The current editions of the Hudson Star Observer and the New Richmond News carry a letter to the editor by me (see 1 st comment to this post).The Admin at www.ontheborderline.net has posted a response ( see second comment) to my letter and, for some reason, it doesn't appear that the he actually read the letter. OTBL'ers seem to have that habit, concerning my letters to the editor.
I think you can summarize the points of my letter as follows:
1. The chairman of the La Crosse County Republican party, Chris Muller uses John Birch Society (JBS) rhetoric is his public writings. (Comment 3 includes an example of Muller's writing.)
2. There's a meth problem in our community.
3. Sheila Harsdorf and Kitty Rhoades played a major role in a bi-partisan effort to help fight the epidemic.
4. Posters on the OTBL blog site use the same JBS rhetoric and called Hardsdorf and Rhoades RINOs.
5. Apparently to be a Republican these days you have to drink the JBS Kool-aid.
6. If you'd like a more progressive alternative, check out the Democrats.
I never said anybody associated with the OTBL blog is a member of the JBS. I said the rhetoric they used is that of the JBS.
Concerning my alledged use of "lewd and vulgar commenting," I've previously asked the OTBL Admin to forward a copy of those comments to me. He has an extensive archive at that site that goes back months before I stopped there. It should be fairly easy to do. Admin Chris please forward my "lewd and vulgar comments" to email@example.com. I will gladly post them on this site and let the community judge my comments.
Admin Chris includes this comment: "I will also leave you with something that would show your naive if you think that members of the Republican Party would switch to the worse of two evils, 'A bad day of fishing, is still better than a good day at work.'"
Concerning this I like to point out that the Demcratic Party is obviously an alternative to the Republican Party. Another alternative that I am trying to point out to Republicans is there is a part of your party that doesn't want to be part of the community. It is that part that sees no middle ground and says their way is the only way -- Republicans disagreeing will be shunned and down graded.
The OTBL Admin says he has never heard of the John Birch Society. He is either pulling our leg or is very ignorant of US political history. When it comes to political history posted on the OTBL site, it tends to range from fantasy to ignorance and rarely resembles reality...ignorace might just be the reason he doesn't know about the JBS.
Finally, I will always support the OTBL'ers right to express their opinions -- whether I agree with them or not. However, I will not let them go unchallenged and I will do everything I can to make sure that members of this community know what is happening on the border line.
Summary of background info included in comments:
1. My 9/29/05 letter to the editor
2. OTBL Admin's response to my letter
3. Sample of public writings of La Crosse County Republican chairman, Chris Muller
4. OTBL post comments naming local RINOs
5. Background info and history of John Birch Society
6. List of area signers of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State petition to eliminate government schools. Among the signers of the petition are OTBL'ers Bill Danielson and Admin Chris Kilber. Also a Wisconsin signer is G. Vance Smith, the CEO of the JBS. Kibler has an interesting comment about the purpose of his blog site.
at 9/29/2005 Posted by JPN
Community: A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government; society as a whole; the public.
Meth: A highly addictive and powerful stimulant that can be made in rudimentary labs with ordinary household ingredients. Many states are struggling to keep up with its explosive growth. Wisconsin is one of them.
We are all part of a community. Like it or not, we all have to learn to live together. Politics are the method by which members of communities blend and compromise their differences and learn to live together. In a community build within the framework of democracy, there must be more give and take than take it or leave it.
A recent example of the political community coming together to deal with a serious problem in our community -- local, county and state -- was the passage of Wisconsin Senate Bill 78. SB 78 requires citizens to present identification when purchasing ingredients used in the production of methamphetamine. Products with pseudo-ephedrine, a key ingredient in the production of meth, will be placed behind a pharmacist's counter. The bill requires that pseudo-ephedrine can only be sold by a pharmacist or someone working under the direction of a pharmacist. The bill limits the amount of pseudo-ephedrine a citizen could purchase in a 30-day period.
In short, the passing of SB78 was an important step in working to fight a deadly epidemic invading our community -- local, county, state. Western Wisconsin is ground zero of Wisconsin's battle against the meth. Below is a glimpse at what the results of meth use looks like.
Two of the main drivers behind the passage of SB78 are two local Republicans, Senator Sheila Harsdorf and Representative Kitty Roades. The bill was signed in Hudson by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle
At the signing, Wisconsin Governor Doyle said that while methamphetamine use, production, and distribution are serious problems statewide, Western Wisconsin - including St. Croix County and its surrounding areas - has borne the brunt of the problem. St. Croix County submitted 300 cases of meth to the State Crime Lab over the last six years. In comparison, Milwaukee County, which has a population 13 times larger, had less than 40 cases.
"As Attorney General, I worked in close collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to meet the challenges posed by this dangerous and destructive drug," Governor Doyle said. "As Governor, I am happy today to provide law enforcement and community leaders with an additional tool to prevent methamphetamine use." Governor Doyle thanked Senators Sheila Harsdorf and Bob Jauch and Representatives Kitty Rhoades for their hard work on the bill.
About the meth epidemic and the need for the passage of SB 78, our local state lawmakers had this to say:
"We are working with our friends in the Minnesota Legislature to send a very clear message to meth dealers that we will get you coming and going. We will not tolerate meth in our communities, and this legislation is a critical tool in combating this social disease."
Rep. Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson)
"The alarming trend in the use and manufacture of meth in Northwest Wisconsin is having a devastating impact -- destroying lives, increasing crime, and placing huge costs on taxpayers. We must send a loud message that meth users and pushers are not welcome in Wisconsin."
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls)
You would think the type of bi-partisan, legislative work would put lawmakers in a good light in the local politcal scene. That is not the case. Over at the www.ontheborderline.net blog site, such community-focused work didn't seem to shed a positive light on Sheila and Kitty. Governor Doyle signed the bill on June 6. It didn't take the OTBL'ers long to show their feelings about such bi-partisanship. Here's a sample of their comments:
On 6/26/05, Luke posted: "I believe Sheila is known in Madison as a RINO. If any of you don't know what that means- Republican In Name Only."
On 7/12/05, Taxboy posted: "This is the type of hypocrisy that we've come to expect from our representatives in Madison. Both Kitty Rhoades and Sheila Harsdorf are well known within the halls of Madison as being a couple of the biggest RINO's in the state."
On 7/17/05, BillD stressed the OTBL'ers motto that it's their way or your road kill on their highway: "The fact that real wealth is the accumulation and complete safety of private property is of little consequence to the gang of looters who are merely interested in government's role in confiscating private property in the pursuit of creating jobs, and growing the size and scope of government. It should not be surprising that a by-product of such intervention is the taking of your real wealth to accomplish it, and I would suggest that this is not simply a by-product but rather a desired social outcome for many on the liberal left (as well as the RINO muddled ground)."
On 7/22/05, BillD corrected himself: "Did I say RINO's? Sorry about that (such sarcasm drives the self-righteous so-called Republicans here in Wisconsin ballistic)."
On 8/22/05, Blacklab gives a glimpse how he feels about bi-partisanship: "I've always felt that Sheila has a stong work ethic, and should she lose an election she'd be back on the farm working. To Kitty, this is a paycheck with benefits, she's a schmoozer."
Hopefully people in this community are starting to understand what the likes of the OTBL'ers aren't about. They are not about working together with the community. My guess is that the "community" shares too much similarity with the word "communist." It's pretty clear that bi-partisanship is road they won't be travelling soon -- unless they are doing the surveying, staking out the road, paving the asphalt, collecting the tolls and checking the IDs of all dare cross the borderline into their politcal twilight zone -- a zone where there is no gray, compromise or middle ground.
A firm illustration of this can be seen in this 9/26 post by the OTBL Admin:
"Go along to get along. Find the common ground. The world is not black and white, it is gray. Compromise. Be moderate. We have heard all these phrases before. Well I think a moderate is nothing more than someone who does not understand or is too afraid to stand up for what they believe in. So how do we find middle ground? We can't....So, where is there middle ground? There isn't any. "
OTBLer ChoosingLife adds the following comment to Admin's post:
"Straddling the fence of fiscal responsibility, moral and social responsibility surely brings out the gray area in many RINOs and other political parties. Beware those who compromise -- for any reason! There is no middle ground in either social or fiscal responsibility. "
In Admin's post, titled "There's No Middle Ground," he points out that others say the US is an invader in Iraq and he says the US is a liberator. Isn't that exactly what democracy is all about? Aren't we over in Iraq trying to spread the virtues of democracy? Aren't we trying to liberate Iraq because Saddam ran a brutal dictatorship where there was no middle ground? It was his way or the graveyard. Isn't the whole idea for our military excursion into Iraq to open up a political gray zone in the Middle East that provides fertile ground for democracy to grow and overtake the deadly weeds of religious fanaticism and intolerance and dictatorial brutality and oppression.
Voters in this community -- local, county, state and national -- need to pay attention to what the OTBL'ers are saying. They always mention the "Constitution," but rarely do they mention "democracy." The reason is self-evident. The "Constitution" is our Founding Fathers' black and white version of a Power Point presentation on this nation's ground rules of operation. "Democracy" is the gritty, gray area where the Constitution's Power Points get converted into the detailed reality we call everyday life in these United States of America.
We had the Constitution when genocide was a accepted practice used against the American Indians. We had the Constitution when Black people from Africa where being imported to be slaves. We had the Constitutional when segregation was the law. We had the Constitution when federal and state troops were killing unarmed, US citizens who were striking to feed their starving families. We had a Constitution long before we had child labor laws. We had the Constitution before women, minorities and non-property owning White males could vote.
So when the OTBL'ers Admin says: "You believe that the United States constitution is a living document and that it should be reinterpreted by the Supreme Court to follow the sentiment of modern society. I believe that almost all aspects of the constitution have been settled and it is the Supreme Court's job to uphold it, not interpret it."
Based on the history of the United States, the US Supreme Court rulings and the interpretations of the Constitution, I would ask the OTBL'ers what do you mean by "middle ground" and I would tell them to check the cover on whatever history book they are reading to make sure the title includes the words "United States."
at 9/28/2005 Posted by JPN
The Ontheborderline Online Educational Institute proudly announces it’s first Online Course. “Applying 18th Century thinking to 21st Century Problems”. Students will explore the history of 18th Century inventions and the appropriate use these emerging technologies to solve current socio-economic dilemmas. Commonly used 18thCentury technology will be analyzed for it's potential modern day use. Long neglected inventions like Jethro Tull’s seed drill(1701) and the guillotine(1789) will once again find their proper role in today’s feudal society.
Educational advances like the dictionary (1755) will be rediscovered,and transportation advance’s such as the Montgolfier brothers’ Hot air Balloon (1783) and the bicycle (1791) will stimulate new thinking for online students to solve present day traffic congestion problems.
This course will meet all Borderline Educational Institute standards for back to basics learning. We provide practical hands on instruction as well, for instance, “How to install a Ben Franklin lightning rod (1752)” and “Proper Techniques for Steam Engine (1712) Stoking”
Online learners will be instructed in how to parrot the wisdom of past philosophical giants repeating phrases like Descarte's "Cognito Ergo Sum" ( I think therefore I am) and practice applying advanced means of persuasion to win friends and influence the ignorant. For example, "Quidquid Latine Dictum Sit Altum Viditur" or (whatever is said in Latin seems profound).
If that doesn't help you pretend to be a "Dr." , nothing will.
Grading will be on the basis of Black (wrong) or White (right), the Ontheborderline Online Educational Institute will show no tolerance for relativism.
(So tell you relatives to start their own Online Institute).
"Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them.” Ludwig Von Mises.
(Bloggers Note: This was true of my school mates who pursued careers in delinquency)
*Applications from geniuses will not be accepted.
** Accredited "Ontheborderline University" Doctorates will be awarded for successfully posting any anti-Liberal insult . Please add $5.95 for shipping and handling.
at 9/28/2005 Posted by Andy Rand
Escorts, Call Girls, Ladies of the Evening, Prostitutes, Hookers, Whores, Sluts, Home Wreckers, Family Destroyers: Meet Al & Gary
Before you blame the Northwest mechnaics for their problems, make sure you understand the facts behind NWA's financial troubles. In the comments to this post, I've included two excellent business opinion pieces from the Sunday, Sept. 25 editions of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Or there's no "fair" in laissez-faire.
...or the first will be last and maybe Senator Bill Frist will be next!
Frist stock sale draws federal scrutiny ...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors contacted Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office about his sale of stock in HCA (HCA), the hospital operating company founded by his family. The Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation, too, and prosecutors asked HCA to turn over documents about the transaction.
My friendly neighborhood bloggers @ www.ontheborderline.net like to tell us about the good old days when taxes were non-existent, all moms stayed at home, there was no business regulations holding back a survival-of-the-fittest robber baron's quest for success, etc. I can name a few reasons why business regulation is a necessary part of our economic system. Listed below are the names of few companies and their executives that took greed to new levels of corporate shame.
•TycoInternational Ltd.: Former Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski and Chief Financial Officer Mark H. Swartz each were sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay a total of$134 million in restitution. Both were convicted June 17 on 22 of 23 counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, securities fraud and falsifying business records.
•WorldCom Inc.: Bernard Ebbers, former chief of the one-time telecom giant, was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and making false regulatory filings in WorldCom's $11 billion accounting scandal. Ebbers was sentenced July 13 to spend 25 years in prison.
• Enron Corp.: Enron founder Kenneth Lay, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and former top accountant Richard Causey are scheduled to go to trial in January on federal fraud and conspiracycharges. Former CFO Andrew Fastow pleaded guilty in January 2004 to two counts of conspiracy. He agreed to serve the maximum 10-year sentence after he testifies against his former bosses. Fastow's wife will complete a year long sentence in July.
• Adelphia Communications Corp.: Founder John Rigas and his son Timothy were convicted in federal court last year of conspiracy, bank fraud and securities fraud. On June 20, John Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Timothy Rigas to 20 years.
• Credit Suisse First Boston: The company's former investment banking star, Frank Quattrone, was convicted in May 2004 on federal charges of obstruction of justice. He is appealing the conviction.
If you ever wonder why there never seems to be a shortage of help at the local Wal-Mart when you are shopping during your lunch hour, this might be the reason...
Wal-Mart, workers in court over lunch breaks
By David Kravets, Associated Press
September 20, 2005
OAKLAND, Calif. - Lawyers representing about 116,000 former and current Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees in California told a jury Monday that the world's largest retailer systematically and illegally denied workers lunch breaks.
The suit in Alameda County Superior Court is among about 40 cases nationwide alleging workplace violations against Wal-Mart and the first to go to trial. Wal-Mart, which earned $10 billion last year, settled a lawsuit in Colorado for $50 million that contains similar allegations to California's class action. The company also is accused of paying men more than women in a federal lawsuit pending in San Francisco federal court. The workers in the class-action lawsuit are owed more than $66 million plus interest, attorney Fred Furth told the 12 jurors and four alternates.
"I will prove the reason they did this was for the God almighty dollar," Furth said in his opening statement.
Nine jurors must side with the plaintiffs to prevail. Millions of dollars also are sought to punish the company for the alleged wrongdoing. The case concerns a 2001 state law, which is among the nation's most worker friendly. Employees who work at least six hours must have a 30-minute, unpaid lunch break. If they do not get that, the law requires they are paid for an additional hour of pay.
The lawsuit covers former and current employees in California from 2001 to 2005. Wal-Mart declined to give an opening statement, reserving its right to give one later. Its lawyers also declined comment. In court documents, the Bentonville, Ark., company claims that workers did not demand penalty wages on a timely basis. Wal-Mart adds that it did pay some employees their penalty pay and, in 2003, most workers agreed to waive their meal periods as the law allows.
Wal-Mart also says some violations were minor, such as demanding employees punch back in from lunch and work during their meal breaks. In essence, workers were provided a shorter meal period than the law allows. The case does not claim that employees were forced to work off the clock during their lunch breaks.
The lawsuit was brought in 2001 by a handful of San Francisco-area former Wal-Mart employees and took four years of legal wrangling to get to trial. During that time, Wal-Mart produced internal audits that plaintiffs' lawyers maintain showed the company knew it was not granting meal breaks on thousands of occasions.
That 2000 audit was given to top-level executives, according to evidence submitted to jurors Monday. One company document called results of the audit "a chronic problem." A one-week review of company policies showed thousands of instances in which workers were not given a meal break in accordance with the law, according to the documents provided to the jury.
"This is Wal-Mart auditing Wal-Mart," Furth said.