So That's Why We Have Flea Collars

It Smells Kind of Fishy...

Today In Labor History: October 29 -- The Failure of Laissez-faire Economics Brings on the Great Depression

1929: The stock market crashes, signaling the start of the Great Depression.

For many, laissez-faire theories fell into disrepute because of their failure to allow governments to deal with managing the economy during and after World War I, and their role in creating the Great Depression.

The Great Depression was a massive global economic recession (or "depression") that ran from 1929 to approximately 1939. Its primary impact was in the United States of America and led therein to numerous bank failures, high unemployment, as well as dramatic drops in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), industrial production, stock market share prices and virtually every other measure of economic growth.

More on the Great Depression.

More on the failure of Laizze faire economics.


Have You Heard About This Government Travel Scandal?

PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan group that follows spending on travel, reports that since 2000, members of Congress have made 5,900 foreign and domestic trips, costing $17.6 million. In that period, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) of Wisconsin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has traveled more on private money than any other member of Congress - $177,000 worth, including, among other places, Kazakhstan and Las Vegas. Mr. Sensenbrenner has argued that privately funded travel enables him to learn about issues important to the Judiciary Committee "without having the taxpayer foot the bill."

Surely, Sensenbrenner did not mean it is better for Congress to rely on private interest groups than on public funds to pay for its activities. Or did he? Would he say the same thing about operations of the White House? The Supreme Court?

Public financing provides salvation for most of Congress's ethical problems. If Congress believes it is in the national interest for members to be informed about foreign policy issues, then Congress should pay for their travel.

Christian Science Monitor story


Bob Muchlinski wins our first annual OTBL'er Goat Getter Award

It is with great honor to award our first AboveTheBorderLine Top Goat Getter Award to Bob Muchlinski of Hudson for his continuing series of letters to the editor to the Hudson Star-Observer.
His letters focus on explaining the truth behind the motives and agenda of the anti-community blog troppers at www.ontheborderline.net. In this week's New Richmond News, Bob shares his progressive insights about the anti-education antics of these duct-tape wearing disrupters of our communities push for a better tomorrow.

Thanks to the evil bloggers on the unenlightened side of the borderline, you can read all the letters Bob has written to the HSO in 2005. Click here for the Bob files. (Please note: Chris the Admin shutdown the Bob files link shortly after this post. They are soooo modest over there. They never want to take credit for anything...worthwhile.)
(Note #2:
Oct,27 10:00 A.M.Thanks for restoring the link Chris, now all the New Richmond readers
will have something worth viewing on your site )

As always, we'd like to thank Chris the Admin on the other side of the border for doing all that work and getting Bob's porfolio together. I would have done it, but I was too busy building bird houses tonight...actually I was at the New Richmond school board meeting. I would just like to point out that no bias was present in giveing this award to Bob. I've never met Bob and, quite frankly, I couldn't tell Bob from Chris the Admin if both were in front of me at the liquor store. Well actually, Bob would be the guy buying so brand of liberal beer like St. Paulie Girl and Chris the Admin would be buying a truck load of Blogger Lager -- the beer that puts the fuzz in fuzzy math. Of course, once in the parking lot, I'd notice Chris the Admin's big ugly truck with some hideous slogan painted on the side.

Progressive Heroes: The Crusher Dies

An icon in professional wrestling circles who was considered a man of the people because of his blue-collar Milwaukee roots, Reggie "The Crusher" Lisowski has died, losing his final bout to a non-cancerous brain tumor.

On the left, Mary Kowalski of St. Paul wanted to meet her television idol, pro wrestler "The Crusher," for her 100th birthday in August, 1965. The Crusher read about her wish in the paper, and stopped by her house before a wrestling event in the Twin Cities.

Many a Saturday evening were spent watching All Star Wrestling on WTCN. When I read this, I took a couple extra Gerispeeds for kicks.

More on the Crusher.


@ ontheborderline.net: We’re not radical …We’re fanatical.

Welcoming New Richmond borderline blog readers with open arms, the ontheborderline.net Admin made the following statement: "I want to thank J Nelson again, though a few things need clearing up. His method of operation has been to attack the messenger, slander, discredit at any cost. His discrediting would have to include anyone who does not believe in his ultra-left ideologies. He may appear to come to the middle on some issues, but really never does. Members of this blog are characterized as extremists, neocons, and out of the mainstream. Here is the Blog Mission Statement:@ OTBL. Radical? hardly!"

Not so fast Mr. Borderline Admin. Let’s take a look at one of the core values you “expouse." (Does "expousing" have something to do with leaving a marriage?). Let’s just take a little journey into radical extremist fantasyland. Ok, boys and girls, point your browser to honestedu.org. Enter a town, in the search engine, perhaps Hudson, WI. Low and behold we find two familiar ontheboarderline expousers, and surprise, surprise one just happens to be the bordliner admin who claims above to not be a radical.

I’m sure that the majority of moms and dads sending their kids to the Hudson Public Schools wake up with this thought in mind. “ Oh no, my child is in the hands of dangerous Socialist propagandists filling our impressionionable child’s little head with indoctrination from Stalinist, Soviet style, collectivist brain washing manual. We have to end public education as we’ve known it for the last 150 years and replace it with a competitive free market educational system that gives the greatest opportunity to the children of the country club/ yachting set and prepares the average child for a Wal-Mart greeting career.

(Oh and by the way Socialist, statist, collectivist teacher spouses, we expect to be receiving a check in the mail from the State of WI and the Hudson School District to send our kids to the freemarket school of our choice.) I better sign the proclaimation stating: 'I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education.'

Well my friend, that’s what our blogging buddies over at ontheborderline.nut believe. When 75-80% of Hudsonites recently surveyed expressed a positive attitude toward the Hudson public schools, the point of view expressed in this proclamation certainly appears RADICAL to me.

Here’s a little more “moderate” commentary from our friends on the other side of the borderline. ‘Legislators of the Harsdorf and Rhoades types will do nothing until and unless there is a real crisis. So, the only rational thing to do is to simply say NO. No more additional taxes, no more pay increases, no more buildings. We will not budge until and unless the state of Wisconsin, or local school districts, institute universal education tax credits, local levy tax credits, or an intelligent voucher system. And that is simply the first, but primary, step that must be taken and is non-negotiable. We must demand capitalism and market forces free to work in education - not in 20 years, but now.”

Republican State legislators too liberal? Uncompromising ultimatums demanding the creation of a radically different educational structure? Your tax dollars redistributed into THEIR pockets via tax credits and vouchers? The destruction of public education as we currently know in WI? In short, the borderliners battle cry is “We want our way and we want it NOW!”

Sounds "moderate" to me. And they wonder why people perceive them as Anti-Education? If you agree with the “moderate” ideology of the ontheborderline.net philiosphers, administrators and the candidates they will inevitably support in the next Hudson School Board election, perhaps you should consider signing the petition.

It's Wednesday And That Means New Letters to the Editor


Quotes of Note: Samuel Gompers

"Show me the country in which there are no strikes and I’ll show you that country in which there is no liberty."

First President of the American Federation of Labor, 1886-1924

Samuel Gompers, for whom Gompers Park on Chicago's Northwest Side was named, was one of the founders of the American Federation of Labor in 1886. He was elected president, a position he held, except for one year, until his death 38 years later. Under his leadership, the organization grew from a handful of struggling labor unions to become the dominant organization within the Labor Movement in the United States and Canada.

Gompers was born in London, England, on January 26, 1850. His parents were poor immigrant Jews from Holland. In London the young Sam was apprenticed to a shoemaker at age 10. He soon changed trades and became a cigar maker, a trade he brought with him to New York when his family emigrated to America in 1863.

Life was difficult in the crowded slums of New York. There were a few relatively large cigar making shops, perhaps, with as many as 75 employees; but much of the work was done in a thousand or more sweatshops, often the same crowded apartments where the workers lived. Thousands of little children worked in New York sweatshops and factories, as they helped their parents eke out a living.

By 1885, Sam Gompers had become highly skilled at his trade and was employed in one of the larger shops. He was respected by his fellow workers, mostly Germans, who elected him as president of Cigar Makers Union Local 144. He and the other officers were unpaid as they struggled to keep the union together in the face of mechanization and the flooding of the labor market by scores of new immigrants, largely Bohemian.

In 1881 Gompers was sent as the delegate of the Cigar Makers to a conference of various unions which created a loose confederation to be called the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Councils. Although without the title of President, as head of the legislative committee, Gompers became its leader, practically speaking; but the organization was structurally weak and ineffective.

Nevertheless, the need for close cooperation among like-minded labor organizations was abundantly evident; so the organization was reconstituted in 1886 as the American Federation of Labor. This time Gompers was the President. His office was not much more than an 8x10 room in a shed. His son was the office boy. There was $160 in the treasury. As Gompers said, it was "much work, little pay, and very little honor."

Four years later, the AFL represented 250,000 workers. In two more years the number had grown to over one million. Under Gompers, the guiding principle was to concentrate on collective bargaining with employers, and on legislative issues directly affecting the job. Broad social goals and political entanglements were left to others. Gompers did have an interest in international labor issues. At the conclusion of World War I, he attended the Versailles Treaty negotiations, where he was instrumental in the creation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) under the League of Nations.

He was a supporter of trade unionism in Mexico and, though elderly and in failing health, he went to Mexico City to attend the inauguration of Mexico's reform President Calles; and, also, the Congress of the Pan-American Federation of Labor. It was at the Congress that his final collapse occurred. He was rushed to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas where he died on December 13, 1924.

More on Gompers

@ www.ontheborderline.net they keep the minnows and throw back the throphy fish: School Change v. Federal Folding Cash

On the other side of the borderline blogoshpere, they constantly quack about any money spent on public/government education. They see nickels and dimes and scream bloody murder about they government stealing their hard earned money. At the same time, they hit the mute button when it comes to the money being wasted by the Bush administration and dumped into heaping piles in the feed buckets of corporate America. Oh, I forgot, that's free-market economics being practiced by concerned members of the corporate business dispensers of the milk of human kindness.

Here's a couple of interesting articles detailing the money grab fest being engineered out of the Bush White House.

In the Oct. 24 edition of The American Conservative, we read that the United States invaded Iraq with a high-minded mission: destroy dangerous weapons, bring democracy, and trigger a wave of reform across the Middle East. What has really happened -- Billions of dollars have disappeared, gone to bribe Iraqis and line contractors’ pockets. Read Philip Giraldi’s cover story Money for Nothing.

Also, the Sunday, Oct. 23 edition of the Washington Post has about private contractors overcharging the government in the name of national security. Washington Post story.


Where Are The White House Plumbers Tocday?

Members of Somerset School District Complacent! Hoodwinked!...How about home watching Fear Factor?

Right up front, I'll admit that I didn't go to the Somerset school board meeting tonight. I did stop by the Treadmill in Somerset to get a pair of schools. I was close to the school board meeting -- probably not as close as the vast majority to voters in the Somerset school district. However, I don't live in that district and stick to New Richmond school district business.

However, Chris over at www.ontheborderline.net did attend the Somerset meeting tonight and even has a report on it. His report is titled Hoodwinked in Somerset. Check it out. He also has another report from the October 10 Somerset meeting titled Complacent In Somerset...Hardly.

Maybe Chris needs to get a hobby...like painting birdhouses he suggests I should be building. Or maybe he needs to start up a consulting company that informs school district voters on how school boards operate.

His articles have a heartfelt beat to them that show his compassion for us hicks in the sticks. He points out that news of school board proceedings are hard to come by and often go under reported in the local newspapers. He makes it sound like the information being debated and the business being conducted at school board meetings is being done under some highly-coordinated cloak of conspiracy. He says he's learned a great deal about school board operations in the past 18 months...and probably hasn't painted one bird house.

Welcome to the club Chris!

After spending a few years in the late 70s and early 80s covering a number of local school district for various weekly newspapers, I too noticed a pattern to the attendance of the citizens at these meetings. They basically didn't show up -- unless the agenda included something about cutting a sports program or decreasing the radius in which students were going to be bused. Both were cost-cutting measures and always drew a crowd. Otherwise people were pretty much too busy watching the baseball game or Fear Factor or Mork and Mindy.

For the most part, people don't really pay much attention to what is going on in their local, state and national governments. Infrequently, the people pull their heads out of the sand, cock their ears and pat attention for a short awhile...but then things return to "normal."

If people aren't aware of what is going on in their school district, it is their fault. It's not the local newspaper's fault. Local papers are not required to cover school boards -- but they will gladly print the minutes or publish the notices (it's a revenue thing). The reporting staffs at local papers are usually spread pretty thin and, if you pay attention to it, reporters don't last long at local papers like the New Richmond News. The pay is low, the benefits are lower, the hours are long and, if you want the previous three things to change, you need to be moving on.

The information for Somerset school board meetings is available on their web site. Also published there is the agendas for these meetings. If voters in the district are not happy with the timing and/or placement of school board minutes and notifications, they need to go the meetings and/or contact the school board members and let them know what needs to be changed. There are laws surrounding the posting and publication of school board minutes, etc. If these are being violated, concerned citizens need to take steps to fix this.

If you notice over on the links on this blog site, I have a list of Local Links to the Somerset, Hudson, River Falls and New Richmond school districts. They are located right below the picture of the Taxpayers Hell link (Chris' link). Maybe Chris could add these school links to his site (maybe a link to my site also). This would help his new visitors from the St. Croix Valley area access the school district information. If space is an issue on his site, maybe he can get rid of the time and temperature for New Richmond and Somerset. I think we all know those are pretty much the same as Hudson.

If the people have any hope of exercising their political power and rights, the best place to start is at the local level. I think Chris stated this quite eloquently in one of his posts last April 4, when he paraphased me:

We are at the crossroads to determine the future of Education in Hudson. It was summarized earlier by a blogger here that paraphrased in a comment that the election was about the contrast of a lapdog and a watchdog. To paraphrase dratsum; “That the school board is elected to oversee the school administration refers to the board as a “watch dog.” The “coziness” of the board to the administration makes is seem as if board is acting more like a “lap dog.” I am in 100 percent agreement to what the board’s function is. Its function is not to freshen up the inkpad for the rubber stamp of approval. In my opinion, that is the board’s function. Likewise, it is the school administration’s function of oversee the daily activities of the school and do the future planning for the district to see that it is in sync with the evolving future of the school district. In the case of school districts in our neck of Wisconsin, this target is moving and expanding. It is up to the voters of the district to determine which role the board plays: watchdog or lapdog.”

Source post of above quote.

I'm sticking by that statement and I'm expanding it to include district voters. Are they watchdogs or lapdogs? If Chris has nothing better to do with his time, that's his business. He pays state taxes and they go to the schools. To continue to spread his blackwashing that every action taken by local school boards is part of a vast, illegal conspiracy is a public disservice and slap in the face of those people that dedicate their time and efforts to further the state of public education in the communities. Chris needs to be more up front with his anti-public education agenda on his web site.

Sour Note Quote: Ann Coulter

"Even fanatical Muslim terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. In contemplating college liberals, you really regret, once again, that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals by making them realize that they could be killed, too."
On the heels of her widely successful books on Liberal treachery, Slander and Treason, Ann Coulter is about to publish a special updated edition of one of the most influential political tracts of the modern age.

"If you think she knows Joe McCarthy, wait till you hear how she admires Hitler." - Bob Novak

"A new classic. A great political strategy guide for the modern conservative." - Tucker Carlson

"If you love America, you'll love this book." - Sean Hannity

"Smart... funny... reveals Liberal treachery." - Rush Limbaugh

"It's like she knows my playbook." - Karl Rove

"Have you hanged a Liberal today?" - Michael Savege

Ann Coulter, right-wing spewer of redneck ignorance

Progressive Heroes: Rosa Parks Dies

Rosa Parks, the dignified African American seamstress whose refusal to surrender a bus seat to a white man launched the modern civil rights movement and inspired generations of activists, died last night at her home in Detroit, the Wayne County medical examiner's office said. She was 92.

No cause of death was reported immediately. She had dementia since 2002. Read more from Rosa Parks' hometown newspaper The Montgomery Advertiser.

It's a Joke...Right?

When a boss has a solution for a non-existent problem it’s "elegant foresight."

When a worker suggests something like that, it’s "rocking the boat”.


The Beer That Made Stone Pine Famous

You know, it’s a hard day’s work fightin’ off the ultra-left wing, collectivist, liberal establishment public school supporters and their Cadillac Heath Care public trough simpering spouses. Bloggin’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. It ain’t easy getting up at 5:44 A.M. and wrestling that QWERTY keyboard into submission. But we ain’t complaining, it’s our duty as red-blooded, red meat eatin’ freedom lovin’ capitalists to keep America safe for our grandkids to be able to wave the “Stars and Bars”. After a hard day’s bloggin’ and exspousin’ the end to government schoolin’, a man’s gotta have a beer that says, “Way to go blogger”....A hardhitting, double fisted brew that will make those sissy, tree huggin’ latte’ drinkin, commie pinko radicals want to cry for their mamas. That brew is St. Croix Blogger Lager.
It's the first of a series of beers from the Von Misses Brewing Co. headquartered in the Cayman Islands. St. Croix Blogger Lager’s made with the finest non-government subsidized barley and hops this side of heaven. Brewed with laboratory distilled H2O so you know it’s go nothing to do with those Pagan, Mother- Nature worshiping environmentalists. St. Croix Blogger Lager comes in the familiar non-recyclable brown glass bottle, the same kind you’re grandpa bought 100 years ago when there were no taxes (or wages worth taxin’). So head on down to you local free market liquor store and pick up 3 or 4 cases of St. Croix Blogger Lager. It’s the only libation celebrated the world round. At the next backyard Stars & Bars Flagfest, your German goose steppin’ buddies will be sure to compliment your fine taste with a “Das ist einen gutton Lagerbier “.

St. Croix Blogger Lager, “This Smear’s for you!!!!"

Surgeon General’s Warning: St. Croix Blogger Lager has been shown in laboratory testing to cause inflation of the ego, and excessive bloating and gas.

Blog Responsibly!!!!!!

Today In Labor History: October 24

1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act, establishing the 40-hour work week and forbidding child labor in factories, becomes law, to take effect on this date in 1940.

Big Labor

Bush's (and Our) Iraq By The Numbers

The U.S. military announced Friday the deaths of four Marines and a soldier, bringing the number of American servicemen and women who have died in Iraq since the war began 2 1/2 years ago to 1,993.

Wisconsin military members killed: 46
Minesota military members killed: 25

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, Oct. 22, 2005
Enlistments in Minnesota for the 12 months ending Sept. 31 were down 10 percent from the previous year. Recruiters in Minnesota signed up only about half the number of soldiers U.S. Army's Recruiting Command had sought.

Various reasons are cited for the decline. There is a climbing military death toll in Irag. There is Minnesota's low unemployment rate, which means enlistment-age men and women get jobs elsewhere. And there's the cold fact that many parents nowadays actively dissuade their children from joining the military.

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, Oct. 23, 2005
In the Oct. 24, 2005 issue of The American Conseravation, Pat Buchanan has this to say about the numbers:

1. "Acording to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, 67 percent disapprove of how Bush is prosecuting the war. Only 32 percent approve. Three in five think America made a mistake going in. Close to two-thirds of the American people think we should start withdrawing troops now."

2. "By a CBS/New York Times poll, pnly 7 percent of the nation is willing to cut domestic spending to pay for this war, only 20 percent -- one in five -- is willing to raise taxes. A majority of Ameircans wish this was had never happened and would just go away."

3. "In that CBS/New York Times poll, 75 percent of Bush's countrymen said he has no plan. Yet he is president for the next 40 months."

Buchanan concluded his editorial with this: "Yes, we are all in this boat together, and it is taking on water."
Cost of an ice cube tray: 85 cents. Price charged to Pentagon for an 85 cent ice cube tray: $20.

St. Pioneer Press, Oct. 23, 2005.