Saturday, November 29, 2008

America's New Kennedy?

Give me a break here. That said, I've long been a proponent of driving change in our Cuba policy. McDonalds, Coca Cola and Levis went far in ending the Soviet Union. Trade and tourism would bring dollars to an impoverished nation. It's pointed out in the article how our relationship with Cuba undermines relationships with the rest of Latin America and gives rise to guys like Chavez. If we are a good neighbor, I think we have a better shot at having good neighbors. At least, in this hemnisphere.

Skeptical or Not?

I've had many visitors from the site This is a site that is skeptical of us global warming skeptics. But apparently, there is no stomach for real debate. There have been no comments either way. Conclusion? Either those visitors agree with me, or they can't refute my information.......

Edit 0651, 11/29/08 A third possibility....they are gathering enough information to make an informed choice.

Show of Hands, Please?

Anyone still think Hugo Chavez is anything but a tin-pot dictator?

Threatening elected representatives because they are the opposition doesn't exactly scream Democracy and Freedom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mr. President-Elect, Are You Listening?

I don't think they want to talk.

Lamest Duck?

What a big steamin' pile.

He's too classy to do it, but if it were me, I'd leave the White House in January, telling the new President, "Good Luck". Then I'd enter the Marine helicopter, turn around and, with head and hands held high, firmly extend both middle fingers.

Time will tell.


I don't normally watch The Today Show. I'm burning a couple vacation days this week, so I'm at home. My wife has Today on for background noise. Beyonce is the featured artist. I just saw the performance (Crazy in Love).

One word......Damn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Those Who Can, Do.....

The Beer: Frozen cranberries do not puree well. It sounds like rocks bouncing around the food processor. That said, the job is done and the Cranberry Wheat is in the secondary fermenter, with a planned bottling this weekend.

The Bicycle: The 10-speed is cleaning up very nicely. It clearly has not been ridden much....if at all. Part are still going to be an issue.

Those who can't, well....... you know how that goes.

My mom was a teacher for a lot of years. Taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades in Oconomowoc. I saw a lot then. Then I went to college and saw a lot there. Between jobs, I did some substitute teaching. Saw a lot there. My conclusion, based on what I've seen is that there are too many people who go into teaching because they can't do math and science.

I know I'm going to hear about this, and that's ok. I understand that teaching is not an easy job (at least if one does it well). But the pay and benefits in this state are unbelievably good. Is it too much to ask that teachers be expert in their subjects?

WEAC claims to want the best education for our children. Prove it by holding teachers accountable for expertise.

Pardon Me?

I don't recall this much "hoo-ha" in the MSM over the Clinton pardons. Anyone recall Marc Rich? Note that the article in Time is well past Bush's inauguration.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The Beer: IPA - India Pale Ale. So named because in addition to being a flavoring and aroma agent, hops are also a preservative. The British, in their infinite beer wisdom, heavily hopped beer destined for the far reaches of their empire, specifically India.

The Bicycle: The 1977 JC Penney-labeled 10-speed needs a 5-speed SRAM chain (or any other 5-speed chain, for that matter). Nobody seems to make one anymore. On the other hand, the tires still hold air. They don't make 'em like they used to.

A friend is on a bicycle tour of New Zealand. I'm jealous. Those of you stopping in from that part of the world, give a shout-out to my peeps, Mr. and Ms. MPA.

The VRWC: I'm not convinced the President-Elect is going to do all the "wonderful things" he claimed in his campaign. With the crappy economy, most, if not all of the giveaways will be near impossible. Most will require money that just isn't there and mandates on employers will slow any rehiring. Unless the new administration decides some type of real tax cut is in order - for example, lowering the 25% tax rate to say, 15% - to put money back into consumers' pockets, this could be a very protracted recession. The federal investment in infrastructure is laudable, but it is only make-work. Real expansion of competetive manufacturing is what will bring the economy out of its woes. That means the government allows the losers to lose and the winners to win. I don't see that happeneing. It's not "fair".

Edit 1115 11/23/08: Apparently, Nancy Pelosi is reading my Blog. ;-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gun-totin' Lefties?

I find this extremely odd. Does it mean if you own an unregistered firearm that you can't be Disciple of the Chosen One?

The Operative Term Here is "Bear"

Here is what happens when one anthropomorphises dangerous animals without making it clear that they are not really cute little fuzzballs.

Skeptical Science has named me "Skeptic of the Week". It doesn't appear to be a good thing. See, skepticalscience is a "skeptic-skeptic". That is, they are skeptical of Global Warming Skeptics. But I say, "Good". I don't want anyone to drink my kool-aid any more than I want them to drink the Global Warming kool-aid. My point is now, and always has been question everything you are told by government and media. There is always an agenda. Sometimes that agenda is for good, sometimes bad, but it's almost always propaganda. Somebody is selling something. Look at the evidence critically and locate multiple sources. Then make a decision on what you believe. If you choose to believe the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, good for you. You did your homework first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where's the Leadership?

First, welcome to everyone stopping by from The response has been overwhelming. I'm such a neophyte that I didn't even know I'd been linked.

So, where's the leadership? Our Democrat friends so want to throw a bone to the United Auto Workers, but they are unwilling to take the chance of being blamed. A couple days ago, Senator Reid wanted President Bush to come up with a plan. Now he wants the automakers to come up with something? Really? If the automakers had a plan, don't you think they would have dealt with this already?

But there is a bigger issue here. The Democrats are in charge now. Soon, they will own three branches of government. Is this how they will lead? The Democrats blocked everything for the last eight years, made the term,"Bush's Fault" extend to the mutant cucumbers in my garden and successfully took over government using "The Big Lie". It's time to lead.

A little advice for the Democrats: Be careful what you wish for; we live in interesting times.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The Beer: Cranberry Wheat, just in time for Thanksgiving is in the fermenter (ok, it won't really be ready to have with turkey, but it will be pretty darn good).

The Bicycle: This summer, my 92-year-old neighbor gave me a 1977 JC Penney-labeled 10-speed with Shimano components. My mission is to clean it up and take it to my daughter in Texas. She just started riding again and this should be a good starter. The hardest part is going to be the tires. Since it isn't quick-release, getting everything aligned may be a problematic. If I can get a SRAM chain, it might make all that easier.

Does anyone still think the bad guys want to talk? Americans love to President-bash. It's a national sport. But no outsider should be talking smack about the President. (Nor should Amnericans bash the President outside this country, but that's another topic).

Oh, yeah.. Quit referring to Al-Zawahiri as the No. 2 guy. Bin Laden is dead, or at least incapacitated. Al-Zawahiri is calling the shots.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Global Warming of Incompetence? too good.

The Global Warming Agenda is nothing more than another "Big Lie" by the Left. Since the data haven't shown any global warming in over 10 years now, it must be invented. At best, this is sloppy science, at worst, something much more sinister.

To believe in the Global Warming Myth, one must believe that 50 years of good, reliable global temperature data is adequate to explain 5-or-so billion years of climate. One must believe that a 0.38% increase in historical Carbon Dioxide levels is enough to change global temperature. Keep in mind that the focus of the Global Warming Agenda is carbon dioxide, but water vapor and methane are said to have have a much higher contributions to alleged global warming. One must believe that solar irradiance is less contributing to climate than human activity. One must suspend common sense and belief.

The current claim in the media is that the Arctic Ice Cap is at it's lowest point in recorded history. I am in no position to dispute the measurements, but I am in a position to look historically. Since the European discovery of the New World, explorers have been looking for a "Northwest Passage" through the Arctic. What could have tempted them to believe it was so if there was perennial ice throughout the Arctic. I suggest that they had evidence that it could be so. Greenland was named so because at one time it was farmable. Is it not reasonable that Arctic ice may have been at such an ebb in the 1300's that it became common belief that the Arctic was passable even 200 years later?

Look, don't believe me. Gather all the evidence you can, look at it wiht an open mind and an eye to historical fact. Then decide. I think you'll go with me.

Wisconsin Drunkenness?

I'm shocked, just shocked.

This is a state where it is not uncommon to see people with multiple drunk driving offenses get probation. One cannot purchase alcohol to take home after 9 pm, but one can get toasted at a bar (or tavern, as they are called here) until 2 am and drive home. Drinking in Wisconsin is a destination, not a social activity. It's not, "Let's go dancing and have a cocktail or two", it's, "Let's go drinking". It's been this way my entire life. I've lived throughout the United States and I have never seen anything that compares.

Problem? Absolutely.

More Bailout

Can I get a piece of this action?

Of course not. I've been responsible, informed and living within my means. Let's continue to bail out the people who brought us to this point. What assurance do we have that these same people, with a little more money in their pockets won't go out and spend beyond their means again? The Obama wants to put strings on every other bailout; how about this one?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I'm going to need more proof than the say-so of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

SPLC is an organization that needs racism to survive. If it isn't there, it has to be invented. Show me the money....Not anecdotal evidence.

Not Gonna Let This One Go

I don't get as much traffic as many blogs. But those of you who stop by need to help out. This cries out for Justice and accountability. The Department of Children and Families has failed again and again to protect innocent children from abuse. Email your legislators and the governor. Make a stink. A really big one. I expect this to come down to "inadequate funding" and no accountability unless we demand it.

Budget Cuts?

This will never happen. Even if it does, if you read between the lines, it's the same old Doyle. All he's doing is shifting the tax burden to the local level or, in the end, the taxpayer. If he drops state school aid, local districts will have to pick up the slack. Increased taxes on oil companies and hospitals only increases costs to the consumer. "I don't want to increase taxes". But you know the governor will. It's what he does best. Increasing taxes in this economy is the worst possible choice. People are already avoiding spending. Take more of their money and they will hold tighter to what little is left. Business and industry is already fleeing Wisconsin's "tax hell". Milwaukee is in line to be the New Detroit. about finding some real cuts. When my employer goes through tough times, the hard decision is to let people go. But it's the decision that let's the remaining keep their jobs by keeping the business viable. Considering the insane pay and benefits for Wisconsin state employees, isn't it possible there are some who can be let go? I'm sure there's plenty more to cut if you want to look.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is Horrible

Who is going to pay a price for this? The breakdown of a system that was supposed to protect the innocent has shown itself another uncaring bureaucracy.

Is this what we've come to?

A Thousand Times NO!

The Beer: I have decided to brew a Cranberry Wheat. One of my co-workers is brewing the same and I thought a blind taste test might be fun.

The Bicycle: Rumor has it that a major bicycle maker has an opening that might interest me.

The VRWC: NO! Stop it, stop it NOW!

On what planet is this a good idea? The Big Three have so much long-term obligation that the only way for them to maintain viability is through bankruptcy. A bailout only prolongs the agony. GM has 10 times the retirees as employees. They aren't selling cars. They are nearly underwater in a good year. (Full disclosure: My father-in-law is a GM retiree.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Energy Geek Strikes Again

The Beer: The Belgian Wit went very well with home made pizza.

The Bicycle: Guess it's time to show the bikes a little love and get them cleaned up for the winter. To be physically ready for next year (at my age, I can't just jump back into it at the end of March), I'l need to start a new regimen.

The VRWC: I think I've shown here that solar and wind energy can only be a niche. Neither is reliable enough to meet all needs. Also, the sun's irradiance at the Earths' surface is not adequate for 24/7 energy. So what's the plan?

Here are some plentiful, reliable and "clean" solutions.

  1. Nuclear. This is my favorite, but I admit to being biased. Opponents love to bring up the waste issue, but if we recycled the fuel, the waste issue would largely go away. Yes, I can prove it. How much time ya got?
  2. Geothermal. While it can be "capital intensive", the application is sound and directly available to everyone from the homeowner to the large utility. The theory is simple. A few feet below the Earths' surface, temperature is fairly constant. It can make a good heat source in the winter and heat sink in the summer for the average homeowner or business. Deeper, sometimes much deeper, temperatures are much higher (see "volcanos"). High enough to generate steam in a boiler or directly. The steam can be used to drive a turbine-generator set to provide electricity. Now, use that to generate hydrogen to power cars. Or use the heat to make clean drinking water from seawater. Almost inexhaustable energy. Downside? I suppose someone will come up with a doomsday scenario based on taking heat from the planet and slowing rotation or something, but I doubt it.
  3. Fusion. Possible, but 50 years of research has yielded little. I'm doubtful that it will be viable in my lifetime. Theory is sound, but practice is riddled with problems to go with the promise.

That's about all I got. Everything else I've seen has severe limitations.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Go to It's truly frightening to read some of the plans.

  • Enact a "Windfall Profits" tax to give each taxpayer a $1000 Emergency Energy Rebate. Seems to me that rebate will be eaten up by the higher energy charges due to the new tax.

  • In Healthcare, the term "fairness" comes up way too often. This is akin to "spreading the wealth".

  • Pay Equity: This is really scary. Now, I believe that people performing the same job for the same employer at the same performance level should be rewarded equally. That's about where I draw the line. Having the government be the arbiter of "fairness" is fundamentally a bad idea. There are entirely too many variables that go into this.

This is tip-of-the-iceberg stuff. But a majority of the voters drank this kool-aid.

May we live in interesting times.


The Beer: Honkers Ale. Outside of the Cubs and the Bears, Chicago is a great city and brews some great beers (not as great as Milwaukee brews, but great none-the-less).

The Bicycle: 36 degrees and snowing/raining and generally crappy. I'll till and plant garlic instead.

The VRWC: The Obama-Love continues. The media has admitted being in the tank for him. (H/T, Neo-Neocon) I don't think any of this will last. He'll fail to deliver on the important stuff while silencing opposing voices in the name of "fairness" and saving us from our guns and religion. Don't get me wrong here. The MSM will LOVE "fairness" and gun control, but they won't be happy that he can't be all things to all people.

All that said, let's not get nuts here. We are better than the unhinged Left and don't need to go that way. We need to oppose bad policy as it comes up and support good. There may be times when Direct Action is necessary. The Pelosi-Reid-Obama gang may attempt to marginalize the Right and run roughshod over us. If they do, it will be necessary to take to the streets. It will be necessary to get the "blue flu". We may have to decide that our rights and our voices are more important than making it to work on January 21, 2009. It may be necessary to become unhinged.

But not yet.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Election Depression

The Beer: I stopped at Hops Haven in Sheboygan today and had the sampler. Excellent.

The Bicycle: Rain today. Cold coming. Yuck.

The VRWC: Markets are down 10% since the election. Are they speaking to us? Rahm Emmanuel? That doesn't sound like a guy who wants bipartisanship.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Loyal Opposition

I will be the Loyal Opposition. I will oppose policy I disagree with. I will not oppose Barak Obama, The President of the United States in the same way the Democrats opposed President Bush at every turn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted, Now The Waiting

The Beer: Ah, drunkenness, that sweet solace that ends so badly.

The Bicycle: I can't ride drunk (I can, but it, too ends badly).

The VRWC: I am prepared for the beating we are about to take . I have a bottle of very nice red, the Liberty Ale is in the freezer (fitting because tonight may be the end of Thomas Jefferson's dream).

The sun will come up tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Moment of Truth

OK. Here we are. We have advanced to the precipice. What's it going to be?

I look at the two candidates and I don't really like either. But I also look at what is best for our country's security and place in the world, what is best for our economy and what is best for me, and I can only go to John McCain. I have looked at all Senator Obama stands for and cannot find one thing with which I can agree. Everything he brings to the table looks an awful lot like Marxism. People say to me, "He can't be that bad". Or, "There's no way he can institute that kind of policy". My response? It's a new paradigm. At no time has there been the potential for an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress. Never before has there been a Congress as Leftist as this one. And never befpore has there been such a far Left, nay, Socialist, presidential candidate as Barak Obama. It can happen and if the predictions on the election come true, it will. And will will never be able to return.

I fear for the Republic.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Beer: Both are bottled and awaiting a few days before taste testing.

The Bicycle: Looks like a nice day tomorrow. In spite of the knee, I'm going to shoot for a morning ride before the Packer game.

Speaking of football, the coaching during the 4th quarter of the Badger game was so bad that Brett Bielema should be fired just based on that.

The VWRC: Is it not enough that we get 6 months of crappy winter weather? I got my license plate renewal today. $95. Are you kidding me? Last year it was $55.

I don't mind paying taxes as long as I see something for it. But here, the schools and roads are generally crappy (although I'm in an area with pretty good schools, overall Wisconsin schools suck), "services" are nearly non-existent and I can't figure out where the money goes. My renewal notice says to go the the DMV website for fee information. YOU go to the website and try to find where the money goes. I got nothin'. Unbelievable.