parties shaping the message during campaigns, why not have your congressperson be able to ask the President directly what he (or she) thinks? It would focus a lot more of the public’s attention on legitimate questions of the President, rather than carefully planned press statements.
Then I watched “About a Boy” which has British people in it.
Apparently there were fireworks on my street this morning, as a man and a woman, both drunk, pulled their car over outside my house and started yelling at each other. I, of course, slept through all of this. The arguing got so loud, several neighborhood families called the cops.
From my neighbors’ accounts, the police showed up, and weren’t able to charge either of the individuals with drunk driving – even though both were belligerently drunk and they had clearly just pulled up. Apparently, since the police couldn’t determine who was driving, they couldn’t charge either of them with driving under the influence, instead charging them with disturbing the peace.
This seems a little odd to me – people are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving all the time, as in cases when someone causes an accident and drives off. I haven’t checked the state statutes, but is there really nothing they could have been charged with? Couldn’t there be a law that applies equal blame to two drunkards in the same car if it can’t be determined who was actually driving?
This seems like a no-brainer law. So all the Capitol people that read this blog – get to it. Does this mean I have to register with the state ethics board if I lobby for my new law?
Oh, and if the fine young lady in the car feels like coming to pick up the shoes she threw at her companion, they’re still here on the curb:
The Capital Times has a cure for what’s ailing you:
Start an imaginary lawn mower and follow it around the room. When the mower runs out of gas, try another laughter exercise. Put a straw in your mouth and smile — it’s especially funny when everyone in the circle does it, too. Dance the Hokey Pokey, and let yourself chuckle loud and often. Soon it will be spontaneous, and the laughter becomes contagious.
They go on to report all the health benefits of laughter as medicine. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. But let me go on record: If someone tried to save my life by pushing an imaginary lawn mower around the room, I would end up dying a painful death.
The article discuss laughter as it relates to terminal patients:
So it’s not surprising that when people are near death and given a choice, 84 percent chose humor over seriousness, says hospice researcher Doug Smith.
Another study published in the American Journal of Hospice Care found that 85 percent of terminally ill patients felt that humor would be helpful in their care, but only 14 percent experienced humor from caregivers.
Really, 84% choose humor over “seriousness?” Seems like a pretty limited survey. If I conducted my own poll, I would bet 100% would choose “lap dances” over “humor.”
And you mean Hospice Care isn’t a field that’s drawing our top humorous talent? It would seem that caring for the dying is a gold mine for jokes.
“Gertrude, as soon as you feel like taking a 15 minute break from dying, I’m going to make lawn mower noises.”
Actually, the last really good laugh I got was when I saw the Cap Times’ circulation numbers. That extended my life by at least 5 minutes.
…that I’m a “know it all suburban lefty?”
I believe this is in response to my post where I say Ludacris really is a symptom of a corrosive culture, not a cause. And I tried to merely disagree respectfully and offer examples. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paid the same respect. And there isn’t even a hint of an argument offered in return – I’m merely called an “ACLU disciple” and accused of “throwing stones from my cushy armchair.” (Actually, my armchair is a little un-cushy, so if someone has one to offer, I’ll take it.)
By the way, I still think James Harris is an important addition to the blogosphere, and I agree with him in most of his critique of liberals. Now if there was any way I could get him to sign this ACLU membership card…
UPDATE: James e-mailed me to tell me his post wasn’t about me. However, I am still accepting offers of cushy chairs.
That being said, last night I had a dream about a celebrity that caused me to think. It was a female celebrity (I won’t say who – you haven’t heard of her), that I never would have considered to be a candidate for one of my dreams (it’s a pretty high standard). In fact, until that dream, nothing really stood out about her – she was fairly unremarkable, or so I thought.
But the dream now has caused me to rethink things – is the little man in my subconscious mind telling me something about this person that I need to be more consciously cognizant of? Does this person possess some trait that I find attractive that I was just never aware of? Of all the potential dream subjects, why did my brain pick this person?
I had this discussion with myself my freshman year of college, when I had a dream about a girl I knew in high school. She was an acquantaince, someone I kind of knew in passing. And I never really considered that she might be attractive. But then I had this dream, and wondered if my brain was trying to tell me something. Was my subconscious telling me that I should be paying more attention to her? Was my inner Chuck Woolery trying to make a love connection?
I immediately pulled out a pen and paper and wrote her a letter – she had gone to Boston University. Of course, I didn’t mention the dream – I just tried to be friendly. Kind of a “hey, how ya doin” type of thing. Naturally, I never heard back. In fact, she probably never even got it (not like e-mail today, where you can instantly make an ass out of yourself).
Of course, this all would have been easier had my brain told me this when I still saw her every day in high school. That goes to show you how lazy I am – even my own subconscious can’t get around to making recommendations about potential girlfriends until it’s a year too late. Of course, late is better than never, as Dream Chris was the only one getting any action at the time. Maybe a year from now my subconscious will show up to make me feel guilty about secretly being hot for Lois Griffin.
The worst is when you have a dream about a co-worker, and things get really weird when you show up at work the next day – for no reason at all. They’ll be going about their day, while you’ll be looking at them in an entirely new way. Of course, telling them about the dream virtually guarantees that they will never speak to you again. But it’s not your fault – you didn’t pick them. You can’t control what you dream about – otherwise, I’d dream of nothing but being stranded on an island with a machine that makes double whoppers. With cheese.
I went to Kohl’s department store on Saturday, and on my way I noticed an elderly man sitting on the bench outside the store. He was wearing enormous sunglasses, just sitting still, watching the world go by.
I froze and watched him. For a moment, I wondered what that guy must be thinking. Is he saying to himself, “I’ve lived a full life, raised a family, fought in a war, and now here I am – the old guy on the bench outside Kohl’s?” Is he satisfied with the way his life turned out?
I immediately realized that there’s a 100% chance that someday I’m the old guy on the bench outside Kohl’s. And I wondered what I would be saying to myself while sitting on the bench. Would I be satisfied with my life up to that point? Would I be wondering if I did enough to change the world in any real positive way? Would I think I did enough to teach my kids right from wrong? Would I have any lingering regrets about the way I led my life? Or would I just be saying to myself, “God dammit, there’s so much more I could have done, but now I’m just stuck here on this damn bench watching people shop at Kohl’s?”
Then I bought some socks.