Monday, July 31, 2006

Raputre Ready?

Just read on one of the blogs that some of our more active...friends are saying that THURSDAY is the day of the long-awaited RAPTURE......

damn....I wonder if I've got time to schedule a haircut?

Do I have to cancel Friday's dental appointment? many questions...

On the other hand, the credit card payment is due on the 15th.....HAH! Take that Capital ONE!

ON EDIT: Ooops....another blog says that it's TUESDAY!!!! Funnier yet...all the Christian Radio stations are abuzz over it.....

some of the funnier comments I've read....

"...When the rapture comes, can I have your car?"

"..actually I'll be thrilled when all those @#$%& are gone..."

"ummm....Tuesday isn't good for me, can we pencil it in for sometime in August?.."

Sucker Punch.....

A large portion of the civilized world looked on in revulsion yesterday when Israeli warplanes struck an apartment complex in the City of Qana. The Huffington Post has a summary:

The attack took place in the southern Lebanese town of Qana, killing mainly women and children who were taking refuge in the basement of an apartment building. It was the bloodiest clash in this conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Worldwide condemnation of the offensive intensified calls for cease-fire, while protests in Beirut drew international attention. United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice canceled a scheduled trip to Beirut and is returning to Washington to work on a resolution to the conflict, although she stopped short of calling for an immediate cease-fire.

This bloody conflict has been going on for more than two weeks now and the death toll mounts alarmingly every day. The situation is being managed by people who are, in my humble opinion, ...let's just say, less than wise. In fact, I might even go so far as saying that the situation is being managed by people who are too foolish, impatient, idealistically driven and, above all, arrogant.

Supporters of Israel point out that the massive and disproportionate loss of civilian life in Lebanon is the fault of the Hizbollah because they use civilians as sheilds and often launch their random but deadly rocket attacks from the middle of civilian neighborhoods. In fact, the killing of four UN Observer personnel in an outpost in Southern Lebanon was blamed on Hizbollah for launching rockets either from or "near" that site (depending on whose propaganda you want to believe).

Make no mistake about it. Hizbollah is bad news. Their random rocket attacks kill Israeli civilians with sickening regularity. An also make no mistake about this: Hizbollah DOES use civilian populations as cover. But for Israel to strike those targets regardless of the presence of civilians under the guise of self-defense is just, plain stupid.

Why stupid?

Well, for one thing, deaths of civilians do nothing but bring more recruits to the ranks of Hizbollah. For another, civilian deaths bring about world-wide condemnation and erode international support for Israel and finally, because (as my old farmer friend, Russ, used to say) "This ain't my (or Israel's) first load of cabbages!"

Not only has Israel been down this road before, but they have also had the luxury of watching the United States bat it's figurative head against the proverbial wall trying to fight a popular insurgency in Iraq with little or no success since 2003. Anybody who has paid attention to the news or world events in general for the past 30 years or so knows that any extremeist organization with even a modicum of popular support in the general populace, will hide among them and, hence, use them as a defacto shield. Striking those civilian "shields", or "targets" (again depending on which press releases you read) is self-defeating for all the reasons cited above but the leadership of Israel, backed by the leadership (puke) of the United States, believes that they have to play the John Wayne role with their electorate in order to stay in power. Even if John Wayne foolishly walks into the trap Hizbollah has set.

I'm not even going to get into the purported reasons that George W. Bush has for allowing the conflict to go on, or, for that matter, the total incompetence of Condi Rice...just one issue at a time here.....and this one is simple, Israel is being "sucker punched" by Hizbollah.....

comments are welcome:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Madness! Sheer Madness!

When I first heard or read these words of pResident Bush yesterday, I thought, "Surely, these must have ben taken out of context by some over-zealous denizen of "Left-Blogostan". " But now, I've seen the words on video taped replays. I've read transcripts from major news sources and the words were real.

Here's a synopsis:

President Bush proudly declared that American foreign policy no longer seeks to “manage calm,” and derided policies that let anger and resentment lie “beneath the surface.” Bush said that the violence in the Middle East was evidence of a more effective foreign policy that addresses “root causes.”

a couple of snippets for your enjoyment (actually it's Tristero and not Digby's words)

This is sheer, abject lunacy of the sort that imagined the invasion of Iraq would lead to city squares in Iraq named after George W. Bush and the invasion would pay for itself out of oil revenues. The only appropriate reaction is to very loudly proclaim this is the reasoning of madmen. No rational human being thinks like this.
It's lunacy!

and another:

Repeat: there are no serious issues to be "engaged" in Bush's latest drooling remarks. The people who came up with an American foreign policy based on addressing "root causes" and no longer managing calm need straitjackets. Neither they, nor you, nor the rest of the world will benefit by opportunities to discuss these sick delusions. Under no circumstances should you try to do so.

It's madness....

Where are the rational voices?


Friday, July 28, 2006

Marshfield Headquarters Site determined

Hi everybody,

Just a quick note to let you know that an agreement has been reached on the location of the Marshfield Headquarters office of the Wood County Democrats.. It's in the old Franklin Building right on Central Avenue right between Penney's Court and the Daily Grind Coffee shop (convenient huh?) Dave negotiated a great deal and it appears that we'll be moving in around the10th of August.

Feel free to use this as an OPEN THREAD and jump in with comments about any subject you wish.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

About that "I-word" again...

I understand there is a group meeting to strategize on the infamous I-word.

For all of you who have the courage to stand up and be counted on the subject I say congratulations. You have my admiration.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures for your enjoyment...l.

first, the newest darling of the Nation of Right Blogostan, Pam of the Rightwing blog Atlas Shrugged (a tribute to Ayn Rand which she may or may not have ever read) Her claim to fame is "Vblogging" or, video's a site to behold....don't worry Pammy, we ALL wish the words on your tee-shirt were true. If you have a strong stomach you can see what I'm talking about here.

Oh yeah, she was scheduled to go to Israel to "Vblog Live!" but the invitation was cancelled by the Israeli Embassy. Geee.....I wonder why?

Then, of course, there's Ann Coulter who was on CNBC last night claiming that Bill remember him...the guy the Right Wing claimed was a seriel rapist....has

are you ready for this?

"...some latent homosexuality somewhere..." I'm not even going to touch this...not...with...a...ten-foot...pole.

Read the transcript on Raw Story, here

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I think I would have done it differently

I'm watching the news rports on the violence in Lebanon and Israel with a sense of disbelief.

Disbelief because I understand that the real troublemakers in this fight are the Hizbollah, not the Lebanese people. I know that the Lebanese government is weak and tenative and holding onto power by a literal thread and that they can neither defeat nor curtail the activities of Hizbollah with their borders. I also know that Syria and Iran support Hizbollah financially as well as politically. The Lebanese government is no match for that kind of power.

So why is Israel bombing Lebanese civilians?

Why is Israel bombing and destroying the Lebanese army? ...the very same army that they should be SUPPORTING in order to help rid Lebanon of Hizbollah?

Why is Israel destroying the Lebanese infrastructure?

I don't understand......I simply do not understand.

I would have worked to STRENGTHEN the Lebanese government. I would have built trust and goodwill among the populace to counter Hizbollah propaganda and hate. I would have aided and assisted the Lebanese government in rooting out Hizbollah.

but then again, that's just me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Speed of light....

I'm having trouble keeping up with everything these days. I don't know why but it appears that events (and time to deal with them) are whizzing by at the proverbial speed of light.

August 1st seems to be the date that everything breaks out of the starting blocks for the fall election but before I get to that point, I have a dozen or so nasty little local issues to deal with, and each one of those issues requires that I pay attention to details and nuances that will, in the end, make the difference between success or failure of my endeavors.

The same will hold true about how we will organize ourselves for the upcoming elections. We could, quite possibly, take a lesson from FAIR on how to organize our efforts. They've done a magnificent job so far and I suspect we will see success for them at the polls. Otherwise, with the lack of a Presidential campaign in progress, there is little to motivate the public to get out to work in a campaign, much less get them motivated to vote. I am suspecting that the individual candidates will have their campaign organizations working independently of our efforts and out role will be to simply provide a base, a platform, for those candidates to work off of.

However, I'm starting to get concerned about Governor Doyle's campaign. The Governor hasn't been one of my favorite Democrats, nor has he, I believe, been a particularly good politician, but he has been the last "firewall" against the crazieness the Republican-controlled houses of the legislature have been exhibiting for the past four years.

I don't think I would be as concerned about the possibility of losing the Governorship if there was even a slight glimmer of hope that the Democrats could take back one, if not both, of the houses of the legislature but the truth of the numbers is that a Democratic majority in either house is a mathematical impossibility. Therefore, for the next two, and possibly four, years, Governor Doyle is our last, best hope against Republican insanity. And if the unthinkable happens and Mark Green becomes Governor, don't expect him to stem the tide of Zein-like lunacy in the legislature.. he won't stop the crazies because he's one of the crazies!

It's hard to say what will actually happen in the various campaigns this year but I do know something for certain: the ELECTORATE IS IN A SURLEY, SURLEY MOOD. The calls that I'm getting from the public reflect this on the local level. The public seems to be fed up with politicians in general; they're tired of being spun; their tired of being frightened by "boogeymen" at every turn; they're tired of being treated like "mushrooms" (you know, kept in the dark and being fed BS). They're looking for somebody to take it out on. The trick for our candidates, I think, is to not give the public an excuse to take it out on them. Throw out the textbook! Throw out the hackneyed phrases! Throw out the "cutesy" campaign slogans. Tell the truth and tell it boldly. Tell the truth loudly and often. Do it today....because tomorrow is coming at you at the speed of light.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Saying the "I-word"

First, a disclaimer is in order.

This is my opinion and not necessarily that of any other member of our local party. I am posting here for the purpose of generating discussion.

Last night we heard two presentations and, to my amazement, there was much more comfort with the discussion of the issue of the "Protection of Marriage Amendment" (the latest Republican Scam to drive the faithful to the polls in droves in November) than there was with the subject of "Impeachment".

One of our members stood at the end of the presentation (and virtually the end of the meeting) and asked, "Aren't we going to do something? Are we going to stand on principles or....what?" He seemed genuinely bewildered that we, as a party organization, were going to simply let the meeting end without taking any kind of formal action. This party member's outrage at the Bush Administration was very heart-felt; very passionate and I felt his dismay when we left the meeting without taking a stand on the issue.

The Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson

The questions he raised, knawed at me all the way home. It's not just the Democratic Party leadership at the National and State levels who are afraid to take a public stand on the subject of impeachment, it's's almost all of us. Among ourselves we talk about impeaching Bush and Cheney and Gonzales and Rumsfeld but when it comes down to taking it "to the streets" as an official party platform, we can't quite bring ourselves to do it.


I have carefully examined my own beliefs and there is truly nothing I would enjoy more than seeing George W. Bush standing trial before the Senate on Articles of Impeachment drawn up by the House of Representatives. I also would like to see Cheney and Rumsfeld standing trial for war crimes and atrocities which I believe they have authored. But I still can't bring myself to "take it to the streets" and I don't know why.

I have tried out and dismissed a dozen or so rationales for why I can't but I understand that they are bogus. All I know at the moment is that if I were to start marching up and down the streets with impeachment petitions, I would be pretty much alone at the moment and, I would not be taken seriously by the people I wanted to influence. I would be branded "lunatic fringe" not just by Republicans but also by common, everyday people. In other words: it would do no good.

It occurs to me that the real problem is that the subject is not yet RIPE.

Here's what I mean by RIPE. The public is not yet angry enough. Impeachment is a DRASTIC, DRASTIC measure and the public has to be sufficiently angry....outraged order to demand that we as a country travel that path. The Republicans know this and they knew how to manufacture a facade of public outrage in order to push forward with the Clinton Impeachment farce.

Our nature as Democrats is to let the truth be our shield, that is, let the crimes of George W. Bush be made known to the public and the public will then be as outraged as we are. That public outrage will naturally and rightly lead to impeachment proceedings.


I think we need to manufacture our own public consent. We need to build the movement from the ground up and THEN AND ONLY THEN can we expect the Impeachment ball to start rolling.

What do you think?

Can you bring yourself to say the "I-word"?


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blastocyst want ads

thanks to BillinPortland from Dailykos

A few snippets for your amusement:

The annual Blastocyst pancake supper will be held at the Grange Hall Sunday from 6am `til 11am. Cost is $5 ($3 for embryoblasts 8 days and under). Because of last year's maple syrup disaster, powdered sugar will be substituted

All of us at BCB mourn the passing of associate editor Hank Grindle, 12 days, a long-standing member of the local blastocyst community for 7 days and 3 hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the VFW. Our condolences to Gladys, his wife of 10 days and 8 hours.

see you tonight


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Please tell me it didn't happen

I've been away for a week...not concentrating on much news...or politics (yes, I suffered severe withdrawal for a couple of days)and then I come back to THIS

Here he is, the leader of the Free World, fresh off being caught on a live microphone at the Group of Eight summit meeting muttering to his favorite poodle Tony Blair, using his bestest Texas-boy shtick, that if them gul-dang Syrians would just tell Hezbollah to knock this s-- off, everything would be dandy ...

and then, the crowning glory:

And now, the icing on the giant cake o' domestic torture. Here is Dubya, strolling speedily into a G-8 summit meeting where powerful, intent world leaders are already gathered to discuss, presumably, serious issues of the day, walking straight up to a seated German Chancellor Angela Merkel and giving her a weird, unsolicited shoulder rub from behind, before dashing to his seat. Oh yes he did.
pictures, the video reveal all. Merkel reacts accordingly, is instantly creeped out, cringes and shrugs Bush away with a look of surprised revulsion.

Just when am I going to wake up from this nightmare?

Hope to see everybody at the meeting tomorrow night


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Next Wood County Democratic Party Meeting

Reminder: The Wood County Democratic Party will meet Thursday evening, July 20, at 6:30 in Pittsville VFW Hall. It should be interesting. Several speakers may be featured, including two people from the local Fair Wisconsin group, leading a discussion on the ban on marriages and civil unions amendment on the November ballot. Efforts are also underway to bring in a speaker on the Iraq war issues and another speaker who hopes to bring progressive radio to central WI. Your presence will be most welcome.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Way to go Al!

A Little background....there was a letter to the editor printed in the News-Herald a week or so ago that tried to set up the whole "democrats are weak on defense/democrats don't support our troops/Democrats are unpatriotic meme again....Well, our own Al LaBelle, a Democrat and one of the most patriotic veterans I have ever known, (if you have any doubts, just take a look at his car) didn't take "kindly" to the letter. His response was printed it is

Policymakers missed action
Editor: Re "Father proud of soldiers, disappointed by Democrats."

As a Vietnam veteran who participated in nine amphibious operations and as a member of the Wood County Democratic Party, I read with astonishment the referenced letter. For me, the welfare of the troops is a priority. In combat, one thing is certain -- Soldiers may find God in a foxhole, but they definitely lose their politics.

People who question the Iraq policy are labeled unpatriotic and demonized with the refrain, "Cut and run." This is from an administration whose policymakers, when faced with the choice of defending this country during the Vietnam conflict, chose student deferments and cushy duty in the Air National Guard defending Alabama.

They now make decisions on war and have no firsthand knowledge about the ramifications of these decisions. Troops are sent into combat with improper armor, equipment and insufficient numbers. Tours of duty are involuntarily extended, leading to extreme mental stress and the potential for atrocities.

The administration is quick to send our family members to fight, but somehow their family members never see action.

Iraq has now become a financially draining diversion while the administration attempts to dismantle Social Security, dismembers environmental regulations, and mismanages Katrina. They deny welfare to the needy like proposing to close 18 VA centers during the current military conflict.

Meanwhile, they give welfare to large corporations and the ultra-rich through no-bid contracts, subsidies and tax cuts. Frankly, the administration is more interested in protecting Paris Hilton's inheritance than protecting the welfare of the individual.

Some follow the administration blindly. It is their right. Others question the administration. It is their right. That is why I went to Vietnam 40 years ago. Too bad the administration's policymakers did not.


Thanks for speaking for all of us Al!

Cool...refreshing....summertime treat


Friday, July 07, 2006

Postcard from Dave??????

No signature but postmarked Australia

An Inconvenient Truth

I drove to Stevens Point with a friend today and saw An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's movie on global warming. This is a powerful film and a must see. I can't guarantee that viewers will be entertained, but all will be totally convinced through graphs, charts, Al's photos and other evidence from his travels to both poles and places in betweeen that global warming is a fact which must be faced and dealt with if we and generations after us hope to survive. The movie is at the Campus Cinema through July 13 (or maybe longer) with presentations at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00 p.m. daily.

Friday Open Thread

Just opening up a thread in case anybody wants to rip on anything (or anybody)....

Some interesting happenings:

Both New York State and Georgia Supreme Courts have rendered rulings opposed to Gay Marriage....some call these setbacks....

The Lieberman/Lamont debate went down last night and has some fascinating overtones...(e.g. Lieberman used "Reaganesque tactics"....."there you go again...")

Marshfield News-Herald coverage of the Pittsville 4th of July Parade was....pathetic? If you can find a more demeaning term feel free to use it....
Don't forget to check in with the AirAmerica club site...Joe Roppe is making changes and updating the site every day. I think this is going to be a good movement. I listened to our local radio station this morning and was completely disgusted with the amateurish, juvenile bantering that was taking place (this particular program was broadcast simultaneously to both Rapids and Marshfield). Sometime after noon today, that same station will "treat" us to Bill O'Reilly and then, in quick succession, Sean Hannity....'s time to make a change.....

Just a short musing......I've always had this fantasy..(NO! not THAT KIND OF FANTASY) of being wealthy enough to purchase my dream machine....and while surfing the web last night I found it is.... 235mph cruise, 3-axis autopilot, six seats, weather radar, GPS...It's a 1962 model but still none better......

As the song from Fiddler on the Roof asks, "..would it spoil some vast, eternal plan, if I were a wealthy man?"


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ct Bloggers don't take any prisoners

For those of you who didn't see this.... Connecticut Bloggers put a float in a local 4th of July Parade to rip on Joe Lieberman. This is a paper-mache' replica of George W. Bush's famous kiss of Lieberman after the State of the Union address in 2005. The float went on to say "Just Married" and sported tin cans tied to the back of the float.

Here's a link to the video at

You'll enjoy it.....

just a note: In the video there is a woman walking with two dogs....that happens to be the famous Jane Hamser, founder of

I wonder if in the Pittsville 4th of July Parade, there should be a CENTRAL WISCONSIN BLOGGERS float next year? hmmmmmmm..........that could be interesting.......

Over on Democratic there was a great post on The Sons of Liberty who organized to fight the "Stamp Act" and contributed to starting the revolution. In that same thread, there are also some fascinating posts about women of the Revolutionary war....maybe The Daughters of Liberty . Quite frankly, I knew about "Molly Pitcher" but not about so many others who are cited in the's the linky-thing:


on edit: DON'T FORGET TO KEEP CHECKING BACK AT to see what progress is being made on getting AIR AMERICA IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN

Second Update: I know this is "nasty" but rumor has it that one of our favorite AirAmerica Hostesses, Randi Rhodes, has nicknamed the North Korean Missiles as RUSH LIMBUAGH MISSILES....why?

warning, warning warning
Punchline ahead!
Because it only stayed "up" for 45 Seconds!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

for all you Lakoff fans.....

It is time to tell an inconvenient truth about Iraq: it is an occupation, not a war. In wars, armies fight to dominate land. The US won the war three years ago when Bush said, “Mission Accomplished”. Then the occupation started, and our troops were not trained or equipped for an occupation under predictably hostile circumstances. Finally getting the courage to tell the truth that the US is an occupying force drastically changes the picture in Iraq. You cannot “win” an occupation. “Cut and run” does not apply to an occupation. Occupiers have to leave; the only question is when and how. Progressive Democrats agree that it should be soon; they only disagree on details. Political courage is called for. Truth now!

then, of course there is the Republican framing of the issue....

There is a war against evil that must be fought. Fighting requires courage and bravery. Those fully committed to the cause are brave. Those who "cut and run" are motivated by self-interest; they are only interested in saving their own skins, not in the moral cause. They are cowards. And since those fighting for the cause need all the support they can get, anyone who decides to “cut and run” endangers both the moral cause and the lives of those brave people who are fighting for it. Those who have courage and conviction should stand and fight.

Be sure to read the whole article to understand how to escape the frame trap and also to avoid "self-interest" framing.....

Lakoff is giving some good advice. I read Lakoff's book, Don't Think about the elephant!, TWICE. On the second reading I noticed that his points and his doctrine of framing was a technique to be used but something to dwell upon.

To be perfectly honest, I haven't integrated framing into my rhetorical portfolio yet but I'm working on it.


Lakoff post....lost to Blogger errors...

I'll try again....after this test.....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's been bothering me...

for a couple of days now....

Almost everywhere I look, the 4th of July is all about "Celebrating the troops"...the Pittsville parade today..the theme was, "The Home of the Free Because of the Brave" Would someone like to tell me WHEN this happened? When did we quit celebrating our independence and turn this into another Memorial Day?

and then there's tonight....we'll be seeing fireworks displays on tv and also live ..."bombs bursting in-air" to martial music...a pseudo celebration of war? When the pyro-technic ground display lights up a flaming replica of the flag, will the spectators chant "US-A, US-A, US-A"?

Personally I'd prefer to celebrate the day learning of the struggles of Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin in shaping their vision of freedom. But if it must be a "martial" celebration, I think Kurt Vonnegut had it right...(by way of THE RUDE PUNDIT)

"I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see – and a thrilling show it really will be…"He looked each of us in the eye, and then he commented very softly, throwing it away, "And hooray I say for thrilling shows.

"We had to strain our ears to hear what Minton said next."But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war," he said, "is today a day for a thrilling show?

"The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and all mankind

Thank you Rude Pundit....that actually made my 4th of July


on edit: the above picture is actually of Ft Sumter during the Civil War but I thought it was a pretty patriotic picture of what lengths men have gone through to "preserve the Union"....enjoy

Monday, July 03, 2006

Air America in Central Wisconsin?

It could become a reality.

Just last week the first meeting of the Central Wisconsin Air America Club took place in Stevens Point and a core group was formed to help bring Progressive talk radio to our area. It is an off-shoot from the effort going forward in Milwaukee right now which is being led by our old buddy "Classwarrior" from the DU boards. Locally it is being organized by long-time central Wisconsin radio personality , Joe Roppe. The format will include normal Air America Programming PLUS LOCAL PROGRAMMING FOR PROGRESSIVES IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN.

The business plan is pretty straight forward, the founders of AAR will purchase stations as they become available in the target areas BUT THERE MUST BE LOCAL OWNERSHIP ALSO! To accomplish this, they're utilizing the "buy a pixel" technique that has worked on the web before. Here's how it works.

On the website, there will be a pixel page. (It's not completed yet.) Each pixel is worth $1.00 but to get a link to an ad (good for two years ) for your organization or county party web site or need to buy a 10 x 10 block for $100.00. All the money from pixel purchase will be made by paypal and go directly to the broadcasting company...there will be no local treasurer involved. This is the identical business plan being utilized in Milwaukee.

There will be events scheduled over the summer and fall to promote the "pixel site" and I'll keep you informed as things go along.

(pssssst.....the juiciest rumor on the local radio front is that a broker representing "unknown parties" has already made inquiries in Point, Rapids and Marshfield.....)