Friday, May 17, 2013

Decade

Ten years ago today, B&S was birthed by Jed. It’s been a fun ride. (That's what he said!)

You see, Gentle Reader, when a man and another man like each other very, very much, they get together with thoughts of doing something very private and very special that just might bring a new life into this world. One man takes the passive behind-the-scenes role, the other man gets on top, wears the spurs and shakes his cowboy hat in the air like he's winning the rodeo, and the next thing you know a few months later, a blog is born.

Jed was the long-suffering behind-the-scenes guy. I've never been very good with the computer. I was the one on top with the chaps and the TV appearances. Sure, I got the groupies and adulation. There's nothing like putting on a nice suit and tie and standing before a room of Republican men as if I had nothing to hide, and to hear their applause, and feel their admiration as they looked me over, top to bottom! (That's not to say there weren't a few women in the room, too. There always are. You can tell the single ones because they wearest the brightest red suit jackets and pant suits. The only exception to that is Becky Kleefisch. The other married ones stick to more somber colors.)

It's not all about shaking the hands of other guys and accepting their free drinks and sympathetic glances. It's been tiring sometimes, too. Maybe everyone is getting tired of blogs like mine. There's only so many ways you can spin what the Wisconsin GOP wants you to spin. Freedom and fear, job creators and tax breaks, blinders tight to suppress the cognitive dissonance, rah-rah guns, my wife doesn't know me, huntin', grillin', Jesus, Texas, blah blah, day after day, week after week, it all wears on a man. Wears you down. The endless forwarded emails of the week's talking points. The pain of not saying what you'd really like to say, because you have an image and an ideology to uphold, not to mention a wife and kids who certainly derive some small part of their self-worth in thinking that I'm playing an important role in spreading Republicanism. The inside gossip about who's sucking up to who, and who's on the outs because they were busted for drunk driving with their mistress in the car or engaging in sexual blackmail over the Internet or whatever. And that's not even beginning to describe the parts of Christian Schneider and Brian Fraley that one needs to overlook. It never stops.

Ten years is long enough. Maybe I'll continue to appear on Wisconsin Public Radio. My wife has always said I've got a face made for radio.

And it's not like I'm giving up on Jed. (I cain't quit you, Jed!) He was there for me in the dorms. He was there for me all these years. We'll still get together every year like we always do, except instead of calling them "trips to visit Jed to work on the blog" we'll need to refer to them as "trips to visit Jed to go fishing" or something like that.

Thank you all for reading.

With that, I’m done. I’ll see you around town and the interwebs. Thanks for the memories.

Indeed.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0557 hrs
The Blog
Monday, February 18, 2013

Booming Business Moves to West Bend - Liberals Gripe

The liberals writing in the Daily News today are in full froth over a thriving business moving to West Bend, filling a vacant building, paying taxes, and adding jobs.

Oh… I get it. It’s because that business is Delta Defense and it supports private citizens exercising their right to keep and bear arms. I’m sure if it was a company that bred unicorns that shat glitter, they’d be fine with it. Heck, why isn't there a company that teaches concealed carry as well as teaching craft projects from Pinterest? I'd be all over that one, especially if there was glitter involved.

I guess I won’t believe the tripe that those folks spew when they talk about business development. They don’t want business in West Bend. They want businesses that they like. That drastically limits the field of possibilities.

Speaking of tripe, think of what I had to swallow when I decided to look the other way on this one. Have I ever said that government shouldn't be picking winners and losers? If I did, I must've meant that Washington County should provide a private business with a $100,000 low interest loan, and that the city of West Bend should provide them a $167,000 low interest loan and a 50 percent, five-year tax re-investment program incentive for the project, and maybe they'll get another $124,000 in tax credits from Scott Walker's newly loosened WEDC. (I hear they pronounce it "wee dick".) Who cares if there was no public hearing for West Bend's loans? What I meant to say is that if the pork is sufficiently local, I'm all for it. And if it's about guns, it gives me an extra special woody. Bring on the pork!

And for the record, yes, I would applaud a lefty business moving to West Bend. Bring ‘em all here, I say. I'm actually bi-pork-able.

This business will move six-and-a-half miles. They claim they'll create nine new jobs, but it's not as if anyone will bother to verify that a few years from now, once the money's spent. Look at their web site. Look at the customer testimonials: "As my CC instructor told me, “Every bullet has a lawyer’s name on it. Exercising your right of defense will change your life.” Tim, you are addressing my biggest fear about concealed carry. — Bill O."

Could that be Bill Osmulski from the McGuyver Institute? I don't know why Bill doesn't grow a beard to go with those dreamy eyebrows. If he's into concealed carry, I think I'll shit glitter!

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0927 hrs
Economy + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Monday, October 29, 2012

Public Records

Public communications are just that... public. We just need find a sensible way to archive them.

It has become a common sight in society: someone with phone in hand, busily tapping away. But when done by a public official, that practice might be more than an annoyance or a breach of etiquette. The growing use of Twitter and texting has some wondering whether such electronic communications by government officials should be considered public record. Public officials now must retain all emails that relate to their position, even if sent from a personal computer or other electronic device.

By the way, you may have noticed that a previous post here at Boots 'n Kittens has disappeared. Poof, like magic! In a post a few days ago, we expressed our horror that it was reported that a Republican gay man had been beaten for his gayness and his Republican-ness, and that the beater was allegedly inspired by the husband of Mark Pocan.

This intriguing story was breathlessly reported and repeatedly tweeted by the hunks over at Wisconsin Reporter and Media Trackers, massaged and delivered in your Milwaukee Journal by the dreamy Christian Schneider, and eventually the choo-choo made its way to the Charlie Sykes radio show. Toot toot!

Although this topic agitates us on several levels, the Republican gay man has since recanted his story. He made it all up! Except for the beating. We don't know who did that. We also don't know whether they were wearing any sort of leather during the beating. (We also don't know why Sen. Kedzie's son shaved his manly beard after his recent beating for his alleged Republican-ness. One PR picture has the beard, the next day it's gone! We thought it made him look bearishly handsome in a Grizzly Adams sort of way, but we can understand why the Senator wanted to clarify the public record in the way that would most please the average Republican voter.)

Either way, the story has now transformed itself. Whereas before the story benefited the conservative political state, now it does not. Follow the logic!

In the open records world, they say "sunshine is the best disinfectant." In the journalism world, you can't retract yesterday's edition to make up for your inadequate fact-checking. "If in doubt, leave it out," those newspapermen say, and "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

Such verification is unnecessary for today's conservative news organizations and web sites. Here we can simply alter the past by zapping a post or applying interesting edits. It's a brave new world!

Meanwhile, Media Trackers can express their outrage that they were misled. Being tricked with misleading statements is so unfair!

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0805 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
Friday, September 14, 2012

Free Speech is Free and Easy at the Capitol

Capitol Police Chief David Erwin has been kind enough to send Boots & Kittens his new guidelines for protests at the Capitol. As we all know, protesters have been terrorizing the Capitol and causing millions of dollars in damage. Erwin is the "new decider" and he's working hard to restore order and secure everyone's rights, so he's developed a new process for keeping protesters from "having their way" with the Wisconsin Constitution and the Capitol. The new guidelines, as we received in email:

Protest permits are free. To get a permit, all you need to do is enter through the former servant's entrance behind the bushes to the right of the MLK Drive entrance. Show you face to the security camera and press the doorbell. A cheerful public servant will buzz you in. No purses or packages are allowed at this entrance, so feel free to drop a quarter in the lockers where you can store your belongings. Pass through the metal detectors. Come forward to the service window. An attendant will be with you shortly. If you haven't been greeted after twenty minutes, please leave a message at the number on the sign we've place there for your convenience. We'll call you back as soon as possible.

Once greeted by an attendant, tell them you'd like "speech permit FS23-D." Don't forget the 'D'! Permit application "FS23" is no longer produced. Similarly, asking for just a "protest permit" is not sufficient to identify exactly permit you're looking for. If you need a guide to permits, you can obtain one at the Department of Administration temporary office in the trailer next to the Dumpsters at GEF-2, just down Webster Street. The permit application is just a few short pages. Please use only a blue-black pen similar to Paper Mate Ballpoint Stick Pen #7301. Other colors will not register with our optical scanning process. We have supplied approved pens for you at the taxpayer's expense, which you can purchase at cost if you need one. They're just 73 cents. (Exact change required.)

Next is the matter of identification. We accept Wisconsin photo ID and no other. If you are planning to protest as a group, each member of the group must be present to file their own copy of the protest permit. Each must show a valid ID for the safety of everyone concerned. If you are part of a particular political movement, be sure to fill out section J on page 13, and explain the nature of your protest from an ontological standpoint. Be sure to list the name, phone, and address of your current employer.

We'll need to judge the seriousness of your sign. If you've put a lot of effort into it, clearly you're well-organized and by definition, not a spontaneous protester. No banners can be placed over the railings in the Rotunda. Instead of a banner, why not affix a bumpersticker to your shirt instead? This has the advantage of leaving your hands free, so you can stroll the Capitol with your hands behind your back. Our officers appreciate your cooperation for their convenience! :-)

Signs need to be unreadable at a distance of twenty feet, so as not to disturb passers-by and sensitive lobbyists, grandmas and grandchildren. The Capitol must be safe for five-year-olds, especially the ones who have never screamed or heard a distant scream. We recommend Post-It® brand 3" x 3" paper for the signs for your casual, spontaneous protests. Place a 4" x 5" photo of your sign on the permit application on page 5. If your Post-It® is smaller than this, please enlarge it so it is legible.

If you're planning on singing, please be sure to fill out the release form on page 7 of the permit application. Include a notarized copy of a letter of permission from the publisher of the musical piece(s) you intend to perform. Various musical groups have recently terrorized public property, so we need to be careful.

Recording the faces of Capitol Police is a form of intimidation that will not be tolerated. Photographing police and uploading them to the Internet was not explicitly allowed by the legislature in 1979 when these rules were created, so therefore it is not allowed today. You can and will be ticketed if we feel intimidated. If you have been told you are obstructing the Police, please proceed calmly as you are guided by an officer to the nearest dark alcove. Arrests are made on a "case-by-case basis," so the process might be a bit confusing to outsiders. We need not warn you before giving you a ticket. We also reserve the right to visit your employer to deliver the ticket several days after the protest. Also note that the people who work at the Capitol have been given permission (no permit needed) to smack you in the face if they feel threatened. Enjoy your visit to the Capitol!

It's clear from this video that Erwin is a bit of a daring fashionista - green striped shirt with green plaid tie, high-and-tight hair! - and his email mentioned that he's planning some uniform changes for Capitol Police that might include new colors as well as exciting footwear, and a new uniform patch that looks like a stylized "C P" (for "Capitol Police").

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1548 hrs
Off-Duty + YouTube + Our Favorites + Music
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Nights

Yes, I’m a dork. I love this song. And it's got Confederate play-actors, with guns and boots! I think the singer’s vocals are really fun, but I can’t get over the really odd grip of the drummer. It’s some sort of morphed traditional grip that doesn’t seem like it would work for anything other than beating a dead cat. Ah well… to each his own. It does work. Who am I to criticize another man's grip on his stick? Good for him. Doesn't that singer have a purty mouth? And that jacket fits his waist so perfectly. I spend a lot of time thinking about the drummer's grip on the stick. Don't you?

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 2048 hrs
Off-Duty + YouTube + Our Favorites + Music
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BLS Confirms Wisconsin Job Growth Numbers

Why yes, Mayor Barrett does owe everyone an apology for lying about the job growth numbers and accusing others of lying about them.

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development spokesman John Dipko told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the BLS has confirmed Wisconsin jobs grew by 23,608 in 2011. Walker had released the preliminary job numbers two weeks ago before BLS confirmed them, a highly unusual move. His Democratic opponent in Tuesday’s recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, accused Walker of “cooking the books” and trying to spin the numbers to his advantage. Walker says the BLS confirmation shows that the preliminary numbers were accurate. He says Barrett owes people an apology.

Walker is willing to do almost anything to get the truth out. It doesn't matter if the BLS won't confirm it. Follow the logic: Walker said it, so I wrote this headline!

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1628 hrs
Economy + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Ag Exports Up From Last Year

Here’s some great economic news about Wisconsin from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Wisconsin exported $700 million worth of agricultural products to more than 100 countries in the first three months of this year, for a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2011. Wednesday’s report from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Wisconsin now is 15th in the nation in first-quarter exports compared with 18th in the first quarter of 2011. Wisconsin dairy producers and processors exported $64 million worth of dairy products in the first quarter, up 23 percent from a year ago. Wisconsin exported $75 million of ethanol in the first quarter, making it the second-largest ethanol exporter in the nation.

This is one of the things I love about supporting Walker. You can put aside your previous objections to ag subsidies, ethanol production, and tariffs, and fire up the ol' "free market" enthusiasm machine for news that confirms we're "open for business."

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1417 hrs
Economy + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Monday, May 28, 2012

All-Female Submarine Crew

Does the Navy really think it’s a good idea to cram 135 women into a confined space for months on end?

The White House announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama will sponsor the USS Illinois, the first all female submarine force. The newest submarine “is expected to join the fleet in late 2015,” according to the White House.

Imagine the atmosphere on board on about day 60.  shock

Girls! Crammed! Icky! Can you imagine? It wouldn't be anything like a bunch of college-age men all dressed in their shiny boots, sleeping in shifts, forced to undress in the open.

(0) Comments
Posted by Jed at 1220 hrs
Military
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us

Thanks for reading, folks. My wife had to remind me that B&K is 9 years old today. 

I often say "I don't know what I'd do without my Wendy," even if I do often think about what I do without my Wendy.

Time for my birthday spanking, I guess! cool smile

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0756 hrs
The Blog
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Barrett Demands Illegal Activity

Is Barrett too stupid to understand what “John Doe” means? The whole proceeding is legally bound to be secret. If Walker disclosed anything about the proceedings, he would be breaking the law. And yet, Barrett sees fit to demand that Walker break the law. I understand that Barrett is apparently privy to the entire investigation - contrary to the law - but that doesn’t empower him to give license to others to violate the law.

Barrett demands that Governor Walker release all information related to the John Doe investigation – including more than 1,000 emails that were sent through a secret internet system set up near Walker’s office when he was serving as Milwaukee’s County Executive.

It's not like I'm speculating without a basis in the law. I'm a blogger, and I've been on Wisconsin Public Radio. I'm perfectly capable of taking the idle speculation of a fellow Republican and spin it into an even more outlandish statement. For example, the above statement about Barrett. Some guy I met says Barrett must be hearing about Walker's misdeeds, and therefore I can declare that Barrett thinks he can empower others to break the law. It's that simple! No evidence needed. I can even do this while working my regular job, as often seen in my posting times.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0939 hrs
Law + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Mandrell Sisters

Who doesn't long for the Seventies and the way they could look back on music like "Gwine to Run All Night, or De Camp Town Racist," a fine Southern so-called minstrel song, with an innocence we can't seem to find today?

Give me those clean rayon-dressed big-hair Southern girls. I don't care if they're only pretending to play their instruments, but I am a bit upset about the way they were blocking the view of that clean handsome drummer who reminds me of Mark Spitz. I guess I'll just file this with the tag "Our Favorites."

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0608 hrs
Off-Duty + YouTube + Our Favorites + Music

Standing with Walker

My column for the Daily News is online. It’s called, “Standing with Walker.” Here’s a part:

If you’ve spent any time driving around Wisconsin, you’ve undoubtedly seen the blue signs that say “I stand with Walker” sprouting like Wisconsin corn in July. Yes, it’s a campaign slogan, but it is also a statement that many of us who support Gov. Walker are making. (Yes, the corn sprouted in April, and for several decades now corn would normally be far higher than "knee-high by the Fourth of July" and might in fact be shoulder-high, but I'm just trying to be folksy.) But it took a young man named Dylan Ihde to remind us why.

On a campaign stop, young Dylan Ihde gave Gov. Walker a shirt styled after Walker’s campaign shirts. On it, it said, “I stand with Dylan Ihde.” You can see a picture on Walker’s Twitter feed of Walker smiling as he holds up his new shirt next to a beaming Dylan. While it’s a simple bit of imagery like my corn knowledge, it drives home a very powerful reminder. I stand with Walker because Walker stands with me. It’s that simple. Follow the logic: Our Governor took a moment from his busy campaign schedule to tweet a picture of someone who made a shirt that might look like a Walker campaign sign, as long as you can overlook font, design, and the words. "I stand With". See? It's simple. And powerful! And reminderful. What a country we live in, that a simple suburban conservative like myself can weave such miracles with words and imagery, that will become a column that a West Bend paper will print.

[...]

First and foremost, Walker said that he would eliminate the $3.2 billion deficit without raising taxes. With the help of the Republicans in the Legislature, and ignoring his own abhorence of magickal accounting methods, he did it! If you believe Walker, Wisconsin does not have a deficit and is projected to run a $154 million surplus by the end of the budget term. The projected surplus or deficit is adjusted over time as new projections are created based on current tax yields and economic indicators, but at about the halfway point of the budget, it’s looking positive. "I staNd With".

The projected surplus is because of the good news that the state of Wisconsin is collecting more taxes than it expected to. The excess taxes are not because of a higher tax rate, but because of a growing state economy. As long as something isn't failing even more, it's growing. This is a positive economic indicator because it indicates more income in the state from which to collect income taxes and more sales activities from which to collect sales taxes. By focusing on press releases that only point at growth, we will continue to remain positive. This is perhaps a reflection of the fact that according to the actual figures collected by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and transmitted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin added 23,300 jobs in 2011.

It is by transmission alone that useful statistics can be used in press releases, kind of like sending your landlord a check you forgot to sign. Follow the logic: More people working means more people paying income taxes and more people paying sales taxes as they buy stuff, and things will be better as long as you ignore "lack of demand" and "falling income". "I sTand With".

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0549 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Monday, May 21, 2012

Fake Washers

You see it from time to time. I notice it most often in airport bathrooms. No, I’m not talking about wide stances… that's a topic for a future column. I’m talking about those people who pretend to wash their hands when they see that someone else is around. You know the guys (I don’t know about girls). They stand and spray, jauntily zip up, and begin their strut out of the lavatory. Then, lo and behold, they notice you. YOU, with your askance glare and disdainful sniff. So they walk over to the sink. They turn it on, flail around, but nothing appears to get wet. Then they grab a paper towel - just one, and we know that one never does the job of drying fully saturated hands - and they prance out into the world.

Frauds. I see you. I'm in the airport bathroom, and I'm watching you pee. In hoc signo weenus. It's like a song and it's like a dance. A tap-tap here, wide stances, askance knowing glances, unshamed prances, and the next thing you know, you'll need to be washing your hands.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 2013 hrs
Off-Duty
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Muddy Day

I ran the Mud Run today in Verona with some buddies. It was a great time! Who wouldn't want to drive two hours from home for the chance to hang out with hundreds of buff guys, get all slippery and slimy, and chase each other around? Of course, there's the need to shower afterwards.

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 1733 hrs
Off-Duty
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Support Kathy Nickolaus

On this primary election day, let's take a moment to support Kathy Nickolaus, the county clerk in charge of voting in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha County.

With any close election, it comes down to the competence and skills of our WisGOP elected officials. We'd like to run the government like a business, after all. We need elections to run smoothly and efficiently. If you can't do that, then find another job! I'd say that about anyone.

Take a gander at Kathy's fine web site. She's not just an expert at Excel macros. She knows the Frontpage, too.

Celebration later tonight at Country Springs, I hear.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0838 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Monday, April 23, 2012

Barrett and Falk Reluctant to Share Details

So are Barrett or Falk going to share any specifics about how they would govern? After all, haven’t the unions taught us that if a politician doesn’t specifically lay out everything they might do in a campaign, then they “lied” to us?

Madison - The two leading Democratic candidates for governor won’t say how much they would spend to restore cuts to education, local governments and health care by Gov. Scott Walker or where they would get the money. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett have sharply criticized Walker for making deep cuts to schools and local governments and restricting access to state health coverage for the poor. But they haven’t said how they would change that.

I can't decide which way I want it. On one hand, I like the idea of believing that a politician should be honest and forthcoming about their plans, especially the big "bomb" ones. Certainly if Governor Barrett dropped a surprise bomb a month or two after moving to Madison, I'd be all over it.

On the other hand, I think it's essential to good, honest, transparent government that Walker didn't need to tell the truth about his plans.

Blogging is hard! Especially the part about simultaneously holding two contradictory beliefs.

I guess I should get back to work now. Another hour or so to go before the whistle blows and I slide down the tail of my brontosaurus and jump into my car. Yabba-dabba-do! It's been kind of a light day, and the boss isn't looking, so I thought I'd share some details with you. I'm honest like that.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1549 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Saturday, April 21, 2012

Walker Reinstates Bonus Program

This story is written from the perspective that this is somehow wrong, or unfair, but I don’t see it that way.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker established a program that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit raises and bonuses to some state workers even as he preached cost-cutting and pushed through a law reducing most public workers’ pay and eliminating their union rights. An analysis of data The Associated Press obtained through an open records request showed Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to nearly 220 employees. The awards are meant to reward stellar performance. But they come as the state faces a $143 million shortfall and after thousands of state workers took pay cuts through provisions in the collective bargaining law requiring them to contribute more to their pensions and health care.

What’s wrong with reinstating a bonus or merit pay program? Shouldn’t excellent work be rewarded? Shouldn't a young woman have the opportunity to work her way up from simple waitressing and lap-sitting in sports cars, and in a few short years prove her conservative mettle, and rise to be Walker's assistant, and get a quick raise for extra special effort?

She's clearly working harder - and smarter! - than some first-year teacher at a public school. We have plenty of those, but supply is high, so their wages should be lower and getting lower. Communications directors, on the other hand, are tough to find.

Even this article does not claim that Walker handed out positions to political friends, or only handed out bonuses based on the receiver's political stands. Therefore, it must not be so.

Follow the logic. Or is the position of the left that everyone should make the exact same amount regardless of their performance? Oh yeah… that is the position of the left.

There! I said it, so it's so! I love blogging. Set 'em up, knock 'em down!

I think I could be another Lincoln.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0807 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Premature Recall

I admit… I love this story.

Madison - A Republican campaign contributor officially filed a recall effort Friday against Gov. Scott Walker, triggering a powerful tool for the GOP leader: unlimited campaign fundraising. The effect of the filing is to give Walker an extra week and half to raise campaign contributions with no limits that can be used to help defend against a more serious recall attempt against the governor scheduled to begin on Nov. 15. Friday’s petition was filed by David Brandt of Muskego in Waukesha County. Brandt is a modest contributor to Walker and the state Republican Party. In the filing with the state Government Accountability Board, Brandt wrote cryptically that he was registering a recall committee - Close Friends to Recall Walker - to “fulfill my friend’s last request.”

So the Democrats, who want to abuse the recall process to their own ends and are crying foul when the rules are used against them.  LOL

I’m amused. Read the story. Those lousy Democrats! Who do they think they are, being able to relay their opinions to news reporters? Why haven't Walker and Fitz passed a rule about this yet?

Look at what they say. One Dem guy says it's a "dirty trick" and that they believe David Brandt is a Republican. And what evidence do they offer? He and his companion at that address donated a few hundred bucks to Walker's campaign. That's no proof of anything.

And the other Dem calls it "a fake petition drive." What could possibly be fake about it? The local GOP says they've never heard of Brant. He promises to not spend more than $1,000 to attempt to gather 540,000 signatures. Surely with the power of the free market, you could get 540 signatures for $1. It's the sort of thing that can be out-sourced.

Follow The Logic: The Dems are abusing the recall process, therefore David Brandt is not a fake recall to allow Walker to gather as much money as possible from the Koch Brothers. "Hello, David, good to hear from you! Whaddya mean, why haven't we gone to Cali yet? I've been busy, that's why!"

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0716 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Friday, November 04, 2011

Boxing in Skirts?

Yes, THAT should give lady boxing that sex appeal  rolleyes

Boxing gloves, check. Headguard, check. Mouthguard, check. Miniskirt? After winning a long fight to get into the Olympics, female boxers are at the center of a dress code debate ahead of the 2012 London Games, including whether they should wear skirts in the ring. The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) said Friday that officials will meet in January to discuss the issue and draw up recommendations. “AIBA is seeking a consensus from the worldwide boxing family and the wider public for reference purposes,” the statement said. The federation said it was responding to recent media reports suggesting that female boxers would be forced to fight in skirts rather than shorts. “AIBA has not made any final decision on boxers’ uniform for women,” the governing body said.

Everyone knows there's nothing more sexy than the little shorts the guys wear. They flow, they flop, they reveal the curves and the firm body parts underneath. I'm thinking of the male boxers. Sex appeal? You betcha. Who really likes skirts?

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 1421 hrs
Culture
Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Passes Castle Doctrine

Excellent! I honestly thought the Senate wasn’t going to get around to this, what with all the other bills involving the awesome job-creation powers of redefining bicycles, forcing kids to not think about sex, and pier length. I’m glad they did.

There's a lot of spouses who will need some instant protection of immunity after they shoot an "intruder" they've long-wished to be free of, so they can get on with revealing their true nature and spending some time with their friends at the range wearing whatever they damn well please, let me tell you.

Homeowners who shoot intruders would receive strong legal protection, under a bill approved by the state Senate Thursday. The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan 26-7 vote and now goes back to the state Assembly. All Republican senators voted for the bill along with nine Democrats, including three from Southeastern Wisconsin: Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), and Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). The Assembly also passed the proposal on a bipartisan vote on Tuesday but since the Senate tweaked the proposal Thursday it will need to have the other house approve it with that change - an action expected to come later Thursday . GOP Gov. Scott Walker has said that he supports the bill in principle but will still review it before deciding whether to sign it. Under the bill, courts in most criminal and civil matters would presume that property owners using deadly force had acted reasonably against anyone unlawfully inside their residence, business or vehicle, whether the trespasser was armed or not. The proposal is sometimes known as the “castle doctrine,” a reference to the saying that one’s home is one’s castle.

I would expect it to clear the Assembly and be on its way to Walker’s desk soon. His rubber stamp is blazin' hot!

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1720 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

AG: Gov and Lt. Gov Must Be Recalled Separately

Interesting. And here I thought Rebecca was doing quite well by staying in the shadows. She's been good about following Walker's direct orders. I'm so glad we can lay off the "What's a lieutenant governor good for anyways" discussion for a while. Sleep well, knowing Rebecca is on the job!

MADISON — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a formal opinion today concluding that the Wisconsin Constitution’s recall provisions apply independently to the Office of Governor and the Office of Lieutenant Governor. If the constitutional requirements for a recall election are met with respect to one officer, only that office will appear on the ballot in a recall election. If both officers were to be recalled, recall elections would be held for each office and electors would vote for those offices independently. In the general election, as opposed to a recall election, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are jointly elected as a partisan ticket.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1714 hrs
Law + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Judge Taped Beating Disabled Daughter

Wow. Stunning.

A Texas judge faces a police investigation and judicial probe after a video showing him beating his then-16-year-old disabled daughter was posted on the Internet. The graphic video drew international outrage after it was posted by a woman who said she was the victim of the beating seven years ago and that her parents - including her father, Aransas County, Texas, Court-At-Law Judge William Adams - were the ones seen beating and cursing at her in the video. On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Adams was temporarily relieved of his duties for the next two weeks, and a visiting judge will take over his caseload while the matter is being investigated, according to the office of Aransas County Administrative Judge Burt Mills. No court dates were scheduled this week, Mills’ office said. In an interview with KZTV outside his Rockport, Texas, home Wednesday, Adams confirmed to a reporter that he was the man beating his daughter with a belt and a board on the video, taped in 2004.

As many of you know from reading this blog, I was raised both in Texas and in Saudi Arabia, so I know a lot about how young women should be treated by the man of the household. In both the Christian and Muslamic religions, even though God said that Christianity is the better of the two, both religions agree that a little Texas-style ass-whupping is holy and good. (See Rick Perry. Doesn't he do the best George Bush impression? Can't you just see him clearing some brush?) As we learn in Proverbs 13:24, "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." Spare the belt, spoil the child! The Prophet said "Order your children to pray at the age of seven and beat them (if they neglect it) at the age of ten." He also had a lot to say about how and when you can beat your wife, for example.

Stunning, you ask? Isn't it outlandish that this girl is clearly in her middle teens, yet hasn't had some sense beaten into her by her father's belt after all these years? "Bend over and take it like a woman!"

As we learn in Colossians 3:21, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." This beating was clearly meant to encourage her to stop downloading music illegally. Or Exodus 21:22, where we learn "When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine."

These are the kinds of judges that are elected and re-elected in Texas. I'm proud to have been part of this culture.

I would hate to think that this judge's daughter became discouraged while she was being encouraged to behave better. Even if he did some real damage that now has eventually caught the attention of the law, rest assured that judges will settle on an appropriate fine, and he can get back to work imposing judgments on others.

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 0604 hrs
Off-Duty
Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Palindrome Date

Cool. Did you know that "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts"? Newo! Nosnibor! Sinep! Snug! Srehtael!

Today might not seem any more special than yesterday or the day before, but it is a once-in-10,000-years event. Nov. 2, 2011, written out numerically, is 11/02/2011, which on its own makes it a very rare eight-digit palindrome date, meaning that it can be read the same way frontward and backward.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1535 hrs
Off-Duty

Assembly Passes Castle Doctrine Bill

Excellent. Let’s push this bipartisan bill the rest of the way into law.

A resident facing an intruder in his or her dwelling would have greater latitude to use force, without fear of criminal prosecution or civil liability, under a bill passed by the state Assembly on Tuesday. The proposal, passed on a bipartisan 71-24 vote, is called “the castle doctrine,” from the saying “one’s home is one’s castle.” Twenty-nine states already have similar legislation, according to the National Rifle Association.

When the criminal defense lawyers oppose something, you know it's got to be good. Here's what they claim: "Assume a man kills his wife in cold blood in the family home without witnesses. I suggest that a man who is willing to kill his wife is not squeamish about committing perjury. If he takes the stand and claims that he mistakenly thought she was an intruder, under AB 69, the jury must be instructed that he is presumed to have reasonably believed that force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself. The jury, in effect, is prevented from considering if his act was unreasonable."

I say that it's more important to let people defend themselves when they've been woken up by a noise in the dark at night when their spouse returns home drunk and smelling of another man.

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 1509 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Assembly Moves to Support Poor People of All Races

Well, this is a happy development.

A proposal to eliminate race as a factor in a college grant program received preliminary approval from the Assembly Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reports.

The surprise proposal was made about 11 p.m. Tuesday by Rep. Peggy Krusick, D-Milwaukee, and backed by Republicans, who hold the majority. It passed around 8 a.m. Wednesday—with all Democrats except Krusick voting against it. A procedural move by Democrats, however, will block final passage until Thursday.

Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, said the Talent Incentive Program is intended to help poor students—therefore, whether one is a minority shouldn’t matter.

I suspect that it will die in the Senate, but good for the Assembly. Programs designed for poor folks should be targeted at poor folks - regardless of the race of the poor folk. Seems pretty simple.

Update! As explained at Madison.com, all was for naught. "They spent nine hours Tuesday night into Wednesday morning railing about a proposal to eliminate race as a criterion in awarding college grants. It turned out the debate was completely unnecessary; the state Higher Education Board said Wednesday it hasn't considered race in grant awards for more than year, but no one in the Assembly realized it."

Whoops! On to other job-creating bills.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1450 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Stunningly Bad CCW Reporting

Wow.

BELOIT (WIFR)—Illinois is now the only state that doesn’t allow concealed carry. This after the law took effect in Wisconsin today. Today we stopped by a gun store up north and asked people about what’s changing. We visited Addie’s Gun Shop this afternoon in Janesville, Wisconsin and it was very busy! Many customers filtered in and out showing their gun permits, looking to buy a hand gun. Some customers were even picking up guns they had ordered six months ago. The concealed carry law now allows anyone over 21 to carry a gun in the State of Wisconsin. By law, a person must have a permit to buy a gun. If they choose to carry the gun they must also carry their permit. In order to obtain a gun permit, there are a series of steps a person must take including a background check, and anyone with a felony is denied. Police are already preparing for some differences in handling those with a weapon.

Um, NOBODY was “showing their gun permits” because none have even been mailed yet. And no, you do NOT need permit to buy a gun. As I mentioned a few days ago, you can download your application from the web.

I know when I went to the gun shop this weekend, as I always do before heading to the range for a little R&R, we all engaged in the usual pre-shooting banter and rituals: talking about our guns, their length and heft, how much time we spend cleaning them, what we've done to free them from infection and illness, assuring each other how clean we are now, what bad habits we might've seen others doing, sharing the knowledge of good spots where other gun enthusiasts might be. And now with the freedom given by concealed carry, we all showed each other the applications we downloaded, and who got theirs first, because first is always best! Why the reporter didn't mention that, I'll never know.

Such. Bad. Reporting. blank stare

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1753 hrs
Firearms + Law + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

CCW Permits Heading Out the Door

Who will get permit #1?

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced the Department of Justice (DOJ) already has started to issue concealed carry licenses to qualified applicants today, the first day permitted under Act 35.

As of approximately 3:45 p.m., more than 120 licenses have been issued to qualified applicants.  Almost 150 applications have been received by the DOJ at the Attorney General’s Capitol office, where applications have been made available and have been dropped off by visitors.

Of the applications received today, almost 90 licenses already have been printed at the DOJ and have been prepared for mailing.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1716 hrs
Firearms + Law

Today in Madison

As screen-captured right now from Madison.com. What is this, Boots and Sabers?

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1439 hrs
Culture

Let’s be reasonable

My column for the Daily News is online. It’s called, “Let’s be reasonable.” Here’s the sentence that should get your attention:

The Democrats are right.

I'm a clever guy, aren't I?

Follow The Logic: I'm a conservative, but I'll shock you (temporarily) by suggesting that the other evil guys are right. I'm just that crazy! Or sly. You make the call. This is why I'm on Wisconsin Public Radio at 6 a.m. on random Fridays, and you're not. I'm willing to wake up and do the work of a minion of AFP and David Koch.

Or here’s a sample:

Huzzah! Such a shift in the balance of power between from the consumer to business is too risky for the consumer, but it also sets the stage to hurt business even worse. And we can't ever consider hurting business, can we? For no reason, even if consumers might be hurt. For if the abuses of business become too great and the unanswered grievances of consumers become too many, then the consumers will resort to the Legislature for redress in the form of burdensome regulations. Then, instead of individual grievances being afforded the rigorous due process of the court system, arbitrary remedies contrived by fickle legislators will be imposed irrespective of guilt. Because when legislators do things in the name of business, they're never fickle and they're not driven by campaign contributions. Thus it is so, for I am the Boots & Kittens blogger!

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0619 hrs
Law + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Concealed Carry Here Today

I have my application ready to do. You can get yours here. I did learn that my old Texas CCW license has an anti-copy coating on it, so be advised if you plan to use one as your proof of training. Good thing I have my Hunter Safety as a backup.

Just think... you can take Hunter Safety when you're twelve years old in order to learn how to use a shotgun to kill a deer, and decades later you retain all you need to know to be able to strap a 9 mm to your ankle. One follows from the next. Too bad it doesn't work for algebra and foreign languages, huh?

It’s an easy process. My one disappointment is that there wasn’t a place to put a phone number or email address. That means that if there are any problems with the application, it will have to be resolved via snail mail. That will take some time. So check the application thrice! Huzzah!

UPDATE: Wow.

On the first day of Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, more than 80,000 application forms have been downloaded and the Department of Justice’s website has gotten hundreds of thousands of hits. The state expects to start issuing concealed carry permits later Tuesday afternoon, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck. Since the permits will be mailed, it will take a few days for applicants to receive them.

I’m a bit surprised that they plan to start issuing permits that soon. Granted, the background check and training verification should only take a few seconds, but I figured they’d process them more slowly. Good for them for getting at it.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0613 hrs
Firearms + Law
Monday, October 31, 2011

Things That Annoy Me, Part 54,622

So I go to buy an e-book on Amazon…

Hardback - $7.43
Paperback - $7.93
Kindle - $12.99

Seriously, Random House? Are you some kind of socialistical company, trying to collect more of my hard-earned dollars so you can send the money to the likes of George Soros? Why are you trying to charge what the market will bear, for a product that so many people want? Like me! I should be able to get what I want, for the price I want it. What is this, Russia?

(0) Comments
Posted by Jed at 2039 hrs
Off-Duty
Page 1 of 10 pages  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next »  Last »